How to Search for an Ancestor s Coat of Arms Posted By : Mark White | Brick Mansions

How to Search for an Ancestor s Coat of Arms Posted By : Mark White

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Title : How to Search for an Ancestor s Coat of Arms Posted By : Mark White
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How to Search for an Ancestor s Coat of Arms Posted By : Mark White

In the past, a coat of arms was not useable by all members of a particular family. Instead, they were awarded to a specific member of a family. If there was a coat of arms that was used by more than one member of a family there were usually different images that would show the birth ranks or other identifying features of various family members.

This can make it difficult for someone to research a coat of arms. Instead of being able to search for a family crest they may need to look for one that may have belonged to a specific family member. In the past, you could get in trouble if you bore a coat of arms that you were not entitled to. Now, however, many people simply accept an individual person's crest or coat of arms as belonging to an entire family. But how can someone find a coat of arms that may have belonged to one of their ancestors?

Research your ancestors and where they came from
A good first step is to research their ancestors in order to find out where they came from. This is important. You need to find out what nationality your ancestors may have been. This is because different countries have different heraldic traditions and so the rules or traditions surrounding a coat of arms may vary substantially from country to country.

Contact the College of Arms
Once you have determined where your family came from you can contact the College of Arms for that country. They will have complete records surrounding the coats of arms that may have been used by specific members of your family. You need to remember that individual coats of arms can vary depending on birth order or other factors so it pays to be as precise as possible when looking for a crest belonging to your family.

Be prepared to go back a long way
It may surprise people how far back they have to go in their family history to find a coat of arms that may have been used by an ancestor. Many coats of arms date back to the middle ages. Many of the traditions surrounding coats of arms and heraldry in general were established in the eleventh and twelfth centuries so it is no wonder that some people may have to look back through several generations in order to find their family crest or coat of arms.

Find out if coats of arms are regulated in your country
Some countries regulate coats of arms. This means that only a particular person in a family has a right to bear a crest or coat of arms. Countries such as England have strict rules and regulations surrounding who can and cannot use a coat of arms. Other countries such as the United States do not have any regulations that have to do with the use of a crest or coat of arms. This means that it is possible for people in these countries to use an ancestor's coat of arms as their own.

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