Can anyone explain why the Scottish flag on this map from 1504 has a red cross on a white background?

Can anyone explain why the Scottish flag on this map from 1504 has a red cross on a white background?

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The section of the map below is from a nautical chart by the Portuguese cartographer Pedro Reinel (c.1462 - c.1542). On it, Scotland is shown with a red St. Andrew's Cross on a white background.

Upon checking various sites (including Wiki, National flag of Scotland and Two Flags of Scotland), I found no reference to this ever having been used.

Further googling led me to the Cross of Burgundy, shown below,

and this reference to Scottish soldiers:

Pedro de Ayala, writing in the 1490s, claims it was first adopted by a previous Duke of Burgundy to honour his Scottish soldiers… However, earlier chronicle accounts and archaeological finds of heraldic badges from Paris indicate… its origins are more likely to relate to the fact that St. Andrew was the patron saint of the dukes of Burgundy.

I have found references to a white cross on various backgrounds (red, sky blue, sage green) but nothing (other than Reinel's map and the apparently mistaken reference to Scottish soldiers above) relating to a red cross on a white background.

I'm wondering if this red on white representation is based on any evidence of actual use in Scotland, or if it is an error made by Pedro Reinel. Did he perhaps get it mixed up with the flag of St. George?

I recently looked at this question again, and thought it might be another example of the colorization process being inaccurate. I thought to find other copies of this map (or other works at least by the same individual) showing the 'right' colors to prove a simple color error.

What I thought would be simple became very not simple. Here's what I have found.

The first logical step seemed to be researching the individual map and cartographer Pedro Reinel as well as other copies of his work. The Wikipedia entry for Pedro Reinel is limited, but does give us some connections to some other works, a starting point.

Four works are attributed to Reinel on the wiki page:

  • a 1485 portolan chart, Bordeaux
  • the OP's 1504 portolan chart, from the Bavarian State Library in Munich
  • the 1519 work commonly known as the Miller Atlas, from the French National Library in Paris
  • and a 1535 portolan showing the North Atlantic region, found in the National Maritime Museum, UK

I would add a few other works from the period to consider, including

  • the 1466 Roselli Cart of England, from the James Ford Bell Library, UMN
  • the 1502 Cantino Planisphere, (large wiki image here)
  • the Mappemundi from Pierre Desceliers in 1546, Manchester Library detail here
  • Portolan Chart of 1511 by Maggiolo Vesconte. Detail view from the JCB Library
  • Chart of the Mediterranean, Black Sea, and the coasts of western Europe and northwest Africa by Mateus Prunes, Library of Congress Clip
  • a Portolan chart of the Atlantic Ocean, from 1633 by Pascoal Roaz, Library of Congress

Lets start with the Reinel charts.

Here is a detail from a photo uploaded to Wikimedia of the 1485 chart:

Another clip of the same chart, from the wiki page overhead view:

We can see that the 'saltire' shape is present on the 1485 chart, but the colors still appear to be incorrect, with a gold coloration over a dark blue field. The shields for England and Ireland are also off, also having a dark field. (this is actually the closest I found to a 'correct' St Andrews Cross, if the Saltire were just white). So we can establish Reinel used a saltire for Scotland as early as 1485.

After that, lets look at a clip from the anonymous 1502 Cantino Planisphere from my second list above:

Here we see what again appears to be a gold colored saltire, over an uncolored background. This is our second view showing the Gold coloration. (An interesting paper here explores the possibility that this map is also Reinels' work.)

Next chronologically would be the OPs 1504 chart from above. The red Saltire on an uncolored field, same background as used for England.

Following this we can look at how the region was represented on the Miller Atlas in 1519: We are back to a red saltire in the foreground over an uncolored field, but this image shows multiple stages of either indecision or correction. The regular (St Georges) cross can be seen lightly sketched in the background, and the beginnings of blue filling of the field around the cross. The English and Irish shields again show the dark field, with a hint of other symbols (charges) possibly faintly visible on the Irish arms.

The last work I have attributed to Reinel, the 1535 portolan of the North Atlantic, has something different yet. (sorry for the poor image, I was forced to resize a smaller clip)

Here we see what appears again to be a golden saltire, but this time over a divided field of both red and blue! The English and Irish arms are also quartered, and appear to be different from one another.

You could assume this might represent a correction or incomplete drawing, except that two other later works also show the saltire over a divided field: The portoan chart from the civitate Majorica by Mathias Prunes, LOC

and again on the much later 1633 chart by Roaz, also from the Library Of Congress site:

One more entry showing this confusion on the part of the cartographers, this clip from Descaliers atlas of 1546:

Again we can see the artist started with a sketch showing a St Georges cross, then switched to the red saltire.

So, can we conclude anything from this survey of maps and charts from the time? Only that the cartographers consistently tried to represent Scotland with something different than what they used for England. Variations are shown over works by Reinel himself, and over works by varying cartographers.

A quote from The History of Cartography, Ch 19 discussing flags appearing on Portolan Charts seems to sum up the issue (emphasis mine):

Unfortunately, though a highly visible element of a chart, the boldly colored flags tend to blur to unrecognizability in reproduction. A further problem is the extent to which the development of distinctive flags for particular places roughly parallels that of the charts themselves. Standardization in the design of flags had not yet taken place; hence it is not surprising that a great variety of forms were adopted by the different early chartmakers. Designs would be simplified or altered at will, and colors switched.

So, as shown by the variety of images above, we can not expect to see a consistent representation of what we would expect to see today as a 'flag of Scotland'. Each cartographer was gathering information from various sources, compiling the information they found relevant, and displaying this information in a shorthand format which would be understandable to the mariners of the time.

(I have skipped over a couple of aspects of this question I had originally thought to explore, such as the heraldry involved and the nature of portolan charts themselves. Each is interesting in its own rights, but could triple the length of this answer. If we have no expectation that the information displayed was held to any standard, it becomes less important.)

Here, however, are some of the more interesting sources I looked over:


  • A Wikipedia Heraldry page showing coats of arms using the red saltire on a white field
  • Armorial of the House Stuart, showing the actual arms you would expect, the lion rampant
  • digitized copy of the Gelre Armorial, original from 1396

  • a Modern representation from the Gelre Armorial, showing included Scottish arms

  • 1822 reprint of the 1542 Lyndsay Armorial,

  • Heraldry Society of Scotland, has search page by terms, Saltire has 72 entries

Portolan Charts,

  • The History of Cartography, Chapter 19, Portolan Charts from the late Thirteenth Century to 1500 by Tony Campbell PDF Here (Discusses flags on pp.398-401)

  • The History of Cartography, index page online

  • Article "The Boundary between Scotland and England in the Portolan Charts," by Michael Andrews (discusses variations from chart to chart-not much about the flags/shields however)

Video Presentations- The Library of Congress had several full presentations which give a good understanding of the work involved in the creation of some of these charts and maps, and modern efforts to learn more from them:

  • Redrawing Ptolemy: The Cartography of Martin Waldseemüller & Mathias Ringmann (a.m. session)
  • Redrawing Ptolemy: The Cartography of Martin Waldseemüller & Mathias Ringmann (p.m. session)
  • Legends on Martin Waldseemüller's Carta Marina of 1516
  • The Carta Marina at 500

  • (a couple more vids on Waldseemüller's map I dont have the links for at the moment)

and just for fun

This article lists a white cross on red field as one of the oldest flags of Europe. The original version was the Danish flag, but there was a Scottish version with a "Saltire" or "X"-shaped cross. I could not find any use of a red cross on a white field.

Such a flag was used at the Battle of Flodden against England in 1513 by the soldiers of King James IV. Its merit was that wearing such flags (instead of the traditional white on blue) made Scottish soldiers easier to identify in battle. But the same king had begun hostilities against England (on and off) as early as 1496, so it is quite plausible that Pedro Reinel was referring to this flag in 1504.

The Scottish flag on Beimel's map is distinguished from the English by the use of the saltire shape, and its red shape appears to be "shorthand," because all the crosses on the map are rendered in red.The white in the background appears to be a map color, as opposed to a flag color.

What is the difference between &ldquoEnglish&rdquo and &ldquoBritish&rdquo?

As an American, I naively think of British and English as exact synonyms. I know I'm wrong, but I just don't know in what way. I am vaguely aware that people in the UK hold strong opinions about one or the other term and how it is applied, and using one instead of the other has dire social implications.

So there is geography (Britain vs. England), but more importantly the adjectives British and English, and those adjectives each one by themselves, may mean different things in different contexts, and depending on the speaker and the listener.

Can anyone explain the nuances of the differences as used by those who might consider themselves English (or British, if that's an acceptable usage)? How about by the non-English/non-British (again if it's appropriate to use such terms).

(What I am not asking: I had to hold back from asking exactly what the distinctions among UK, British Isles, Great Britain, etc are as well as things like are people from Northern Ireland considered Irish (or do you call them Irish).)

9 white supremacist symbols that if you don't know yet, you should

The events in Washington DC yesterday, which saw a pro-Trump rioting in an attempt to protest the election results, have horrified the world.

The insurrection was led by a number of factions, many of whom – such as QAnon and the Proud Boys – are associated with far-right and white supremacist ideology. A number of flags and symbols were also present, including the Confederate flag and the Gadsden flag featuring the slogan “Don’t Step On Me”.

In these polarised times, it’s more important than ever to be aware of the signs of such concerning ideologies, both in the UK and the US. Here are some such symbols that you may not have come across.

(Trigger warning: contains images associated with white supremacy and neo-Nazi ideologies)

McGregor Family Crest & History

Clan Gregor, also known as MacGregor, is one of the oldest clans in Scotland. They are said to be descended from Kenneth MacAlpin, the king who united Scotland back in the 13th Century. It was the MacGregor Clan who laid claim to ruling status. The old MacGregor motto is “Royal is my race.”

But the inexorable rise of Clan Campbell is an often told tale, and it was they who by the 14th century were beginning to overtake the fortunes of the MacGregors. The MacGregors and The Campbells, not surprisingly, became enemies.


Early history

Hogwarts was founded around 990 A.D. by four of the greatest wizards and witches of the age: Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff, Rowena Ravenclaw, and Salazar Slytherin. They each represented an aspect of personality that they wanted to bring out in new students. However, shortly after founding the school, Slytherin had a falling out with the other founders about blood purity, and wanted to admit only pure-blood students. He felt pure-blooded students deserved to learn magic, and those of other ancestry such as Muggle-borns and Half-bloods, were unworthy. The other three founders all disagreed, especially Gryffindor. Slytherin left the school, but not before secretly building the Chamber of Secrets. He foretold that only his own heir would be able to open it once they arrived at the school, and the heir would unleash a murderous basilisk living inside to purge the school of all Muggle-born students. ⎘]

Middle history

About three hundred years after the school was founded, the Triwizard Tournament was established as an interscholastic competition between three of the most prestigious magical schools in Europe: Hogwarts, Beauxbatons (France), and Durmstrang (An undetermined Northern European country). This tournament was considered the best way for wizards and witches of different nationalities to meet and socialise. The tournament continued for six centuries, until the death toll became too high. The tournament was discontinued until 1994. ⎙]

During the 1700s, there was a proposal to install an elaborate plumbing system in the castle. This threatened the secrecy of the Chamber of Secrets, forcing Corvinus Gaunt, a Slytherin student, descendant of Salazar Slytherin and Parselmouth, to protect the entrance to the Chamber by having it concealed behind plumbing fixtures and sinks in second floor girls' bathroom, so only future heirs of Slytherin would know how to open the Chamber. ⎚]

Recent history


Leta finding Newt in a cupboard

In the 1910s, while a student and her friend were bullying Leta Lestrange, Leta used a spell to seal their mouths shut which Minerva McGonagall found out, and they chased Leta around Hogwarts until Leta hid in a cupboard to escape and found Newton Scamander caring for a baby Raven.

Travers barging into Dumbledore's lesson

Torquil Travers came into Classroom 3C while Albus Dumbledore was teaching students how to defend against Boggarts in Defence Against the Dark Arts class. Newt went and showed that he was scared of working in a office. Leta went soon after and showed that her boggart was her half-brother drowning to death.


On 29 November 1926, the Daily Prophet reported that security had to be increased at Hogwarts in response to the growing threat of Gellert Grindelwald's impact on the Global wizarding war. Measures included Headmaster Armando Dippet holding an emergency meeting with worried parents and students being sent home early. ⎛]

Torquil Travers and Theseus Scamander came here to seek out the current Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, Albus Dumbledore and talk to him about Grindelwald and his plans. Leta soon after walks around Hogwarts and reminisces on the past. Dumbledore finds her and they talk about their shared trauma of losing their siblings. ⎜]

Newt Scamander coming to talk to Dumbledore

1942–1943 school year

The existence of the school was threatened twice when the Chamber of Secrets was opened. The first time it was opened was in 1942, when Tom Marvolo Riddle, the Heir of Slytherin and the man who would become Lord Voldemort, opened the Chamber in his fifth year. ⎝]

Myrtle's body being removed from school grounds

When a girl named Myrtle Warren was killed, the Ministry of Magic threatened to close the school. As Riddle spent his time away from Hogwarts in a Muggle orphanage, he did not want the school closed. His request to remain in school over the holidays was denied due to the situation he created. Upset with himself, he framed Rubeus Hagrid, and although Albus Dumbledore still suspected Riddle, Hagrid was expelled, and Riddle got off without punishment. However, in 1992, the Chamber was reopened, and it was discovered that Hagrid was innocent and Riddle was guilty. ⎝]

1970s and early 1980s

The Marauders in the 1970s

Throughout the entirety of the First Wizarding War, which lasted for eleven long years and caused much distress among the students, Hogwarts Castle was perhaps the only safe haven in wizarding Britain, due to the presence of Albus Dumbledore. Dumbledore had risen to the post of Headmaster, and was the only one whom Voldemort was ever afraid of. ⎞]

During that time, Snape, Lupin, Sirius Black, Peter Pettigrew, as well as Lily Potter and James Potter attended Hogwarts and four of them were part of the Infamous Marauders, who often bullied Snape all the time, until they graduated in 1978.

While war waged outside the ancient walls of the school and it remained safe from Dark Forces outside the castle, the existence of ancient threats hidden deep within it began to stir when a student by the name of Jacob became intrigued with and began to search for the fabled Cursed Vaults, five secret rooms of ambiguous origins somewhere within the castle said to house ancient magical treasures older even than the school itself. ⎟]

Jacob grew increasingly obsessed with his quest to prove the existence of the Cursed Vaults throughout his school career and broke several school rules in his effort to locate them. The situation escalated further as when the pupil finally found it, he examined the outer chamber leading to the vault and, as a result of tampering with magic he did not understand, he inadvertently unleashed a curse that threatened to encase the entire castle in ice, injuring several students in the process. ⎟]

By that point, Jacob's quests for the vaults were no secret. Rumours began spreading among the student body that he unleashed several curses upon the school, and even was cursed himself and that he eventually went mad. Ultimately, however, Jacob managed to break into the vault itself, causing the ice to vanish. Despite his part in ending the threat, however, he was found to have endangered the school, as he unleashed the threat in the first place. Jacob's resultant expulsion from Hogwarts was covered in the Daily Prophet. ⎟]

With the cursed ice gone from the halls of Hogwarts and his students once more safe from it, Dumbledore and the rest of the school staff did their best to dim the rumours that Jacob had actually located one of the vaults, treating it as an isolated incident that had more to do with Jacob's search for the Cursed Vaults rather than the vaults themselves. They hoped to discourage others from looking for them and maintain the common view that they were just a myth. This worked so effectively that while people still spoke of it a long time afterwards, no one, not even Jacob's own mother, believed that the Cursed Vaults actually existed. ⎟]

By the end of the 1970s, Lord Voldemort's ascendancy was almost complete. While the Ministry of Magic did their best to both put up a fight and keep wizardkind a secret, a true resistance to him was being concentrated in the underground organisation founded by Dumbledore himself called the Order of the Phoenix. Several former students at the school went on to join the order. On Hallowe'en of the 1981–1982 school year, news would have reached the school of the fall of Lord Voldemort and his failed attempt at murdering the infant Harry Potter, after which students and staff alike would have celebrated the fall of the Dark Lord.

Late 1980s

Jacob's sibling and their friends breaking into the Vault of Ice

However, it was not long before the effects of the Cursed Vaults resurfaced around Hogwarts. It first started with the cursed ice reappearing in Hogwarts castle during the 1984–1985 school year. By that time, Jacob's younger sibling had enrolled, and it took two years for they and their friends to locate and break into the Vault of Ice and stop the ice from further spreading. ⎠] The rest of the Cursed Vaults had subsequently all been tampered with, contaminating the school respectively with Boggarts, ⎡] the sleepwalking curse ⎢] and the portrait curse, ⎣] but thanks to Jacob's sibling and their continually-growing circle of friends, the next three Vaults were successfully infiltrated in three consecutive school years. ⎤] ⎥] ⎦]

Jacob's sibling opening the centre column in the Buried Vault after defeating Patricia Rakepick

During this time, it was gradually revealed that a secret dark organisation known as R existed and had also been trying to find the Cursed Vaults for the supposed treasures. At the start of Jacob's sibling's fourth year, the 1987–1988 school year, Patricia Rakepick arrived at Hogwarts apparently to help Albus Dumbledore deal with the Cursed Vaults, ⎢] while in fact being a Dark Witch from R who sought to continue her unfinished business with the Vaults. She became the Defence Against the Dark Arts professor the next year and trained several students, including Jacob's sibling, to be her curse-breaking assistants. Arriving again outside the Buried Vault, she revealed her true nature to the students and attempted to go in before them, but was magically choked by Jacob's sibling and fled. ⎦]

Patricia Rakepick killing Rowan Khanna

Rakepick's ability to teach students to defend against the Dark Arts, ironically, turned out to have been a lot more competent than the professor who succeeded her in the next school year. With Dumbledore's permission, the fresh graduate Bill Weasley returned to the school to teach this subject after regular classes. ⎧] During the school year, yet another curse spread around Hogwarts, continuing to Petrify students, indicating the activity of the final Cursed Vault. ⎨] While working towards investigating R, the students encountered Rakepick in the Forest Grove, who attempted to kill Ben Copper, leading to the sacrifice of Rowan Khanna. ⎩] The school staff held a memorial ceremony and suspended the lessons, ⎪] and the tragedy prompted the vengeful Jacob's sibling, Ben Copper and Merula Snyde to form a secret organisation of their own, the Circle of Khanna, to fight R and race them in locating the final Cursed Vault. ⎫] It was found to be under the Great Lake, and they had a final showdown with Rakepick outside. She was once again defeated before Jacob's sibling decided to seal the Vault for good to prevent the ancient statue curse from being unleashed again. ⎬]

1991–1992 school year

In 1991, Harry Potter began his career as a student at Hogwarts. Already famous for being believed to be responsible for vanquishing Lord Voldemort at the age of one, he soon began, with the help of his friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, to unravel the secret of the Philosopher's Stone being kept at the school. Harry discovered that the Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor, Quirinus Quirrell, was a host body for the barely-alive Voldemort, who wanted to use the Stone to restore himself back to his former glory and gain everlasting life. Ώ]

Harry, Ron, and Hermione suffered a series of difficult challenges down in the Underground Chambers, in an attempt to stop the Philosopher's Stone being stolen by Severus Snape. The three believed Snape was trying to steal the stone, when in reality, Quirrell was. Harry discovered Quirrell in the chambers and was able to defeat him, thwarting Voldemort in his attempt to get the Stone and restoring his body. Harry managed this after realising that Quirrell's skin burned whenever he made contact with Harry. Dumbledore stated that Lily's self sacrifice left a mark of love in Harry and that Quirrell was so full of hatred, greed, and ambition that he could not bear to touch a person marked by something so good. Ώ]

1992–1993 school year

Ginny Weasley's attack on Mrs Norris and first blood-written message on the wall

In 1992, the Chamber of Secrets was re-opened by Ron's younger sister Ginny, under the influence of a diary written by Tom Riddle. The diary allowed Riddle's memory to possess Ginny and act through her to open the Chamber for a second time. ⎝]

Desiring to see Lord Voldemort return to power, Lucius Malfoy had slipped the diary into her bundle of school books, taking advantage of her ignorance that it was a Horcrux. His ulterior motive was to ruin the reputations of several great wizards, including Dumbledore and the Weasley children's father Arthur Weasley, the latter of whom played a big role in the enactment of the Muggle Protection Act. However, Harry discovered the truth and destroyed the diary and the basilisk, thus bringing an end to these dark plots. ⎝]

1993–1994 school year

In 1993, Harry's notorious godfather, Sirius Black escaped from Azkaban. Sirius had been convicted of murdering twelve Muggles and Peter Pettigrew with the Blasting Curse. He also betrayed James, Lily, and Harry Potter's whereabouts to Voldemort in his duty as their Secret-Keeper. Because of the charges against him, he spent twelve years in a high-security cell in Azkaban. The Ministry of Magic also believed that Black was after Harry, as they heard Black murmur "he's at Hogwarts" in his sleep. As a result, Black was thought to believe that killing Harry would bring Voldemort back to full power. ⎭]

Sirius Black's attack on the Fat Lady's portrait

Black broke into the school twice: one time almost ripping the Fat Lady to shreds, and another time getting close to Ron's "rat," Scabbers. During the second break-in, Ron awoke, which resulted in him screaming in fright, as Black loomed over him with a knife. His screams woke the whole tower and alerted McGonagall to the incident. After this incident, security measures were further heightened. Harry, Ron, and Hermione met Black in the Shrieking Shack, along with Remus Lupin. Lupin had been a friend of Black as well as Harry's parents and Pettigrew during the time they attended Hogwarts as a students. ⎭]

Hermione, Buckbeak, and Harry, waiting for the appropriate time to save Sirius

Black revealed the truth to them. He was innocent, and it was Pettigrew who had done the things Sirius had been convicted of. To frame Sirius, he had chopped off one of his fingers as a red herring, turned into his Animagus form (the rat, Scabbers), and scurried off. Sirius had come back to kill Pettigrew, and now that Lupin had heard his story, he believed him and set out to help. ⎭]

However, Harry persuaded them to give Pettigrew to the Ministry and let the Dementors have him. As they took Pettigrew back to the castle, Pettigrew escaped and returned to Voldemort to help him return to power. With the use of a time-turner, Harry and Hermione later helped Sirius escape on Buckbeak the Hippogriff while Ron was in the Hospital Wing, saving both Sirius' and Buckbeak's lives. ⎭]

1994–1995 school year

In 1994, Hogwarts played host to the infamous Triwizard Tournament, this time with more powerful safety measures in place. It had been many years since the last tournament had been held, but in the light of the advent of advanced safety measures, the tournament was deemed ‘safe‘. However, more dark plots were being hatched. Barty Crouch Jnr, disguised as Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody, managed to enter Harry in the Tournament by putting his name in the Goblet of Fire under the name of a fourth school, which ensured he would be chosen by the Goblet. ⎙]

Harry's forced involvement in this plot caused him great misery at Hogwarts, as the representatives for Beauxbatons and Durmstrang, as well as many Hogwarts students, believed he hoodwinked the goblet and entered himself in the tournament. It was because of Crouch Jnr and his influence over certain house-elves that Harry ended up surviving until the end of the tournament and reaching the goal of the Third Task, along with fellow Hogwarts student Cedric Diggory. On Voldemort's orders, Diggory was killed by Pettigrew, and Harry was surrounded by Death Eaters in Little Hangleton graveyard. Voldemort was brought back to his physical form using Harry's blood. ⎙]

Voldemort attempted to torture and humiliate Harry by means of the Unforgivable Curses. He used the Cruciatus Curse twice on Harry and the Imperius Curse once Harry was able to resist the latter. Harry escaped and succeeded in alerting all of Voldemort's enemies, Dumbledore in particular, that he had returned. Dumbledore reestablished the Order of the Phoenix one hour after he was alerted. However, many, including Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge, chose not to believe him. ⎙]

1995–1996 school year

Umbridge as the Hogwarts High-Inquisitor

Hogwarts was further threatened when the Ministry of Magic began implementing "Educational Decrees" in 1995, as part of a conspiracy to discredit and ruin Dumbledore and Harry. Dolores Umbridge, the new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher and Minister Fudge's Undersecretary, was the centre of this plan. By way of these Educational Decrees, she slowly took control of Hogwarts, eventually replacing Dumbledore as Headmistress. However, it was through the cunning of Hermione and the other members of Dumbledore's Army, which was founded by her, Ron, and Harry, that Umbridge was overthrown. The Ministry had no choice but to accept that Voldemort had returned. Umbridge was then removed from Hogwarts and Dumbledore was reinstated. ⎮]

1996–1997 school year

The Dark Mark above the Astronomy Tower

Through the 1996-1997 school year, the new Minister for Magic Rufus Scrimgeour ordered Aurors to guard Hogwarts for protection from Dark forces, along with the castle's defences being fortified in many ways. In 1997, Hogwarts was attacked by a mob of Death Eaters. Lucius Malfoy's son Draco was forced into the service of Lord Voldemort for fear of his and his family's lives. As a result, Headmaster Dumbledore's safety was compromised, and he was killed by Severus Snape, in a secret coup de grace arranged in advance between them. Following this "horrible" tragedy, Professor Minerva McGonagall was appointed acting Headmistress, though the security of the school hung by a thread. There was no certainty that Hogwarts would remain open. The faculty agreed to follow "established procedures" and let the school governors ultimately decide what to do. Throughout the year students were taken out of school by their families for safety and fear reasons, such as Eloise Midgen and Hannah Abbott, while two of Draco's botched attempts to assassinate Dumbledore ended up dangerously harming Katie Bell and Ronald Weasley, which only served in increasing the anxiety in the atmosphere. However, when Draco succeeded in allowing the Death Eaters entrance, the full effect came to be when many parents rushed their children home, fearing that even Hogwarts, reputably the safest location in the wizarding world, was no longer safe from Voldemort. ⎞]

1997–1998 school year

Regardless of the school governors' decision, with the takeover of the Ministry by Voldemort, attendance at Hogwarts was mandatory for all eligible children. New, militaristic requirements were established, such as requiring students to provide proof of Blood status. This enabled Voldemort to keep an eye on the entire wizarding world from a young age and identify muggle-borns, including eleven-year old children who have no knowledge of their magical nature before their forced identification. Such youngsters faced the possibility of never entering Hogwarts nor returning to their homes ever again. ⎯]

Academic instruction at Hogwarts became corrupted. Muggle Studies became a required subject, and instruction in it took a new tack with an anti-Muggle bias, while Defence Against the Dark Arts had simply become Dark Arts. Students were taught illegal curses outright, with older students being instructed to practise curses on underclassmen. Snape was appointed Headmaster, and Alecto and Amycus Carrow, teachers of Muggle Studies and Dark Arts, respectively, had been assigned as his deputies. It was a time of great terror in which no one could be certain who was friend or foe. ⎯]

After 1998

Harry Potter's final defeat of Voldemort and the end of the Second Wizarding War

In May 1998, the Battle of Hogwarts took place as one of its most infamous alumni, Tom Riddle, better known by then as Lord Voldemort, returned to attack the school and subdue or destroy its defenders. Voldemort claimed he had no desire to harm the school or its students, but he and his Death Eaters spared no one who opposed them and recklessly damaged the school during their assault. ⎯]

Numerous students, staff, parents, graduates, and friends of Hogwarts rose to the school's defence in its hour of need, including the notorious poltergeist Peeves. Thanks to Harry Potter, Lord Voldemort was permanently destroyed and his Death Eaters disbanded forever. Minerva McGonagall became the Headmistress of the school. Harry was celebrated as a true hero. ⎯]

Hogwarts sustained extensive damage during the battle. Multiple areas of the main building and adjacent areas were set on fire or blown up, and the Quidditch pitch was largely destroyed by fire. ⎯]

After the battle, Hogwarts was repaired. Some students, such as Hermione Granger, returned to the school in 1998 to complete their education. By 2008, ⎰] normal school life had resumed with McGonagall still as Headmistress and Hagrid still as Keeper of the Keys, and Neville Longbottom had become the Professor for Herbology after retiring as an Auror. ⎱] By 2017, many descendants of previous students were now coming to Hogwarts as new pupils.


England’s topography is low in elevation but, except in the east, rarely flat. Much of it consists of rolling hillsides, with the highest elevations found in the north, northwest, and southwest. This landscape is based on complex underlying structures that form intricate patterns on England’s geologic map. The oldest sedimentary rocks and some igneous rocks (in isolated hills of granite) are in Cornwall and Devon on the southwestern peninsula, ancient volcanic rocks underlie parts of the Cumbrian Mountains, and the most recent alluvial soils cover the Fens of Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire, and Norfolk. Between these regions lie bands of sandstones and limestones of different geologic periods, many of them relicts of primeval times when large parts of central and southern England were submerged below warm seas. Geologic forces lifted and folded some of these rocks to form the spine of northern England—the Pennines, which rise to 2,930 feet (893 metres) at Cross Fell. The Cumbrian Mountains, which include the famous Lake District, reach 3,210 feet (978 metres) at Scafell Pike, the highest point in England. Slate covers most of the northern portion of the mountains, and thick beds of lava are found in the southern part. Other sedimentary layers have yielded chains of hills ranging from 965 feet (294 metres) in the North Downs to 1,083 feet (330 metres) in the Cotswolds.

The hills known as the Chilterns, the North York Moors, and the Yorkshire and Lincolnshire Wolds were rounded into characteristic plateaus with west-facing escarpments during three successive glacial periods of the Pleistocene Epoch (about 2,600,000 to 11,700 years ago). When the last ice sheet melted, the sea level rose, submerging the land bridge that had connected Great Britain with the European mainland. Deep deposits of sand, gravel, and glacial mud left by the retreating glaciers further altered the landscape. Erosion by rain, river, and tides and subsidence in parts of eastern England subsequently shaped the hills and the coastline. Plateaus of limestone, gritstone, and carboniferous strata are associated with major coalfields, some existing as outcrops on the surface.

The geologic complexity of England is strikingly illustrated in the cliff structure of its shoreline. Along the southern coast from the ancient granite cliffs of Land’s End in the extreme southwest is a succession of sandstones of different colours and limestones of different ages, culminating in the white chalk from the Isle of Wight to Dover. A varied panorama of cliffs, bays, and river estuaries distinguishes the English coastline, which, with its many indentations, is some 2,000 miles (3,200 km) long.



The Beginning

Roger and Rayleigh first meet.

Gol D. Roger was born in Loguetown in the East Blue. Γ] According to Monkey D. Garp, Roger grew up in difficult circumstances and developed great fear of losing his loved ones above all else. ⏀] Sometime later during his youth, he met Silvers Rayleigh and became impressed by the ship he was using, which Rayleigh stole to live on after his house burned down. Viewing their encounter as a fated meeting, he asked Rayleigh to join him in "turning the world upside down". ⎙] Though Rayleigh refused at first, Roger's insistence managed to win him over, and the two became best friends ever since.

Roger eventually became the captain of Roger Pirates with Rayleigh as his First Mate. During which, he engaged in piracy while building up his fame over several decades. ⏁] At some point, Roger's crew visited Water 7 and hired the master shipwright, Tom to build a new ship for them. Using wood from the legendary Treasure Tree Adam, Tom constructed the Oro Jackson, which became the Roger's famed ship.

Roger and his crew then sailed into the New World, and 39 years before the present, he and his crew reached Lodestar Island, the final island that the Log Pose pointed to. However, Roger knew that the real final island was beyond this point and that the Road Poneglyphs gave clues about its location. ⏂]

Roger and Garp allied against the Rocks Pirates.

Approximately 38 years ago, Roger and his long time rival, Vice Admiral Garp formed a temporary alliance against the Rocks Pirates, which led to the pair fighting on God Valley against the crew including Edward Newgate, Linlin, Kaido, and their captain, Rocks D. Xebec. The battle resulted in the dissolution of the crew, with people viewing Xebec as Roger's first and most formidable enemy. Afterwards, the event became known as the God Valley Incident, although their alliance was not publicly reported. ⏃]

At some point, Roger managed to sneak into Charlotte Linlin's territory of Totto Land and gained a copy of her Road Poneglyph, though they couldn't transcribe it. ⏄] 30 years ago, Roger read a newspaper and learned that a samurai from Wano Country had joined the Whitebeard Pirates, leading Roger to become interested in meeting him. ⎘]

The Final Voyage

28 years ago, Roger came down with an incurable disease. He decided to pitch one last journey with his crew into the Grand Line. Upon reaching the lighthouse at Reverse Mountain at the entrance of the Grand Line, he recruited Crocus as his doctor to keep him alive until the completion of his final journey. Η]

Roger leads his crew into battle against Shiki's armada.

27 years ago, Roger was approached by the "Flying Pirate" Shiki, who had learned that Roger had located an Ancient Weapon. Seeing the opportunity, he asked Roger if they could join forces, as with his large pirate fleet and Roger's weapon, Shiki believed that they could take over the whole world together, even telling Roger that what happened between them in the past was forgotten. Despite the urges of Buggy, Roger refused Shiki's offer and said that he wanted to be free to do what he wanted. Shiki announced that his answer meant the death of him, while Roger said it meant that he would beat him, and a great sea battle soon ensued between their crews. ⏅] The battle was resolved by a storm that happened during their fight, which sunk half of Shiki's fleet. ⎬]

Roger shares his theory of the New World's last island to Whitebeard and Oden.

Around a year later, Roger and his crew brutally defeated a Marine squadron, creating a ruckus that attracted the attention of the Whitebeard Pirates. Roger's crew went to meet them and encountered Oden charging toward them. Roger quickly overpowered Oden before clashing with Whitebeard, and the skirmish between the crews lasted for three days and three nights before it ultimately became a gift exchange. Roger spoke with Whitebeard and Oden and told them about his intention to reach the last island in the Grand Line. Roger then begged Oden to join his crew for one year to decipher the Road Poneglyphs. Oden agreed, and he, his wife Toki, and children Momonosuke and Hiyori set sail with Roger. Inuarashi and Nekomamushi followed them as stowaways.

Crocus told Roger he had one year left to live, and soon afterward, the Roger Pirates journeyed up to Skypiea. Roger easily found the Shandorian Golden Belfry Bell due to his ability to hear its voice, which he claimed spoke about a certain weapon. Roger told Oden to inscribe a message about his presence at Skypiea and intended goal to reach the ends of the world into the bell's surface. ⏆] ⏇]

After leaving Skypiea, the crew's ship sailed to Water 7 to pay Tom a visit. With Oden at his side, Roger sought after the Road Poneglyphs, which held together the key to the coordinates of the final island. Already possessing a transcription of Big Mom's Road Poneglyph at hand and having a general idea about where to find another, ⏈] Roger learned about the location of two more from Oden, Inuarashi, and Nekomamushi, whose family and people had them guarded at Wano Country and Zou, respectively.

Shyarly predicts the future to Roger.

The crew later journeyed to Fish-Man Island. Roger and Oden also noticed voices during the undersea trip, unaware that they came from the resident Sea Kings. After reaching Fish-Man Island, Roger got reacquainted with Neptune. The Road Poneglyph whose whereabouts Roger had a suspicion of was located at the Sea Forest, near Fish-Man Island and right next to the poneglyph containing Joy Boy's letter of apology. While at Fish-Man Island, Roger met a young Shyarly and became aware of certain prophecies about the future, showing a particular interest about Poseidon's whereabouts.

Sometime after leaving Fish-Man Island, Toki became ill and the Roger Pirates stopped by at Wano Country. After acquiring the information from Wano's Poneglyphs, the crew left Toki, Momonosuke, Hiyori, Inuarashi, and Nekomamushi behind. Later, with the help of a Vivre Card and letter from Nekomamushi and Inuarashi, Roger was able to land at Zou and befriend the Mink Tribe. On his way to the Road Poneglyph inside the Whale Tree, Roger experienced another mysterious voice alongside Oden, leaving the both of them with feelings of unease. Later on, Roger was approached by a young Pedro, who was eager to accompany him on his adventure. Roger declined Pedro's request, but still reassured the Mink that he would play an important role in the future.

Roger laughs after finding Joy Boy's treasure.

Roger's condition was worsening as they progressed further, so he and his crew had to rush their quest, leaving Buggy, who became sick, and Shanks, who was taking care of him, behind. With the information of every Road Poneglyph at hand, Roger and his crew ultimately made it to the elusive final island of the Grand Line. There, not only did they learn about the truth of the Void Century, the Ancient Weapons, and the Will of D., they also stumbled upon Joy Boy's treasure. Roger and his crewmates reacted to this discovery with a burst of laughter. Roger professed his curiosity about Joy Boy, considering the circumstances behind this past figure as funny. Inspired by Joy Boy's story, Roger bestowed the final island with the name of "Laugh Tale". ⏉]

Roger departs from his crew.

Soon, the news of Roger's discovery of Laugh Tale led the world to recognize him as the Pirate King. As a result, many pirates and Marine forces were targeting the crew to eliminate Roger and get his treasure. Later, Roger decided to disband his crew. Upon learning they were early, Roger planned to make a son that would find One Piece next. Roger also told Oden that he wanted to meet Whitebeard before he dies. Later, he was the first to leave the crew and the ship, leaving his first mate Rayleigh some final words claiming that "he would not die". He also took some medicine from Crocus as he parted ways with his comrades, who cried as he left. ⏊]

Roger talks with Whitebeard.

Near his death, Roger had a final meeting with Whitebeard, where he told him about the nickname the government gave him, Gold Roger, and the secret of the Will of D.. Roger offered to tell Whitebeard how to get to Laugh Tale, but Whitebeard declined due to lack of interest. ⎖]

Final Days of the King

In the last moment of his life, he turned his fading "flame of life" into a huge fire that enveloped the world. I've never laughed more than on that day. I've never cried more than on that day. I've never drank more either. He was our captain. and he was a magnificent man.
— Silvers Rayleigh talking about Roger's death [citation needed]

In the final days of Roger's reign, he had attained more wealth, power, and fame than anyone could imagine. Ώ] He had encountered several powerful figures including the captain of the Whitebeard Pirates Edward Newgate, as well as the legendary marine Vice Admiral Garp, who had cornered Roger many times on his journey. ⎶] Though now known as the Pirate King, Roger was well-aware of his own mortality, and he disbanded his crew in secret. Before his death, he told Rayleigh he would not die. Η] ⏊] He informed Whitebeard that he was going to die before his execution whether he was referring to his illness or to him giving up to the Marines is unknown. ⎖]

Roger entrusts his child's future to Garp.

Also, at some point he met Portgas D. Rouge, a woman living in Baterilla, that would later become the mother of his son, Portgas D. Ace. Ζ] Eventually, Roger turned himself in to the Marines and was scheduled to be executed. While in prison, he asked Garp to take care of his son when he was gone, saying that an infant child should not be labeled a criminal for his family ties. Although Garp said he had no obligation to do so, Roger knew he would do it anyway. ⎫]

My treasure? If you want it, I'll grant it! Search on! All the world had to offer, I left in that place!
— Gold Roger's famous last words.

Roger's execution in Loguetown.

Thinking they would make an example of him to prevent others from becoming pirates, the Marines immediately set up his execution in Loguetown. But as he was about to die, Roger yelled out his famous last words. The swords of the executioners fell, and the greatest pirate of them all died. Ώ]


What was thought would be a warning to all and extinguish the hopes of all pirates had failed. Instead, the last words of Roger ignited the excitement of the world, and thus began "The Great Age of Pirates", dubbed by a few as the "Age of Dreams". In the 24 years since his death, pirates from all over the world have attempted to find Laugh Tale and the One Piece to claim Roger's title. Η]

All the men and women who had contact with Roger were ordered to be executed. ⏋] In addition, the World Government issued an order to gather infants and quite possibly commit mass infanticide in order to purge any possible trace of Roger's progeny. The only ones to survive were his lover Rouge, and his crewmates who went their separate ways after his death. Roger's blood survived his death through his son Ace. ⏌]

As far as directly influencing major contenders, those known to be present at his execution include his apprentices Shanks and Buggy the Warlords of the Sea Crocodile, Donquixote Doflamingo, Dracule Mihawk, and Gecko Moria and the revolutionary Monkey D. Dragon, ⎥] and it can be assumed from their conversation with Shiki that Monkey D. Garp and former Fleet Admiral Sengoku attended as well. ⏍] Smoker also appeared to be there as a child. When Shiki heard about Roger's execution, he was deeply angered and attacked Marine Headquarters in retaliation after a great battle, he was eventually defeated and imprisoned in Impel Down, though would later go on to escape. ⏅]

Twenty-two years after his execution, as Whitebeard was about to die, he confirmed to the world that the One Piece is indeed real and inferred the consequences of what would happen once it was discovered. ⏎] This triggered the beginning of the New Age of Pirates to be created out of Roger's legendary treasure. Ώ]

22nd Jun 10

You may be more than familiar with the above logo, especially if you live in England and are a keen football supporter. If not, you might have heard the song written about it, which is a rare accolade, for a logo at least.

I was recently asked why the crest of the England Football team bares Three Lions, and not knowing the answer, I was curious to find out. There seems to be a cloud of mystery surrounding the history of the logo with various theories banded around.

The ‘Lion’ has been a symbol of ‘England’ since the 11th century during the rule of the Normans, and was featured on early versions of the English Coat of Arms. During this period only one lion was illustrated on a red background (which symbolised a red battlefield – even the Normans were art critics at heart).

A hundred years later a certain King Richard I, known as Richard the Lionheart, ruled the throne and during his reign added a further two golden lions to the crest. The reason for this is unclear as far as I was able to discover.

Fast forward 8 centuries to 1872, at the time of the first ever competitive international football match, an emblem to represent national pride was needed and so the English Football Association made the decision to use the three lions as a symbol of ‘Englishness’.

As the Three Lions are officially a royal emblem, the FA has to seek permission of the Royal Family when they need to use it, meaning that the logo is not the sole propriety of the organisation that it represents.

You will notice that the England crest also features 10 red roses. The red rose is a symbol of the Lancaster-York peace treaty in the 16th Century, but the reason for their number is also unclear. Maybe it represents 10 out field players? Robert Green certainly wouldn’t be getting a rose from most England fans at the moment.

The lion and rose are adorned throughout the emblems and logos of other English sporting organisations such as:

World Cup Willie – the mascot of the world cup held in England in 1966

Team Great Britain

Feel free to use this information to impress your mates down the pub when England take on the mighty Slovenia.

The Camstra Trail: A Little Box with a Photo – 52 Ancestors #332

The day started out just like any other day, but THIS day would hold something very special.

I’m writing you from the Netherlands. I don’t know where you live. Your name came up in my search for the offspring of Douwe Baukes Camstra. I think you are offspring of his sister Lijsbeth. I have a little box with a photo of Douwe and his wife Iebeltje Egberts Kijlstra taken on their silver wedding in 1856! I want to give it back to their relatives.

Can you help me? Do you know other relatives? If not, you can have it. Do you want it?

Do I Want It?

Of COURSE I want it – assuming it’s my relative.

First, I had to scurry off and search my genealogy software. Was this, indeed my family member?

Could I possibly be this lucky?

Oh my gosh – this IS the brother of my ancestor! I didn’t know his middle name, and I have a different spelling for his wife’s name, but it’s definitely the same couple.

I asked Marga where she found this treasure.

The little box belongs to my mother, but she doesn’t know where it comes from. We don’t have any family in the north of the Netherlands. I put a picture of it on Facebook and it is many times shared, but no reactions at all. I found on the internet that there are not many people left in our country with the name Camstra…

In the box there is a little paper. It says: “Ybeltje Kielstra en Douwe Baukes Camstra beiden geboren +/- 1810 bij hun zilveren huwelijksfeest in 1862.” Which means: Ybeltje Kielstra and Douwe Baukes Camstra both born +/- 1810 at their silver weddings party in 1862.

The date 1862 is wrong because it was in 1856.

Marga took this scrap of information and began searching, trying to find if they were related to Douwe. She fleshed out his vital information, including his parents.

Marga had clearly done her homework. I just have to say this – it’s incredibly confusing when Bauke Douwe Camstra names his first and second sons both Douwe Bauke Camstra. The first son died, but I digress.

I replied to Marga, then I tried to wait patiently for her response.

The internet/Facebook somehow bollixed things up and my reply to Marga went AWOL. Even though I could see it from my end, Marga couldn’t.

Two days later, she queried, “You’re not interested?”

You’re Not Interested?


Thankfully, Marga received this second message and posted the envelope.

Longest 3 weeks of my life.

What if it got lost in the international mail? The mail here in the US has been taking weeks to months for some items mailed in the same county – let alone from across the ocean.

“Be patient,” I told myself, over and over.

I did not receive the patience gene.

One Cold February Day

Finally, one cold mid-February day, almost a month later, a small envelope arrived.

I mention the envelope was small for two reasons.

First, I laid it aside in the pile of junk mail because I was expecting something larger. Who wants to sort through junk mail when you’re impatiently waiting for something VERY precious?

Second, truthfully, I didn’t expect something THAT small. It’s miniature.

Did I mention that I adore miniatures.

The little box itself is about 2.5 by 3 inches and it’s less than half an inch thick. Maybe closer to a quarter inch.

When I was sorting through the mail later, I squealed with excitement, because there it was.

I opened the envelope carefully and saw a face that looked at least vaguely familiar. Was my ancestor a female version of him, minus the beard? They shared the same parents.

Lijsbeth Bauke Camstra married Hendrik Jans Ferwerda on February 19, 1829 in Leeuwarden. Hendrik was a school teacher and they lived their married life in Blija, about 13 miles (22 km) away, near the sea.

Their first child was Bauke Hendrick Ferwerda, born January 26, 1830. He married Geertje Harmens DeJong who passed away before Bauke remarried and the family immigrated to America, settling in Indiana.

Some siblings don’t look at all alike and others are dead-ringers for each other. Did my ancestor, Lijsbert Baukes Camstra, born March 13, 1806 look anything like her younger brother, Douwe Baukes Camstra, born on May 15 th of the following year? If so, did she pass it on?

I don’t know. You can be the judge.

Douwe Bauke Camstra pictured beside his great-nephew, Hiram Bauke Ferverda, at right. Hiram was about 15 years older than Douwe in this photo and his hair is not grey. It looks like Douwe might have been blind in his left eye.

Douwe would be my great-great-great-great-uncle. I believe this is also the earliest photo of any family member.

The Camstra Home

Douwe and his sister Lijsbeth, both with the middle name of Bauke, Camstra were born in this home, in Leeuwarden.

Yvette Hoitink, Dutch genealogist extraordinaire, located this property for me in 2012. In fact, you can see my very first glimpse for yourself in this short YouTube video that Yvette recorded while walking down the street. You can hear the church bells ringing in the background.

I’ve since been to Leeuwarden myself, but there’s nothing like that first glimpse on the other side of what you believed to be an insurmountable brick wall.

Whoever would have guessed that another 9 years later, a Camstra family photo would surface in an unrelated family in the south of the Netherlands and make its way to me in America.

Of course, I had to find out more.

What Happened to Douwe Bauke Camstra?

Douwe died in Leeuwarden on August 20, 1869.

We don’t know where he lived, but it certainly could have been in the very house where he was born.

The clock tower and the gardens were at the end of the block, quite conveniently located. In fact, the Camstra home was convenient to pretty much everything in Leeuwarden.

The Camstra home was located at Grote Kerkstraat 33, shown below on Google maps today.

Tresoar, the present-day regional archives where Douwe’s father’s Pleasure Garden was located was just a couple blocks down this street in the direction we’re looking, and what turns out to be Douwe’s final resting place was across the moat ringing the old city.

Yvette also filmed the location of the Pleasure Gardens in this video.

Cemeteries work differently in the Netherlands (and the rest of Europe) than they do in the US, even back then. Real estate is at a premium, especially dry land. You really didn’t want to dig a hole and have it fill with water. Coffins aren’t supposed to splash.

People were buried on the terps, raised areas built for churches, then the plots were reused a few years later. How long? Well, that depends on the location and the circumstances. In many cases, family members shared grave spaces with other family members. If the grave was abandoned, then some years later, often roughly 20, someone else was buried in the same space.

If the original inhabitant hadn’t entirely returned to “dust” yet, no problem.

A small ossuary building allowed whatever remains remained to visit with their neighbors and continue their degradation stacked, respectfully, together. Most cemeteries in the Netherlands have an inobtrusive little building for just this purpose. No one thinks anything of it.

This little Ossuary is found in the church cemetery in Wolsum where Hiram Ferwerda lived for a few years.

Originally, the Leeuwarden cemetery would have been inside the fortified city walls, of course, beside that church tower in what is today the parking lot.

This map from 1612 shows the church and detached church tower at far left, although other records tell us that the decrepit church was demolished in 1595 or 1596. The “yard” surrounding the church would have been the cemetery.

It’s also worth noting that the Dutch Reformed Protestant church is shown at right, at the other end of “Grote Kerkstraat,” or Great Church Street.

This 1664 map shows the remains of the church, along with the churchyard in front of the bell tower. I can’t help but wonder if the little house at the base of the tower is either the caretaker’s home, or the ossuary, or both.

The red arrow points to the Camstra home. You found a church or a cemetery no matter which direction you walked. Churches, old or contemporaneous, at either end of the street.

The Protestant church, already several hundred years old by that time was a couple blocks east of the Camstra home. There were burials inside the Protestant church, Grote of Jacobijnerkerk, in crypts and in the floor, but I find no record of external burials. Surely they existed. People had to be buried someplace and churchyards were where cemeteries were located. Only the wealthy were buried inside the church, in the floor. There is space around the church on the old maps. Precious space inside the city walls was never wasted.

A royal interdiction in 1827 put an end to the unhygienic burials in and beside churches. Communities had to seek more suitable locations to bury outside the cities. In Leeuwarden, the “new” cemetery at the Spanjaardslaan opened in 1833. Of course, it’s now called the “Old City Graveyard,” but it certainly wasn’t the oldest. The churchyards were far older.

The residents were reluctant to give up their churchyard burial practices, but a Dutch landscape gardener designed a beautiful cemetery that would function as a park in addition to being a cemetery. Located on the old dwelling mound, Fiswerd, once a monastery, the beautiful, quiet cemetery allows visitors, then and now, to leave the busy city behind.

Entering these gates, between the skulls on the top of the fence, the park doesn’t much resemble a cemetery as we perceive them today.

The peaceful essence that the landscaper had in mind to lure those Frisians away from their church graveyard can still be felt today.

Trees, grass, and landscaping are found everyplace.

The cemetery was designed in 5 “departments.” The first was for the rich middle-class and nobles. Many graves had impressive monuments which remain today. Needless to say, those graves weren’t reused. The second department burials weren’t quite as dignified but still wealthy. The third area consisted of people we would probably consider middle class, but no nobles. The fences in this area are the most ornate though. Go figure.

The fourth area is the furthest from the entrance. Many people buried here could not afford stones, so they had a simple wooden cross, or perhaps a common, uninscribed stone for several burials. The fifth is the most recent and the cemetery is now closed to new burials.

You can feast your eyes on beautiful photos, here.

As you might gather, the Camstra family was relatively wealthy. Douwe and Lijsbeth’s father, Bauke Camstra owned that beautiful home, just a few doors from the ducal residence, as in Duke of Orange, now a museum. Plus Bauke owned another property AND the Pleasure Gardens.

I fully expected Douwe to have a memorial stone, perhaps a large one.

There are indeed four Camstra burials, but not Douwe☹

This was the ONLY cemetery in Leeuwarden at that time, so Douwe is assuredly, or was, buried here. Maybe in one of those unmarked, or shared, graves., although that seems odd, given what we know about the family.

Perhaps his grave is one that had a monument that, over time, sunk.

Perhaps Douwe was not as wealthy as his father.

Was Douwe buried in the grave previously occupied by his father?

As it turns out, no, Bauke Douwes Camstra, his father, died on May 24, 1866, not quite three years before his son, which means he’s buried someplace here too. Bauke’s wife, Anna Elizabeth Jonker, Douwe and Lijsbeth’s mother died in 1856, so she’s nearby as well.

Bauke Douwes Camstra was unquestionably wealthy, so there is really no question that he was not buried in section 4 of the cemetery. I can’t help but wonder if, somehow, he obtained special dispensation to be buried in the old churchyard beside his Pleasure Garden. But then again, the Dutch are sticklers for rules and organization – so I’d bet not. If they let Bauke do that, then they’d have to let everyone do that. Besides that, Bauke worked, at least for a time, for the municipality.

Well, then, what about Douwe’s grandparents? Was he buried in their graves?

Nope, the last one of his 4 grandparents died in August of 1830, so they aren’t buried in this lovely park. They probably rest beneath the parking lot in front of the clock tower, today, or maybe in the churchyard of the Dutch Reformed church down the street.

My ancestor Lijsbert Baukes Camstra, probably carrying her son, Bauke Hendrick Ferwerda, about 9 months old, would have stood here too, with her parents and siblings as she buried her last grandparent. I was probably standing not only on their graves, but walking in their footsteps.

If they are buried at the protestant church a few blocks away, that’s OK, I visited there too.

Because the grandparents were the last generation of burials before the new cemetery was opened, they would never have been removed. They were, however, eventually bricked over if in fact they are buried in either location.

Good Heavens, I walked on them, probably ate fair food on top of them, without giving it even a thought. Because we don’t “reuse” cemeteries here, I should have, but never realized I was literally “visiting” their graves as I celebrated “Orange Day” when I visited the Netherlands.

Talk about oblivious. Also, talk about perfect. I hope they have a sense of humor!

My DNA is all over Leeuwarden, or maybe I should say in the earth surrounding the old churches and cemeteries in Leeuwarden.

Lighting the Way

We don’t know exactly where my ancestors Bauke Douwes Camstra (Dec. 28, 1779 – May 24, 1866) and his wife, Anna Elizabeth Jonker (Dec. 30, 1878 – 1856) are buried in this lovely cemetery park in Leeuwarden, but they are unquestionably there.

We can, however, trace their life’s path.

We can start at their home at the red arrow, walk west to the cemetery, now a parking lot (red star) in front of the clock and bell tower where they may have buried their parents. We can visit Bauke’s Pleasure Garden (red star), now the pristine City Gardens and Tresoar archives, and walk to the Durch Reformed church (red star) to the east of their home where they worshiped and Bauke Camstra was a deacon.

This church is where their lives were celebrated at their funerals.

Ironically, 152 years after Douwe Bauke Camstra died, in 1869, it was the “little box with a photo” that allowed me to find him, and his parents, in the beautiful old cemetery.

Come along for a stroll in this video and visit the final resting place of the Camstra family.

Update: I family note records that the Camstra-Kijlstra couple is buried in section 3, row 26, number 11 of the cemetery.

A huge thank you to Marga, her mother, and Yvette.

None of this could have happened without Yvette’s original discovery and subsequent research or Marga’s determination to return the photo to a family member, combined with her and her mother’s generosity.

I receive a small contribution when you click on some of the links to vendors in my articles. This does NOT increase the price you pay but helps me to keep the lights on and this informational blog free for everyone. Please click on the links in the articles or to the vendors below if you are purchasing products or DNA testing.

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James Mumsford, an American teacher and composer, perhaps described the Shih Tzu best: "Nobody knows how the ancient eunuchs managed to mix together: a dash of lion, several teaspoons of rabbit, a couple of ounces of domestic cat, one part court jester, a dash of ballerina, a pinch of old man, a bit of beggar, a tablespoon of monkey, one part baby seal, a dash of teddy bear, and, for the rest, dogs of Tibetan and Chinese origin."

The object of Mumsford's colorful description, the Shih Tzu--pronounced SHEED Zoo, SHID Zoo, or SHEET Sue--is a small, regal dog with long, abundant locks, a distinctive face that melts many a heart, and a friendly attitude. The breed can boast a classy background: they were originally kept by royal Chinese families during the Ming Dynasty.

With their flowing hair sweeping the ground and their topknot elegantly tied, the Shih Tzu does appear snobbish, suited only for lying about a palace on silk pillows. Nothing could be further from the truth, however. Shih Tzus are beautiful, but they are also friendly, lively, devoted companions.

The Shih Tzu personality is enormously appealing, and even grudging dog observers find it hard to resist this breed. The Shih Tzu simply doesn't allow anyone to ignore them. The were bred to be a friendly companion--they don't hunt, herd, or guard--and that's what they are. They love nothing more than to meet and greet friends and strangers alike. Count on a Shih Tzu to make friends wherever they go.

Not only is this member of the Toy Group good-natured and friendly, they're highly adaptable. They're as well suited to apartments in the city as to life on a country farm. They love children and get along with other animals. However, although the Shih Tzu is a sturdy dog, their small size puts them at a disadvantage. Adults should always supervise interactions between children and dogs, and this is especially important for the Shih Tzu, to prevent them from accidentally getting hurt during rough play.

Interestingly, the Shih Tzu is sometimes called the Chrysanthemum Dog, a nickname that describes the way the hair on their face grows out in all directions. They look like a flower with a nose for the center.

One unique characteristic of the Shih Tzu is their undershot bite. Their lower jaw is slightly wider than the upper, and the upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth, rather than outside, when their mouth is closed.

Legends regarding the Shih Tzu abound. One says that Buddha traveled with a little dog fitting the description of a Shih Tzu. As the story goes, one day, several robbers came upon the Buddha with the intent of robbing and murdering him. The little dog changed into a ferocious lion and ran off the robbers, saving Buddha's life. The lion then turned back into a fun-loving little dog, which the Buddha picked up and kissed. The white spot on the heads of many Shih Tzus supposedly marks the place where Buddha kissed his loyal friend.

Many also believe that Fu Dogs, the guardians of Buddhist temples, are representations of the Shih Tzu.


  • There is no such breed as an "imperial" or "teacup" Shih Tzu. These are simply marketing terms used by unscrupulous breeders use to indicate a very small or large Shih Tzu.
  • Shih Tzus are difficult to housebreak. Be consistent, and do not allow a puppy to roam the house unsupervised until they are completely trained. Crate training is helpful.
  • The flat shape of the Shih Tzu's face makes them susceptible to heat stroke, because the air going into the lungs isn't cooled as efficiently as it is among longer-nosed breeds. They should be kept indoors in air-conditioning rooms during hot weather.
  • Be prepared to brush and comb the Shih Tzu coat every day. It mats easily.
  • While Shih Tzus are trustworthy with children, they're not the best choice for families with toddlers or very young children because their small size puts them at risk for unintentional injury.
  • The Shih Tzu tends to wheeze and snore, and can be prone to dental problems.
  • While dogs of any breed may eat their own or other animals' feces (coprophagia), the Shih Tzu seems especially prone to this behavior. The best way to handle the problem is never let it become a habit. Watch your Shih Tzu closely and clean up poop right away.


The Shih Tzu's origins are ancient, and steeped in mystery and controversy. A recent study revealed that the Shih Tzu is one of the 14 oldest dog breeds, and dog bones found in China have proven that dogs were present there as early as 8,000 B.C.

Some believe the breed was developed by Tibetan Monks and given as gifts to Chinese royalty. It is also speculated that the Shih Tzu was developed in China by crossing other breeds with the Lhasa Apso or Pekingnese. Regardless of where the breed was developed--Tibet or China--it's clear that the Shih Tzu was a treasured companion from the earliest times. Paintings, art, and writings from the China's Tang Dynasty (618-907 A.D.) portray small dogs similar to the Shih Tzu. References to the dogs appear again from 990 to 994 A.D. in documents, a few paintings, and carvings.

In the 13th century, Marco Polo reported that the Mongolian Emperor Kubla Khan kept small "lion" dogs with trained hunting lions--not as prey, but to keep the lions calm. Some believe these dogs were the Shih Tzu.

During the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), Chinese royal families kept Shih Tzu-type dogs, and the "little lion dogs" or "chrysanthemum-faced" dogs were mentioned in several documents from that period. They were reportedly small, intelligent, docile dogs that strongly resembled lions.

There isn't much mention of the dogs in documents from the 1700s to the early 1900s, but many pieces of art from that period depict small, shaggy, happy dogs.

In 1861, the Shih Tzu became popular in the Imperial Court after a royal concubine became the Empress of China. One of Empress T'zu Hsi's first royal edicts was that anyone caught torturing palace dogs would be put to death. Empress T'zu Hsi had a great love for animals and carried out extensive breeding programs under the direct care of palace eunuchs.

During Empress T'zu Hsi's reign, the Dalai Lama gave her a pair of magnificent Shih Tzus, reportedly the source of the imperial palace's little lion dogs. It's said that the Shih Tzus had their own palace and were trained to sit up and wave their front paws when the Empress visited.

After her death in 1908, many royal families competed to produce dogs of the finest coats and colors. Because of the competition, breeding practices were kept secret. Poor-quality dogs were sold in the marketplace, and good-quality dogs were often smuggled out of the palaces and given as gifts to foreign visitors or Chinese noblemen.

In 1928, the first Shih Tzus, a male and female pair, were brought to England from Peking by Lady Brownrigg, the wife of the quartermaster general of the north China command. In 1933, a Mrs. Hutchins brought a Shih Tzu from China to Ireland this dog was eventually bred to Lady Brownrigg's. These three dogs formed the foundation of Lady Brownrigg's kennel.

Maureen Murdock and Philip Price, her nephew, were the first to import and breed Shih Tzus in the United States. There were three Shih Tzu clubs by 1960: the American Shih Tzu Association in Florida, the Texas Shih Tzu Society, and the Shih Tzu Club of America. In 1963, the Shih Tzu Club of America and the Texas Shih Tzu Society merged to form the American Shih Tzu Club. In 1969, the breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club as a member of the Toy Group.

Males and females alike stand at nine to ten and a half inches tall and weigh nine to 16 pounds.


All dog breeds have a purpose. Historically, the purpose of the Shih Tzu was to be a companion--and that's just what they want to be. They simply desire to be with you. So don't expect them to hunt, guard, or retrieve that's not their style.

Affection is their dominant characteristic, and your lap is their favorite destination. They're happiest when they're with their family, giving and receiving attention.

That said, the Shih Tzu is not a total couch potato. They're alert and lively and may bark at newcomers to their home. Don't worry, though they'll make friends with your guests the minute they walk inside.


Shih Tzus are generally healthy, but like all breeds of dogs, they're prone to certain conditions and diseases:

    are a common ailment in dogs. There are three main types: food allergies, which are treated by eliminating certain foods from the dog's diet contact allergies, which are caused by a reaction to a topical substance such as bedding, flea powders, dog shampoos, or other chemicals and inhalant allergies, which are caused by airborne allergens such as pollen, dust, or mildew. Treatment may include dietary restrictions, medications, and environmental changes.
  • Canine hip dysplasia, an abnormal formation of the hip socket that can cause pain and lameness.
  • Patellar luxation, which means dislocation (luxation) of the kneecap (patella). The knee joint (often of a hind leg) slides in and out of place, causing pain. This can be crippling.
  • Juvenile renal dysplasia (JRD) is a genetic defect of the kidneys seen in young dogs. The dog is excessively thirsty and urinates frequently. They lose weight, vomits, and lack vigor. Currently, there is only one definitive test for the disease that can be performed on breeding dogs--a wide-wedge biopsy of the kidney, which is very invasive and carries a lot of risk. There have been swab tests developed by geneticists, but, to this date, none of them appear to be 100 percent reliable.
  • Bladder stones and bladder infections can be caused by many factors, such as excessive protein, magnesium, and phosphorus in the diet, or long periods of time between urination. Bladder infections can be caused by bacterial or viral infections. If your Shih Tzu needs to urinate frequently, has bloody urine, seems to have difficulty urinating, or suffers a loss of appetite, take them to the vet for a checkup.
  • Eye problems are not uncommon among Shih Tzus because their large eyes bulge. Disorders include keratitis, an inflammation of the cornea that can lead to a corneal ulcer and blindness proptosis, when the eyeball is dislodged from the eye socket and the eyelids clamp behind the eyeball distichiasis, an abnormal growth of eyelashes on the margin of the eye, resulting in the eyelashes rubbing against the eye ectopia cilia, a condition similar to distichiasis progressive retinal atrophy, a degenerative disease of the retinal visual cells that progresses to blindness and dry eye (keratoconjunctivitis sicca), a dryness of the cornea and the conjunctiva. Contact your vet right away if you notice any redness, irritation, or excessive tearing.
  • Ear infections strike the Shih Tzu because their drop ears create a dark, warm ear canal--a perfect environment for infection. Check and clean the ears weekly to avoid problems.
  • Retained baby teeth and tooth and gum problems are not unusual because the Shih Tzu's baby teeth may remain intact when the permanent teeth emerge. Sometimes it is necessary for the veterinarian to extract the baby teeth. Because of the Shih Tzu's undershot jaw, they also can have missing or misaligned teeth. It's important to brush puppy teeth regularly and report dental problems, such as bad breath and loose teeth, to your veterinarian.
  • Umbilical hernias are common among Shih Tzus. Quite often, these are caused by delayed closure of the abdominal midline. If the hernia is small, it may close as the puppy matures. Sometimes surgery is necessary to correct it, usually while the puppy is being spayed or neutered.
  • A portosystemic liver shunt is a congenital abnormality in which blood vessels allow blood to bypass the liver. As a result, the blood is not cleansed by the liver as it should be. Surgery is usually the best treatment.
  • Snuffles may plague the Shih Tzu because teething tends to be difficult. At about four months, the gums swell since the gums are directly under those pushed-in noses, there isn't a lot of room. Puppies may snort, snuffle, snore loudly, or wheeze during this time, and may even have a clear nasal drainage.
  • Reverse sneezing occurs when the dog is overly excited, gulps their food too fast, or allergens are present. Nasal secretions drop onto the soft palate, causing it to close over the windpipe. The dog makes a wheezing sound and may become alarmed. Talk soothingly to them and try to get them to relax to shorten the episode. Some say that pinching the nostrils closed so the dog is forced to breathe through their mouth is the quickest way to stop the reverse sneezing.

The Shih Tzu doesn't really mind where they live, as long as they're with you. They're a very adaptable dog who can be comfortable in a small city apartment or a large suburban or country home. They're definitely a housedog and should not be kenneled outside, though they enjoy a bit of backyard play.

The Shih Tzu is content with short walks each day. They're not an extremely active dog they're content to sit in your lap, wander around the house, play with their toys, or run to the door to greet visitors.

Like other breeds with short faces, the Shih Tzu is sensitive to heat. They should remain indoors in an air-conditioned room or one with fans on hot days so they don't suffer from heat exhaustion.

No, the breed cannot fly but owners commonly report that their Shih Tzus think they can. It not unusual for a Shih Tzu to fearlessly jump from a bed or a chair. While they may not seem high to you, these heights are towering to the small Shih Tzu. And, unfortunately, these jumps often end in injury. The breed is front heavy and crashes forward, which can cause injury or even a concussion to the head. Be very careful when carrying your Shih Tzu. Hold them securely and don't let them jump out of your arms or off furniture.

Even though they're naturally docile and friendly, the Shih Tzu needs early socialization and training. Like any dog, they can become timid if they're not properly socialized when young. Early socialization helps ensure that your Shih Tzu puppy grows up to be a well-rounded dog.

Shih Tzus are often considered difficult to housebreak. Most important is to avoid giving your puppy opportunities to have accidents inside. You don't want them to become accustomed to using the carpet. Some Shih Tzu owners teach their dogs to use a doggy litter box so they don't need to walk them in bad weather or rush home to take them out. A Shih Tzu puppy should be carefully supervised inside the house until they have not eliminated indoors for at least four to eight weeks. Crate training is helpful for housetraining and provides your dog with a quiet place to relax. A crate is also useful when you board your Shih Tzu or travel.


Recommended daily amount: 1/2 to 1 cup of high-quality dry food a day

NOTE: How much your adult dog eats depends on their size, age, build, metabolism, and activity level. Dogs are individuals, just like people, and they don't all need the same amount of food. It almost goes without saying that a highly active dog will need more than a couch potato dog. The quality of dog food you buy also makes a difference--the better the dog food, the further it will go toward nourishing your dog and the less of it you'll need to shake into your dog's bowl.

For more on feeding your Shih Tzu, see our guidelines for buying the right food, feeding your puppy, and feeding your adult dog.

Coat Color And Grooming

The long, silky Shih Tzu coat is gorgeous, and it comes in many colors: black, black and white, gray and white, or red and white. A white tip on the tail and a white blaze on the forehead are highly prized.

Keeping the Shih Tzu coat gorgeous is demanding. Daily brushing and combing is necessary to prevent tangles, as is frequent bathing--as often as once a week. In fact, many a Shih Tzu lover gives up and hires a professional groomer to clip those long locks short. Gone is some of their beauty, but so is the chore of daily brushing. If you trim the coat short and want to keep it that way, plan on grooming appointments every six to eight weeks.

If you do groom them yourself, make the experience as pleasant as possible for both you and your Shih Tzu, starting during puppyhood. After all, you're going to be doing this a lot. When brushing, you want to make sure that you brush all the way down to the skin. Most experienced Shih Tzu groomers teach the dog to lie on their side while they brush the coat in sections it's easier to brush that way and more comfortable for the dog.

At about ten to twelve months of age, the Shih Tzu coat changes from puppy fluff to a silky adult coat. During this stage, you'll probably think the coat mats faster than you can brush. Don't give up! This is temporary, lasting for about three months. Once the adult coat comes in fully, brushing gets easier.

The Shih Tzu's nails should be trimmed monthly, and their ears checked once a week for dirt, redness, or a bad odor that can indicate an infection. Wipe them out weekly with a cotton ball dampened with gentle, pH-balanced ear cleaner to prevent problems. Hair grows inside the Shih Tzu's ear canal, and this sometimes needs to be plucked if the dog gets a lot of ear infections.

The Shih Tuz's face, like a toddler's, also needs daily attention. They get dirty after eating, and their eyes tear up readily, so it's necessary to wipe their face regularly with a soft cloth dampened with warm water.

Many small breeds are prone to dental problems, and the Shih Tzu is no exception: it's important to take good care of their teeth. Regular tooth brushing with a soft toothbrush and doggy toothpaste will keep their gums and teeth healthy.

Children And Other Pets

The Shih Tzu is a wonderful family pet. They get along with other dogs or animals, and their docile personality makes them a good companion for children.

Kids should sit on the floor to play with a Shih Tzu puppy, however, so there is no risk of carrying and dropping them. Children should also learn to keep their fingers away from the Shih Tzu's prominent eyes, which can be easily injured.

Rescue Groups

Many Shih Tzus unfortunately end up in shelters or in the care of rescues when people purchase them from breeders without a clear understanding of how to care for these dogs. If you want to add a Shih Tzu to your family, check your local shelter or rescue group, and they can help match you with a dog you'll love. Here are a few nonprofit rescues you can try:

You can also try DogTime's adoption page that lets you search for adoptable dogs by breed and zip code!

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