Old Herts

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If you are looking through a box of old family memorabilia you may sometimes find some old decorated metal buttons and wonder why they are there. It fact they my be buttons from the clothing your ancestor wore - and give a clue to what they did, and who they worked for.


For example, if they worked in a big house they may well have had a uniform which had specially made buttons bearing a crest relating to the coat of arms worn by the family who owned the house. The presence of such buttons in that box of old family odds and ends might help you to trace another aspect of your ancestors lives.

The buttons I show here are metal collector finds from Hertfordshire. The first shows the sun with a face, above a bar, and was made by a London firm, - but all that can be read from the back is "????? & Sons, London"

This one shows a castle with crossed spears  and I am sure that it must be possible to identify the family whose staff had this button on their livery.

The back shows that it was made by ? ? K Solomon of Charing Cross (London).

Organisations such as the armed forces, the police, the fire brigade, etc. will also have embossed metal buttons on their uniform. I am wondering whether the one on the right came from an army uniform. There are words round the edge  but these are unreadable apart from the word "VOLUNTEERS".

Herts Police Button

Can you help identify any

 of  these buttons?

Karen Foy has published a book, Ancestors in the Attic - Making Family Memorabilia into History, The History Press, 2012, ISBN 978 0 7524 6428 2, which is reviewed in Genealogists' Magazine, June 2013.

June 2013   Page Created