The Augustan Society

Heraldry in the United States
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steven harris
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The Augustan Society

Postby steven harris » 04 Oct 2012, 21:07

Does anyone have experience with the Augustan Society (headquartered in Orlando FL)? http://www.augustansociety.org/

I have wandered over to their website a number of times over the past few years, and have been tempted to join, but $146 is a bit more than I generally carry around with me.

I’m curious what it is that the Augustan Society actually does. I know that they record arms in the United States. How active are they? Are there meetings? a forum? etc?

Any insight that could be offered would be very much appreciated,
Steven
Steven A. Harris, Associate Fellow
member since February 2008

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Chris Green
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Re: The Augustan Society

Postby Chris Green » 05 Oct 2012, 07:03

If you look at their membership application form you will see that membership offers access to a number of "knightly orders". For those who collect such memberships, and who have deep pockets with which to purchase the regalia on offer and attend the feasts and reunions, this is Elysium indeed. I have come across people who have joined most if not all these bodies, though proving CVs back to William the Conqueror and Charlemagne must have been a challenge.
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steven harris
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Re: The Augustan Society

Postby steven harris » 06 Oct 2012, 02:21

I'm not interested in joining any self-styled pseudo-chivalric orders, nor do I have the deep pockets to do so.

I would be fascinated to have my genealogy done, but I would have my doubts about its veracity if William the Conqueror or Charlemagne made an appearance in my tree.

I would, however, be interested in studying the various subject areas that they list - but if that's just a minor side-part of their portfolio, then I think that my interests could best be served elsewhere.

Thanks!
Steven A. Harris, Associate Fellow
member since February 2008

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Chas Charles-Dunne
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Re: The Augustan Society

Postby Chas Charles-Dunne » 06 Oct 2012, 12:59

Just one example of the many manifestations of 'the Big Lie' or 'das Große Lüge'. We see it in so many walks of life that it is now considered as part of the establishment.

A prime example is golf clubs. How many have poor playing and badly kept greens; changing rooms that would have been considered 'past it' in Victorian times; an overpriced restaurant, with a menu full of schoolboy stodge; a wine list that consists of 'Château Take it or leave it'; bar snacks that consist of peanuts OR cashews (alternating weeks) and finally beer that everybody believes is watered down.

But on the plus side -

You are required to provide a non-returnable payment with your application; a letter of support from three long standing members (one of whom must be on the current committee); a letter from your bank manager, showing that you will be able to afford the membership and green fees; attend three functions as a guest; then and only then will you be allowed to stand before the Committee and plead your case tell them why you are suitable to be admitted as a junior member.

Well - it has to be a good club, doesn't it? Because only a good club would make you do all that!
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Chas
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O. Wrigley-P.-McKerr
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Re: The Augustan Society

Postby O. Wrigley-P.-McKerr » 06 Oct 2012, 22:38

steven harris wrote:I would have my doubts about its veracity if William the Conqueror or Charlemagne made an appearance in my tree.


Why? Nearly everyone is descended from them. See http://humphrysfamilytree.com/ca.html#conclusion.

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Chris Green
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Re: The Augustan Society

Postby Chris Green » 07 Oct 2012, 07:04

Why? Nearly everyone is descended from them.


Which makes having societies of people claiming descent from either an absurdity; ditto descent from ancient Egypt. People are voluntarily parting with money to become members of societies that virtually anyone can join. That doesn't chime well with the exclusive aura that the societies try to foster.

Now if they had to prove direct agnatic primogeniture back to Charlemagne, that would be a society worth joining. Mind you it would exclude from membership every royal family in Europe together with every member of the nobility. It would also of course exclude all members of ethnic minorities having their origin outside western Europe. Goodness me it would actually exclude all the present members of those societies together with their founders!
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Jeremy Kudlick
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Re: The Augustan Society

Postby Jeremy Kudlick » 07 Oct 2012, 12:14

I'm quite happy simply being a member of an elite paramilitary organization: Eagle Scouts. ;)
Jeremy Kudlick
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Charles E. Drake
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Re: The Augustan Society

Postby Charles E. Drake » 08 Oct 2012, 13:58

I have sought and obtained permission to post to this forum so that I might respond to this thread. I would like to thank the administrators or moderators for allowing me to do so.

I currently serve as president of The Augustan Society.

I think the website <http://www.augustansociety.org/> explains the society and what it does very well. However, if there are questions, I would be happy to try to answer them.

Some of the principal activities of the Society are publishing its scholarly journal, _The Omnibus_, and running three "review" committees, in addition to other activities/committees. The three review committees are chivalry, heraldry, and royalty & nobility.

The Society will send a complimentary issue of _The Omnibus_ to anyone on request. Subscriptions to the Omnibus are available at $30/four issues.

The society registers arms and publishes these in a series of physically printed books (Vols. 1-3 are in print, and Vol. 4 is in preparation). There is currently effort underway to put the arms we have registered on-line, but that is hampered by lack of manpower (mainly needed to blazon the arms published in the books and journals). As opposed to other registering bodies in the US, the Society will register additaments such as coronets and supporters for those deemed to have a valid right to them.

In order to have these additaments heraldically represented (in Society publications), the claim to noble or royal status must be approved by our Royalty and Nobility Committee.

The Chivalry Committee recognizes chivalric orders and organizations of a chivalric nature and also recognizes the membership of Augustan members in those groups and orders. Those persons with a recognized (by the Society) right to a noble title or chivalric membership are referred to with those titles and afforded the appropriate postnominals in Society publications and correspondence.

There are numerous other study groups and committees of more or less activity, depending on the interest and participation of the members. Most of the members have a strong interest in genealogy.

In contradistinction to what was implied or stated above, none of the Augustan Society subgroups are chivalric bodies or pseudo-chivalric bodies.

The Augustan Society has three "major" subgroups: an honor society for those who have done service to the Society of an extraordinary nature (The OAE), a society of members of knightly bodies (the NCR), and a society of registered armigers who are allowed to designate a successor (The HOAA). None of these are chivalric orders, though two of them contain the word "order" in their names. A disclaimer to this effect is posted on each of their pages.

There are a number of lineage societies ("minor subgroups") pendant to the Society that qualified persons may join. These are not orders, and the current insignia consist of lapel pins for each.

There is a broad sense in which lineage societies bear some resemblance to chivalric bodies or hereditary titles, but similar is not the same as matching, and our web site plainly states that these subgroups are lineage societies.

Hereditary societies are an almost exclusively American phenomenon, and there are literally hundreds of them in existence (see the Hereditary Society Community web site, for example). There are so many lineage societies, almost anyone, except very recent immigrants to the US, could find one to join. Lineage societies are just another way to enjoy a genealogy. Genealogy is very convenient hobby, for one's dead relatives happily reside in a data base requiring no maintenance, until one pulls them out to play with them. This is different from owning pets or racing cars, but similar to a stamp collection!

The Augustan Society does not have a Charlemagne lineage society, but it does have one for descendants of William the Conqueror, so perhaps this caused some confusion. What this really means is that one can trace ancestry from one of the several hundred proven "gateway" ancestors, meaning colonials who were of the British gentry class. Such individuals were not common, but there were a few. In this way one connects to British peerage ancestry, and once one does this, one qualifies for most of the medieval lineage societies, such as Magna Charta, Conqueror, Crusades, various Royal, Charlemagne, etc.

It is true that The Augustan Society has a strong bent to a royalist outlook. This goes all the way back to its foundation in 1957 when it was first called "The Habsburg Restoration Society." A royalist bent may not be everyone's cup of tea, but The Augustan Society is there for those who share such an outlook. De gustibus.
~Charles

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Chris Green
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Re: The Augustan Society

Postby Chris Green » 08 Oct 2012, 15:17

As this thread does not concern the subject matter of the forum I am locking it at this point.
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