What Are Family Crests And Coat Of Arms?

Chances are, if you come from a long line of established individuals, your family will undoubtedly have a coat of arms or a crest. Though there are romanticized ideas about inheriting a crest or a coat of arms, the reality is that very few are handed down through the generations as they're tied to particular surnames. However, you can find a coat of arms on the Internet that can be tweaked and designed in order to fit in with your family. You can incorporate certain elements that bear importance to your family history for authenticity.

Even though the terms 'coat of arms' and 'crests' are used interchangeably, they don't represent the same concepts. Crests are small symbols that were originally worn on top of helmets or crowns dating back to the days of heraldry in the 16th century. To be perfectly clear, crests, shields, supporters, and mottos were all segments that made up the family coat of arms. Coat of arms, on the other hand, they represented a much larger concept that isn't as easy to sum up.

A family's coat of arms often consisted of colors, symbols, and insignia that told the past of the family as it was handed down through the generations. The location, life, and achievements of a certain family were all summed up in the traditional coat of arms and passed down from father to son. All coat of arms also bore a motto that would specifically relate to the person wearing the armor in the family. The motto of a family would have been located above the crest or beneath the compartment depending on your origins.

Finding Your Family's Origins

In order to understand more about your family's coat of arms that bears your crest, it's important to know a bit more about the origins of your family. Many people are wondering about their ancestors as not only is it a fascinating bit of history, but it gives you a timeline of your family's accomplishments. Ancestry.com is a great place to join if you would like to meet others that are within your extended family and genealogy is something that truly interests you.

As was mentioned, most families were never prominent enough to be handed down a coat of arms, but that doesn't mean you can't create one now for your surname. However, it's important to stay true to your roots, so doing extensive research first is recommended.