The Blogging from A to Z Challenge is to post everyday (except Sunday) in the month of April 2016 starting with the letter A and going all the way to Z. The theme I chose is Genealogy Tips. At the end I will give a related post from my blog Genealogy: Beyond the BMD.
H is for Heraldry
I see many people putting coats of arms on their family trees, and its all pretty and all, but may not be correct. Not everyone with the same surname is entitled to the coat of arms.
The Royal Proclamation of 1417 stated more or less: "...no man should assume arms unless he held them by right of inheritance or by the donation of some person who had the power to give them."
If you believe your ancestor was granted a coat of arms, it is a great resource to check for answers, as the heralds had to travel to the petitioner's place of residence and do a thorough investigation (background check, if you will) into the genealogy of the person requesting the arms.
I did some asking at the London College of Arms where my ancestor would have been granted his arms, and if you have some basic information plus an image of the arms a search would be about 125 US$ (subject to change, and possibly more if all you have is a name and place). That was the price for me, as a cousin gave me a photo of a drawing of our family coat of arms that was hanging in our ancestral home. And I had a little more info. It will be interesting to see who is the last person that was entitled to our coat of arms.(My grandfather always wrote his S's like that below, now I see why!)
Amor Patriae Omnia Vincit ~ Love of Country Conquers All.
Is there a coat of arms in your ancestry?