Personal Background





Flag of the United States

I am an over-educated American of Northern European origin: 80% Britanno-Viking, 20% German. Essentially Teutonic, but with surprises.

Flag of EnglandCounty Flag of NorfolkFlag of The City of LondonMy family is first indicated in the Domesday Book of 1086 as being in Norfolk, the shire in which our eponymous hamlet still exists, bearing the name Quarles—a family name which evolved into Qualls during the 1800's. My [9× and 8×] great-grandfathers of English note were Sir John Quarles, Sir John Quarles (his son) and  Sir Henry Billingsley, Lord Mayor of London (1596), father of the younger Sir John's wife, Elizabeth.

Union Flag of Great BritainThe elder Sir John Quarles was a merchant active in trading with the Hanseatic League, and was known about London as John the Taylor. The younger Sir John was a  founding member of the Second Virginia Company [more exactly: the Virginia Company of London], which financed the first successful English colony in North America, at Jamestown, establishing the colony of Virginia. [Sir John is on record as having been the one who proposed the price per share (£12 10s) to be paid in order to join in the venture.] The records we have located indicate that this younger Sir John and his household accompanied Lord de la Warr (first royal overseer of Virginia), aboard the second ship to reach Jamestown, in 1610 (after its founding in 1607, and a full decade before the addlepated Pilgrims failed in their attempt to reach Virginia). Thus our family was one of the earliest, founding groups of the British New World—British America—which ultimately became the United States and Canada.

Other lines of British descent, all appearing in the colony of Virginia before 1623, are

  • Flag of Scotlandfrom other descendants of Norwegian Vikings: the chiefs of Clan Leod, starting with Tormod (i.e., “Norman”) MacLeod — the MacLeods of Harris (whose non-emigrant descendants, to their great credit, took part neither in the Jacobite insanity nor in the Highland clearances), and

  • Raven Banner of the VikingsFlag of East Angliafrom the Danish Viking invaders of East Anglia, “the Great Heathen Army”, of the late 800’s CE.

[Note that it is not unusual for the North American descendants of the earliest British migration into the New World to be related to the British peerage, or even to the Royal Family, in various and divers ways. This is largely a side-effect of (male) primogeniture, in which those non-inheriting, younger children of the gentry must needs have left Britain to make their marks in the British territories—not every one of them could find fulfilling employment within the Britain of that time.]


Flag of SwedenThe Swedish line comes from Captain Israel [Åkesson] Helm (or Helms), accounted one of the founders of the colony of New Sweden Nya Sverige — who (after the family had earlier moved from Mora to Stockholm) came to North America from Stockholm in 1642-43 and, during his youth (after having been orphaned during the voyage to the New World), lived in the household of the royal governor, Johan Printz, as his ward. [The Swedish Colonial Society: Forefathers pdf, p. 49]

Grand Union FlagThis Helm/Helms line also includes two Colonial soldiers present at Prospect Hill on New Year’s Day, 1776, when George Washington is said to have raised the Grand Union flag upon assuming command of the Continental Army.


200px-Flag of Germany.svgThe majority of that 20% German heritage comes from my maternal grand- mother, who was predominately of Hessian origin (although touched with Swedish, as noted above). Those ancestors were located in any of several principalities in the Rhineland, within the old Holy Roman Empire: the Electorate of Hesse (aka Hesse-Kassel or Kurhessen), the Grand Duchy of Hesse (Großherzogtum Hessen und bei Rhein and the descendant state of the Landgraviate of Hesse-Darmstadt), the Duchy of Nassau, and other minor principalities, the province of Hesse-Nassau, and the Free City of Frankfurt am Main. This includes the modern Land of Hesse, as well as the culturally Hessian part of the Land of Rhineland-Palatinate (Rheinland-Pfalz).

This heritage includes those Germans settling in Pennsylvania during the 1680's (and moving into North Carolina in the 1750's), Palatine immigrants of the early 1700's, Hessian mercenaries remaining in the United States after the War of Independence, and "48er's", the liberal German who were forced to flee the German lands after the Frankfurt Parliament's attempt to form a republic was violently quashed in 1849 by the conservative forces of the Austrian Emperor, the King of Prussia, the minor princelings and the prince-bishops.

Complementing my maternal Hessian heritage, on my father's side are ancestors from what are now the modern German Länder of Baden-Württemburg, Rhineland-Palatinate and Bavaria. Indeed, I am a 16th generation descendant of Jakob Fugger von der Lilie der Ältere, of that famous banking family of Augsburg.   


    • my great x 4 paternal grandmother was a slave, a woman named Judith, 1744 - 1804
         (She was the paramour of David E. Quarles [1750 - 1804], who recognized her
          children as his, and freed us.)
    • my heritage includes descent from at least one Cherokee woman
    • my heritage also includes descent from the Iroquois, although record
          of the exact tribe has been lost

 Flag of FranceFlag of GreeceMy upbringing was one that included starting Music at the age of 6, French at the age of 11, more French plus Spanish and Latin in high school, along with Modern Greek tutoring from the mother of our local Orthodox priest. Fevronia “Yiayia” Paleologos was a retired teacher from Mykonos, who always made sure to start the lessons by giving me a big plate of dolmades.

Flag of GermanyCollege produced a degree in German and Music, and more French and Spanish. Along with German and Music, graduate school brought classes in Classical Greek, Chinese, and graduate-level Latin studies. Later, one of my employers paid half the cost of my being tutored in Japanese. Informally during the years post-graduate, I’ve studied (concentrating on grammar, history and morphology) Homeric Greek, Vedic Sanskrit, Anglo-Saxon, Gothic, Old Norse, Gaelic, Ancient Egyptian, Yiddish, Classical Hebrew, Arabic, Russian and Akkadian, with further research done into the scripts used by languages across the globe and throughout history.

Having studied piano, organ, French horn, flute, oboe, violin and viola, I have had musical training that spans much of the orchestra, training which built on the ‘ear’ provided by early vocal and linguistic training: I can't remember an age at which I was not singing, or at least making some quasi-musical noise.

The benefits of this early delving into the wonders of foreign languages became manifest when, in preparation for entry into college, in the (English) language section of the SAT (college entry-test) I scored in the top 2% nationally; and later, in the results of the GRE and GMAT (graduate school entry-tests), I placed in the top 1% nationally in that section. Although my Math section percentile was not so high as the language results of those tests, those scores also increased significantly over the course of the three tests. (This improvement is evident in that, by graduate school, I aced courses in graduate-level Statistics, even courses I had signed up for as pass/fail because they went beyond the requirements of my degree plan.)

On those early education and capabilities were built

  • Flag of Arkansasa BA degree in Music and German (minor in French, plus English Lit., European History) at a private, Methodist college in Arkansas, where, upon matriculation, I tested out of a full year of college courses, and was then, upon graduation, the first of its diplomates ever to be graduated with a double major. (This college shall remain nameless, as I was denied honors graduation there by the illegal machinations of a disgruntled chemistry professor, Dr John E. Stuckey [illegal?: Dr Francis Christie, Dean of Students, begged me not to sue the college for this, as Dr Stuckey's actions were blatantly illegal.])


So, of course, I have spent my adult life as a computer programmer, in software design, project management and management, augmented (and often, restored to sanity) by writing and lecturing.

My software career has been spent working primarily in C, C++ and C#, as well as in 16-bit, 32-bit and 64-bit Intel assembly language, at all levels of programming: from operating systems internals to device drivers to utility libraries to applications: if you have ever even just touched Windows™, you have run code that I designed and/or wrote. I have personally produced more than 80 Mb of shipping source code, primarily in operating systems, computer graphics and in data internationalization and nativization, with extensive work on optimization, multi-threading, interprocess communication, and user, process and file-level security. While accomplishing this, I have worked for some very good companies—Autodesk, IBM, Micrografx, Docucorp, to list only a few—and for others not so optimal.

I am also a historian—Bronze Age, Ancient & Classical Period, Western European, and British—and a rationalist. You may expect more evidence of this as this site grows.

As a vexillologist, I enjoy flags for their artwork, their histories and for their significance in human symbolism.
All flags except my personal flag (the topmost banner) in this page's article are linked to their sources in Wikipedia and can be found there in their original (svg) formats. All copyright claims to those externally-sourced flag images reside with their original creators as documented on their respective pages within Wikimedia.


My personal flag is derived from my seal [Argent, a Cross Azure; in the first a Lion passant guardant Or, armed Or and langued Argent, striking with a Sword Argent in the dexter forepaw , hilt pomel and quillons Sable ]. Flag and seal (with or without the motto), and any other design derived from those, are my personal property and none may be reproduced without my written permission.

The symbolism and the motto are explained on the Flag and Seal page.



Καλλιώναι μίας ώρας ελεύθερη ζωή, παρά σαράντα χρόνοι, σκλαβιά και φυλακή
Better one hour of freedom than forty years of slavery and prison.

—Rigas Feraios, Thourios



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