picture is a coat of arm that my father ordered many years ago from one of the
places that sell coat of arms for surnames. He ordered this and a so called
family name history, thinking it was the real deal. It is not.
was customary to grant a coat of arms to individuals, not to
families. The notion that one coat of arms belongs to everyone sharing
that same surname is a falsehood.
I know and
understand that companies sell Coat of Arms to people and that everyone wants to
know what our Coat of Arms is but the truth is our SURNAME has not been issued
a Coat of Arms by the Herald's Office. The one in the above picture is
a generic one made up by one of the companies that sell things for profit. If
you want a coat of arms you can apply for one at the cost of about
order for a Coat of Arms to be granted, a person had to meet
qualifications, then applied for a coat of arms. If the qualifications were
meat, the Herald's Office would create a
and draw up official papers, called a grant, which gave
the individual that had applied for the ARMS the legal right to
"bear" or display the coat of arms for their personal use and
identification. It was considered, tacky,in bad taste, and sometimes
illegal to display or use a coat of arms that was not granted to you
personally. Sometimes close relatives who were granted arms would have similar designs, but each was different. When a person who had been issued a
coat of arms died, the arms was retired.
bearings are hereditary. They can be borne and used by all the descendants in
the legitimate male line of the person to whom they were originally granted
or confirmed. To establish a right to arms by inheritance it is necessary to
prove a descent from an ancestor who is already recorded as entitled to arms in
the registers of the College of Arms.
More on the subject of mass-produced coats of arms and surname books can be found at the National Genealogical Society page Consumer Protection
1. An Heraldic
Alphabet by J.P. Brooke-Little Clarenceux King of Arms 1996 edition by