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Q: Family Crest ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Family Crest
Category: Family and Home > Families
Asked by: wmalone-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 31 Jul 2003 22:11 PDT
Expires: 30 Aug 2003 22:11 PDT
Question ID: 237651
Just what is a family crest?  I was able to find my mothers family
crest here  and here:   But I can not find my fathers.

But just what is a family crest?
Subject: Re: Family Crest
Answered By: chellphill-ga on 31 Jul 2003 23:44 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Greetings wmalone-ga,

The family crest in which appears on the sites that you listed, is a
"Coat of Arms" which is sold by
Where they state: "The O'Connor coat of arms came into existence
centuries ago. The process of creating coats of arms (also often
called family crests) began in the eight and ninth centuries. The new
art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual
family members to have their very own coat of arms. "

In reading some of the information I have listed below, you will see
that what allfamilycrests has to say about crests and arms seems quite
a contradictory according to the more "well respected" Heraldry
 Pimbley's Dictionary of Heraldry
"Crest - Originally the crest was the ornament of the helmet, or
headpiece, and also afforded protection against a blow. In the early
rolls it was scarcely noticed, but in later armorial grants it came
into general use. Crests, like arms, were sometimes allusive. Thus,
Grey of Wilton used a gray, or badger, and Lord Wells a bucket and
chain. In the early days of the crest it was confined to persons of
rank, but in later times it has been included in every grant of arms"
in feudal livery, an ornament of the headpiece that afforded
protection against a blow. The term is incorrectly used to mean family
coat of arms. Crests were widely used in the 13th cent. by feudal
chiefs, as they had been by ancient Greek warriors and the Roman
Introduction to Heraldry
Heraldry, coats of arms and family crests
Article:  Excuse Me, But There's No Such Thing As A Family Crest
Quote from Article: "well respected genealogist and author, James C.

"...there is no such thing as a "family coat-of-arms" or a "family
crest"; even in the event that one can trace his or her lineage to a
family that was granted such an honor. To use arms one must officially
apply for its use only after the correct "differencing" has taken
place. There may be an exception when it can be proved that the
applicant is a direct male descendant of the original armiger. The
mere coincidence of one's surname being the same as a person who was
granted arms is no indication of family relationship, nor does it
indicate any right to arms. In the United States it is no crime to
display arms and related insignia if one wishes. However, it should be
understood that such a display is purely decorative." From the book
The Library of Congress: A Guide to Historical & Genealogical
Resources, Chapter 8."

More on arms:
Diagram:Heraldry & the Parts of a Coat of Arms
" *** Your last name has nothing to do with the matter. ***
Arms are not associated with surnames, but with individuals and, in
some countries, with families. The important thing is who your
ancestors are,not what surname you happen to bear.  The fact that your
name happens to be "Smith", for example, gives you no claim whatsoever
on any of the thousands of arms borne throughout history by various
people named "Smith.""

"If you are descended from someone who was granted arms by some
heraldic authority then you may have some claim to those arms within
the jurisdiction of that authority. The chances are very good that you
do not have any claim on any actual arms. Most people in the world do

"Unfortunately, there are lots of unscrupulous businessmen worldwide
who are happy to promulgate false information about the subject of
armory.  They will happily take your money to tell you "Your Family
Arms", which they supply simply by finding an armigerous family that
happens to share your surname. "
Article: "Does the advertisement offer a coat of arms for your last
name? Coats of arms were first granted to individuals--not to
surnames. Then, as now, the right to use these arms was inherited from
one's father."
Genealogy, Myths, Hoaxes and Scams

If you have any questions about the information in which I have
provided, do feel free to request a clarification of my answer.
Please be sure to allow me enough time to respond to your
clarification request before rating the answer.

Thanks so much, and best of luck to you on your search for your family

Search Terms Used:
"family crest" definition
family crests coat of arms
genealogy scams
wmalone-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $5.00
That was excellent chellphill.  I now understand.

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