In anticipation for the upcoming Fantastic Beasts, J.K. Rowling has written some background to the American School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Ilvermorny.
The houses for Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry are each named after the favorite magical creature of the family members who founded the school. While we don’t yet know the complete personality profiles of each house, here they are:
Wampus, which “favors warriors.”
One of two sons, Webster Boot, chose Wampus, because he was “argumentative but fiercely loyal.”
Horned Serpent, which “favors scholars.”
Mother to the family Isolt Sayre chose the Horned Serpent because she felt a kinship with the creature.
Pukwudgie, which “favors healers.”
The father of the family, James Steward, chose the Pukwudgie because Isolt made a joke about one once. Classic dad move.
And Thunderbird, which “favors adventurers.”
The second brother, Chadwick Boot, chose Thunderbird, because they were “intelligent but often temperamental.”
The complete history of the school is here, but summarized the best snippets below:
Isolt was born in around 1603 and fled Ireland for America to escape her abusive aunt, Gormlaith Gaunt. The Gaunts are ancestors of Voldemort.
In America she met James Steward, a muggle who saw her using magic. She had planned to kill Steward, but they instead fell in love and adopted two orphaned magical boys, Chadwick and Webster.
Isolt set up Ilvermorny for magical children and named it after her childhood home in Ireland.
Ilvermorny runs in a similar fashion to Hogwarts because Isolt had read about the school in England.
At one point, Isolt discovers that her wand belonged to Salazar Slytherin and contained basilisk horn. They buried the wand, but it soon sprouted a snakewood tree.
The robes of the school are blue and cranberry because Isolt wanted to be in Ravenclaw as a child and James loved cranberry pie.
And yes, you can get sorted into your own Ilvermorny house if you don’t fancy going to Hogwarts after Brexit.