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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Heraldry and why genealogists twitch

There are already blog posts like the ones here and here out there this morning on the WDYTYA episode from last night that touched on heraldry and coats of arms.  So, why not add one more eh?

I will be the first to admit to you that I am a bit of a heraldry geek.  Love the stuff, have dozens of books concerning it, and in another hobby of mine I take it very seriously.  Now I also realize that not everyone in the general US population actually cares about it.  If they did all those family crest manufacturers would be out of business. 

One thing, that I hope many of you realize, is that just because someone in your family (or a surname you descend from) has a coat of arms associated with it does not mean that it is yours.  Cause unless you specifically inherited it, it’s not.  Really.  It belongs to that person and that person’s heirs, which you may not be.

Now, most of these posts, and the show last night, featured the College of Arms.  They are the body that registers arms in England.  I would like to point out to you that over the centuries many different countries had similar governing bodies and that they didn’t necessarily follow the same rules.  Keep your eyes open when you are researching and make sure to locate the rules for bearing arms for your ancestor’s time frame and place.

I really, really wished that the show would have touched on that.  They didn't and it was a great teaching opportunity missed in my opinion.  Last night’s show (which I thoroughly enjoyed BTW) made me realize that I never finished my heraldry series that I started over a year ago.  Well, I may just need to pick that back up huh?

If you want to see my previous posts on heraldry click the “heraldry” tag or the individual posts below.

Obviously I need to finish with the parts and then move onto more complicated posts about inheritance and display.  Yep, adding one more thing to that to do list!  

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