You’ve probably seen coats of arms for families and think it would be interesting to find out what yours looks like. If you are asking the question “how to find my family coat of arms” then this post is for you.
Before you can begin your search though!
Before you start looking for your family’s coat of arms you may want first want to know the answers to these following questions, (if you don’t know already). What Is Coat of Arms? and What Are The Symbols On A Coat of Arms? These two posts will discuss the origins as well as the different parts and symbols that a coat of arms is made up of.
Once you have understood what a coat of arms is all about you will then want to check what recorded arms are out there.
If you live in the United Kingdom then your first stop is to check out the College of Arms. If you are from the United States then please check out The American College of Heraldry. Both of these organizations maintain a record of all the coats of arms that have been registered within the respected country. They will be able to help you with your search.
Before I begin to tell you how to find your coat of arms I want to share with you two interesting and useful books that I have found on Amazon. They are both packed full of illustrations and comprise more than 200 pages each. They are also both very recent books, so there is little chance of them running out of stock.
So if you love all the different symbols or just want to know the history behind it all then these books are for you!
The Illustrated Book of Heraldry:
An International History of Heraldry and Its Contemporary Uses
- Book Type: Hardcover
- Pages: 256
- Author: Stephen Slater
- Publisher: Lorenz Books
- Edition: June 15, 2013
- Place to Buy in US: Amazon US
- Place to Buy in UK: Amazon UK
This book is a great introduction for anyone who is interested in heraldry. Although the text maybe small to read for some it is easy to comprehend and is chocked full of information as well as a ton of illustrations.
In this book the origins and the development of the coat of arms are discussed. It starts with the explanation that these arms were used to help distinguish between warriors during battle. The book then covers its uses in the modern world.
There is also a useful glossary at the back so that if you do get stuck with the wording then you can then refer to the back to help you.
Please note: This book is identical to the The Complete Book of Heraldry that was published ten years earlier in 2003.
Heraldry: Understanding Signs and Symbols
- Book Type: Spiral Bound
- Pages: 224
- Author: Quarto Publishing
- Publisher: Chartwell Books
- Edition: January 20, 2013
- Place to Buy in US: Amazon US
- Place to Buy in UK: Amazon UK
This is a go to book for anyone who is interested in the subject of heraldry and is a great starting point. With this book you will explore the complex imagery and its fascinating history. You will learn the basics of heraldry from when these symbols were first used.
This book will also help you to understand the many different variations of designs that we see today. Real coats of arms will be examined and will be broken down into their significant parts. From here you will learn what each part means.
The first option available to you is the House of Names website, which operates from Canada. They are an independent resource that offers both family crest and coat of arms products. These range from the usual T-shirts to your coat of arms on cups and mugs
Free shipping is offered to residents of North America if the order is over $85 US. Products can be shipped internationally but there is a delay of 5-10 weeks, so bare this in mind when ordering from overseas.
All products are given a 100% satisfaction guarantee, so if you are not satisfied with the quality, condition or workmanship then you can return the product. Return shipping charges may apply unless there has been an order error or error in shipping.
Please note: This site will offer you a single coat of arms heraldry design for your surname. This is despite that arms are inherited through the family tree and symbols are usually added by descendants. Research has been carried out since 1968 by the in-house team to deliver to you the oldest known version of your family’s coat of arms. Bare in mind though that therefore there is no such thing as a unique coat of arms for a surname.
There is just so many different products for you to chose from. What I find particularly cool is that you can have the history of your surname or coat of arms. This you can easily download as a PDF file. The plaques with your coat of arms and the history of your name is a great gift for a loved one who is into their genealogy.
The most popular products are as follows:
- Mouse pads,
- Glassware and steins,
- Shirts and apparel,
- and lastly Coffee mugs.
The House of Names site gives you an easy shopping experience!
The House of Names is site has a fresh look and is very user-friendly. You can find out all about your name from its history to notable people who share your last name. I even find out people who worked and died on the Titanic that have my last name. Although they were no relation to me it was still an interesting find.
It will also list the different spellings of your surname. This is particularly useful for when you are checking either online or offline databases. Sometimes we can’t find any records of our ancestors so checking under a different name may prove helpful. It has for me in the past. So a list of different spellings for your name can be quite helpful.
So what is available at House of Names?
I have already discussed a sample of the products that you can find on this site. So besides a history of your surname that you can have on a plaque or in a PDF you can also have your family crest or coat of arms on any product of your choosing. These products you can find by searching the menu at the top of the site. There are six different options for you to chose from.
The options that are available to you are:
The House of Names sites allows you to sign in, check your basket, search for and add any product, and ultimately pay with any of the major cards or even PayPal. But the free section of the site I love!
Get free stuff at House of Names!
There are coloring booklets that you can download which will give the kids endless fun coloring in. They can color in castles, shields, animals, mythical creatures and other symbols that you will find on a coat of arms.
There is also a blank family tree form that you can download. So whether you want to use this or give to your kids the choice is up to you. Both of these are great ways to get the kids involved in ancestry.
There is also a Design your Coat of Arms booklet that you can download and print out. There are 11 designs that you can color in, or rather your kids can color in. It’s just another cool way to get the kids involved and get interested in your family history. I love this bit of the site and have printed these out for my child. She has endless fun with her coloring pens.
A fairly new website but has potential to be the world’s largest online heraldry database. The Coat of Arms Database has at present 9,500 unique arms listed on the website. Their goal is to amass more that 250,000 different coats of arms.
Searching for your family’s coat of arms is simple at COADB.com!
Searching for your family name is quite straightforward on this site. You just enter your name in the search box and click the search button. Alternatively you can search for a surname by letter. This will then bring up a list of all the surnames for that letter that have a coat of arms in the database.
If your search is not successful then you will be presented with a list of similar surnames. Below that then there is a form that you can fill in requesting for assistance.
COADB.com offers a genealogy research package for $159. For this price a genealogist will research your surname, and your ancestors, and can start to build your family tree for you. If you have more money to spend then they also offer more elaborate research packages as well.
You can also buy products with your coat of arms on!
You can purchase your coat of arms on a range of products, which include t-shirts, mugs, posters, cuff links, and more. In fact you can chose from over 100 different products for your arms to be featured on. You can also buy a JPG image as well for only $12.99.
A 3D Coat of Arms sculpture or plaque is also available to purchase. Both of these are made from high density urethane (HDU) and come with a brass finish. They do range though between $1,600 and $2,600. But they do look very impressive, especially if you want to impress any visitors.
COADB.com also offer hand painted coat of arms using acrylics on either canvas or paper. There are three different sizes to chose from 12×16, 16×20 or 24×30 inches. These pictures range in price from $1,500 to $2,100. Although they have a hefty price tag they will really stand out above the fireplace or wherever you may chose to hang it.
Unlike COADB.com My Family Silver will decorate silverware with your family’s crest. So rather than an entire coat of arms you will get just the crest, (the part that’s featured at the top of the coat of arms). Nevertheless the products that you can purchase from this company are of very high quality.
Your family crest on a range of silverware and more!
Operating within the UK this company specializes in displaying your family crest on a range of different silverware, including candlesticks, cutlery and serving trays. Your family’s crest can also appear on porcelain and glass. You can chose for your crest to appear on either an antique or something more modern.
You may wish for your crest to appear on your favorite coffee or tea cup, or even wine glass for that matter. You can even purchase a signet ring and wear your family crest on your finger. How cool is that?
If you are looking to but for someone else then there is also a choice of a Christening or Wedding gift. Both of which would make a great gift for the recipient.
The prices for these products start as low as about £50 to up to £5000 or more.
So how do I find my family crest?
To start looking for your crest you just click on the Family Crest Finder link. Then you type in your surname and search. Your crest will then appear and three options are available to you. You may want to buy a signet ring, or maybe cufflinks and other giftware.
Another choice is to visit the Antique Marketplace and select an item from a variety of exhibitors. You can then have your crest emblazoned on your chosen product.
Thank You and Please Leave A Comment
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