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SERRETT of Switzerland
By Jim HALL (jimhall@telus.net)
22 May 2003
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My Grandmother's, (my fathers mother) maiden name was "Serret", was born in the vicinity of Lake Geneva, Switzerland in the late 1800's. She was married in England and my Father was born. They all moved to Creston, B.C. Canada in approximately 1926.

She often told me stories of her parents (my great grand parents) owning a vineyard in Switzerland. She also told me stories of our ancestral past.

Just before she past away at the age of 90 (in approx. 1970), she gave me a 7 inch x 10 inch artists rendering done in what I estimate as chalk. It was a family heirloom, passed down within the family. It is an artist drawing in colour of our family Coat of Arms. The date it was drawn is 1797 and it is original with the artists name & address. It states on it.... "Arms extracted from ancient book of Coat of Arms No. 558 by I. Hebule." with his signature.

The writing on it is in old French and I had to get it translated to English at the University of Calgary, (U of C) in Calgary, Albert, Canada. The writing explains what each item, eg: chevrons, stars, lions, silver, clover leafs and Helmut stand for and it corresponds what you have written in your website. See: SFA - Coat of Arms

The paper, being so old, is crumpling away. I am preserving it the best I can.

20+ years ago while living in Calgary I had a friend (we were both in aviation together). He and his wife were returning to their home land in France for a few months visit. I gave him a copy of my Coat of Arms and asked if he could look it up for me. He returned with the following information that he found in the archives at the town of "Le Peu", (spelling ???) France. The registration # 558 is registered there....

My friend read through the history.... I think it was back in the 13 or 14 century, the Catholics were moving across France, trying to convert the country to Catholicism. They were killing and pillaging all the towns along the way. They were all on foot other than the one that led, which was on horse back. They entered this village of Huguenots at sunrise and caught everyone asleep. They slaughtered numerous. However a few were able to fight, one being this ancestor of mine.

During this fight, it is written that my ancestor picked up this spear like object from a dead warrior and thrust it up into the leader on horse back and killed him. The remaining warriors, once they saw their leader dead, fled back to their homes within France. Ending this conflict.

My ancestor was Knighted, but was told that relations, friends and followers of the leader that was killed, would pursue and kill this ancestor of mine. So he and his family were assisted out of France into Switzerland. There the family remained as vineyard owners for centuries until my Grandmother moved from the Lake Geneva area of Switzerland in the late 1800's.

I seem to recollect events in this story which jive with those that my Grandmother told when I was a young lad, only from her, I didn't hear about the bloodshed.

In the last few years I tried to find online information as to the archives on this Coat of Arms, but to no avail.

I hope all this is of interest to you or others.

Keep in touch.
Cheers, Jim. jimhall@telus.net
May 24, 2003

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Text - Copyright © 1996-2013 Paul R. Sarrett, Jr.
Created: Dec. 01, 1996; May 25, 2003;  Oct 03, 2013;