So you're arrived here hoping to find the route to discovering your very own family coat of arms right? Well, if you think your clan has its own unique crest out there somewhere, then you might want to continue reading this. If you think you've already found what you were looking for, then you should definitely keep on reading here. Let us now look more closely at the facts and myths behind this business.
For me, it all began with hope and excitement! I can remember thinking when I initially started to search for my English family coat of arms hoping it would be a pretty quick and painless procedure. However, the more I got into it, the more confusing the whole saga became. If you do your research online, then you'll come across these outfits offering to find yours for a fee! Beware! It's just a wild goose chase! A scam! These online services are nothing short of a con and may even give you misinformation on last name meanings (surnames). Let's explain this in more detail. It'll save you both time & money.
Images Below: Some Very Beautiful Coat of Arms Heraldic Designs
I'm Confused! What do these Family Crest Symbols all mean?
Just like many other people out there, I too believed that every family in the United Kingdom had their own unique family crest, or family crest symbols. All I wanted was our English family crest taking pride of place in the home, linking our clan and last name meanings to a historic past. Unfortunately to find family crest symbols or a full regal coat of arms cannot be done and will not materialise when attempting to find family tree details. Here's my story…
Since I started thinking about getting proud possession of our English family crest, I couldn't stop visualizing the day it came to be. I heard chanting in my dream; ' find family crest, find family crest', and I just knew it was to be my mission in life to seek out and unearth our lost crest and coat of arms from wherever it was stored. Sadly, my deep dreams turned into day dreams! The nearer I thought I was getting the further away I seemed to be from ever seeing unique family crest symbols belonging to our family and our family alone.
There's another misconception about what exactly the family crest and coat of arms are. What they are not is one of the same. Someone searching tirelessly for say their English family crest are in actual fact looking for a specific part of the coat of arms. So before you rush out with what you think are your family crest symbols and make them into family crest tattoos somewhere on your person, you really should keep reading this piece.
Here's some useful information for anyone who's hoping to find family crest symbols. The crest itself is not the coat of arms. It is merely a portion of the coat of arms that is displayed to summarise the achievements of an individual. It is possible that you will not find family crest art on a coat of arms if that individual has no achievements to add. In fact, this is not a family crest or a family coat of arms at all, it is something which belongs to an individual as you may have gathered from the above.
So what do we mean by 'individual' exactly? Well, both the Scottish and English family crest are in fact issued to a single person (see above), and just because everyone born into this world is part of a wider family, this does not make a crest a family crest no more than an educational degree belongs to anyone other than the person who achieved it. To read up on family crest information that states otherwise is just part of a moneymaking swindle.
We've said it before on this site and we'll say it again; the internet is full of great and useful information, but it's also notorious for being endemic with misinformation too, and there are certain types out there that just love to prey on the vulnerabilities of ignorant web surfers. You will family crest symbols and you will find places to get your family crest tattoos, but if you're hoping to find an Scottish or English family crest online which is unique to your family, then keep reading.
Let us just reiterate the above agin so that everyone wanting to find family crest services online are aware of the facts. Those family crest symbols you see, and decorative coats of arms do not actually belong to a family at all, but are presented to an individual. So before you rush in and spend money on finding that English family crest, or worse still, gets some kind of permanent family crest tattoos on your visible skin, you have to know that it ain't yours to claim! Think about it for a minute. An individual gets awarded an OBE by her majesty the Queen of England for their contribution to society, but when they die, the title doesn't get passed down to the offspring. Sure, they'll get to keep the physical medal, but they've only inherited the decoration, not the status.
One award issued by the British is called the OBE which many say should stand for ' Other Bugger's Efforts', but even so, it, like all awards, belongs to the receiver and no one can lay claim to it after the person is deceased. The same applies to any English family crest and any family crest symbols that folks think they may have found and hope to claim on behalf of their family name.
If you sit back and think about it seriously, why do you think there are so many websites all offering to do a family crest search no matter who you are and at zero cost? Can't help but smell a rat right! The web is full of headlines like 'We Find Family Shields for Free!', or, ' 1000's of FREE Irish crest and coats of arms'. Find English Crests at no cost!' Scottish Crest searched for without charge from the archives of Scotland, ad infinitum. If something sounds is too good to be true folks, then it usually is!
Actually, I should have begun there in the first place. The individuals who came before me are far more important than a coat of arms, and you might be surprised what you manage to dig up from the archives of the family ancestry. If nothing else, it will certainly take you on an interesting journey.
Create and Preserve your Family Tree for Posterity
Just because each family doesn't have a unique family crest, or coat of arms belonging to them specifically, that doesn't mean there isn't a rich and interesting history attached to the family. Your surname would have come from somewhere, as would have you, your parents, your grandparents and theirs too, ad infinitum. There a lot more to learn about a family than most people realise.
What's in a Surname? Parents to be often ponder over names for the new baby and take some interest in their meaning, yet very few people take the time out to research where their surnames come from or how many people share the same name. This can be prove to be very interesting and unlike the hunt for a bogus family crest, it will reveal so actual, factual, information about your family name and its origins.
Here at Situation Home, we've come across a great site called The Surname Database. All you have to do is pop your family name into the space provided and you'll get all kinds of great data back on that surname of yours. Here's a link to the site, have fun.
Don't forget folks, Heed the Warning!
After reading this, you will be a little more switched onto the truth behind the family crest arms. This family crest coat of arms, is a nice idea in theory, and I'm sure every family would love to display their unique family crest and coat of arms proudly around the home, but the reality is that there is no such thing as the Family Coat of Arms, as arms are actually granted only to individuals by right of patent. However, this doesn't stop the search and despite all the writings about this, many folks continue to dispute and purse their own family coat of arms regardless.
If you have any doubts about this and are really interested in family history genealogy and all that jazz, then why not join a community where this is discussed freely with others that are pursing family tee issues. It's not difficult to find a genealogy forum, and you will learn a lot more in a place like this than independently hopping from one website to the next in a clumsy search for all things historic.
A Real Coat of Arms from 1596
Did you know that William Shakespeare's put in a request for the legal right and privilege to bear a coat of arms? This was way back in the year 1596 and was granted accordingly. The College of Arms records have given its full description in word form only. If you're interested in seeing or reading about what an actual coat of arms looks like, then there are plenty of pages on the internet dedicated to the subject.
A Much Better Idea than a Family Coat of Arms
If after reading this you have become disappointed and a little disgruntled, don't be! If you really want something to tie the generations together and represent your clan, then why not start to collect old photos, write down stories and present a real work of art on who you are and where you came from. This is not only fun, but you'll undoubtedly find things out about your ancestors and even any living grandparents that will definitely unite your family and preserve its name for posterity.
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Some Interesting Points about the Family Crest
The heraldic crest is the part on a coat of arms that sits on top of a helmet. In other words it is a component of the coat of arms and not just another name for the coat of arms as is often confused. The word crest means 'top' as in the crest of a mountain, or the crest of a bird. Its purpose as a component of the coat of arms has little overall significance other than to decorate the helmet on which it sits.