So last year, I changed my stage name, which many of you know. Some of you guys still know me as Sophie Serafino and that’s cool, I used that name for a long time. In changing my name back to my maiden name – my birth name of Armstrong (Scottish), I became more interested in my family’s history… and have a bunch of info courtesy of Clan.com and Wikipedia and the Armstrong Clan Association: “The legends of clan Armstrong say that the earliest ancestor was Siward Beorn (‘sword warrior’), also known as Siward Digry (‘sword strong arm’). Another traditional story claims that an armour bearer by the name of Fairbairn rescued his master, the king of Scotland, mid battle by pulling him onto his horse by the thigh. Fairbairn was allegedly later given the name “Armstrong” and granted lands in the Borders. It was in this border region between Scotland and England that clan Armstrong became one of the most historically powerful clans in the country’s history. Between the 13th and 17th century the Scottish Borders were in turmoil, with anything between personal rivalries and all-out war common between the two countries. The Armstrongs were arguably the most dangerous clan during this period, with King James V of Scotland believing they were a threat to even his authority.” So basically, the Armstrongs were quite defiant and non cooperative (at least I know where I get that rebellious streak!) so ultimately the Crown forcibly dispersed the clan who were moved into and scattered across northern Ireland. My great grandfather later brought his family to Australia in 1881, with his Irish wife. I also have a Dutch grandmother and my mother’s family are British… It was pretty amazing digging up all these details!
This is the Armstrong Clan coat of arms and family crest (courtesy of kingarthur.com and thetreemaker.com). There are a few variations out there, some Scottish, some Irish. The motto is the same, “Invictus Manneo” which is Latin for “I remain unvanquished”. So there is the inspiration for my latest single! I had SO much fun exploring this while pregnant with our third little one, and I’m excited to share this journey in my language of music.
Got questions? Ask away!