Friday, November 19, 2004

The Family Crest

As far as I know, our particular branch of the Rhodes Family doesn't have a crest or a coat of arms or other trappings of royalty. What I do know is that the Rhodes name originally came from people who lived beside the road or in holes in the road, way back in England or Ireland, where we most likely came from.
The more uppity Rhodeses really were on the edge of uppercrust, apparently, serving in court and getting knighthoods and so on. Others who didn't make the cut came to the New World, generally through Pennsylvania or Virginia, and headed west. My particular lot got off the wagon in Ohio and Indiana.
Every now and then, I have found myself on a business trip in some town or another in the U.S. and leafed through the phonebook to see how many Rhodes people were listed. There are many, and they all seem as puzzled about their roots as me, and probably less inclined to find out more.
Even so, I did find there is a plausible Rhodes Family crest, with a coat of arms and a motto and all that heraldric stuff.
The motto is "Coelum non animum mutant, qui trans mare currunt."
It comes from Horace -- Quintus Horatius Flaccus -- the Roman poet who lived 65 BC-8 BC. He was writing about traveling in his Epistles, and the bigger chunk of the poem from which the motto on the bottom of the Rhodes crest was taken is "They change their sky,not their mind, who cross the sea. A busy idleness possesses us: We seek a happy life, with ships and carriages; the object of our search is present with us."
I gather from the tone of the longer Latin that the Rhodeses were people who maintained their origins wherever they went. Something like "You can take the boy out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the boy." Those who know me will have some notions about whether that applies, and to what extent.

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