Can you tell the heritage of someone by their coat of arms/family crest?

Can you tell the heritage of someone by their coat of arms/family crest? What else can you tell about the family? The only writing on it is the slogan which is in Latin "In Spe Spiro" (or something similar to's hard to read). The wreath on top of the helm and coronet (the knight's helmet thing) is red. In the top portion is a Red lion-looking thing on two hind legs wearing a crown.On either side of the lion-thing is a blue fleur-de-lis which leads me to believe it may be French. In the middle spanning from one side to the other is what looks like gold and blue plaid going diagonally. At the bottom is an anchor. On either side of the anchor is either a snake or something else thin and long. The supporters are plants which I'd heard is not very common.


The coat of arms I'm talking about has been in the family for generations. My great grandmother remembers it hanging in her grandparent's house.

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Edit: Get as much info from your great grandmother as possible regarding family history and what country her family came from. . You probably could write the College of Arms in England and ask them for the heradry authority of the country from which her ancestors came. You could send them as much family information as possible and give them the description of the coat of arms. Actually, the College of Arms might have information even if it isn't one issued by them. Also a library with a large genealogy department might have books. Most have Burke's Armoury. Good Luck!

    No. One thing, there is no such thing as a family crest. A crest is part of a coat of arms. Coats of arms do not belong to surnames, and actually, they don't belong to families. The only exception in Europe is France or Poland.

    Not everyone with the same surname are from the same national origin and even those who are, they are not all necessarily related. Most people in Europe did not have a surname until the last mellinnium. In Netherlands, for instance, it wasn't until the reign of Napoleon. In England most had one by the end of the 14th century. They were based on a)being the son of someone b)their occupation c)where they lived d)some characteristic about them. When they got through it wasn't impossible for legitimate sons of the same man to have different surnames and still they could have each shared their surname with others not in their family. Some say we are all related if we go back far enough. However, the root person of your surname might not be the same root person of someone else with your surname.

    Coats of arms were and are granted to an individual man in most countries. Only the direct legitimate descendants are entitled to them. Only the oldest son inherits his father's. However, all sons will be entitled to one but with some differences.

    There might have been more than one man with the same surname, not all necessarily related, that were each granted their own coat of arms, all different. No one peddler that sells them on the internet, at shopping malls, in airports, in magazines etc will have all of them. They don't need to in order to sell to people. The only time they will have more than one is if more than one person with the same surname from different national origins were granted one. Then they will have one of each and there might have been more.

    Now, it is quite possible for a person to have more than one in their family tree. That doesn't mean they are entitled to any one of them. It just means that after doing reseach and finding ancestors that were granted one and if they have a book printed or even published on their family history, it is quite legitimate for them to put pictures of their ancestors' coats of arms in their book. However, it would not be legitimate for them to put in their book ones that were granted to persons with their ancestors' surnames.

    If a person is an American and they have any English lines that goes back to early colonial days in the American South, they have a good chance of finding several in their family tree. Some in the South have the one their ancestor brought over from England 300-400 years ago and they aren't those little walnut plaques with their surname over or under and a family history next to it. As a rule, they don't display them. Afterall they aren't any good for buying groceries or GASOLINE.

    Also, I understand that some Americans who have attained wealth have sent their family tree to the College of Arms and have had one granted to them for a price. I understand they are not hereditary nor are the ones that are granted to men who are knighted.

    BTW, I just got gasoline for 2.43.9 at Walmart yesterday. I always buy myself a gift card so I can get a 3 cent per gallon discount. Of course, I would never have believed the day would come when I would be happy for 2.44 gasoline. I live in Beaumont, Texas

  • 4 years ago

    so a techniques Sarah W has given you the only superb answer. i might only upload which you do not say what your final call is. in the adventure that your surname is Irish you're entitled to apply the prolonged relatives palms. Irish prolonged relatives palms are frequently very corresponding to the palms of the clanchief or chief of the call who has some own ameliorations on the elementary prolonged relatives coat of palms. it is because of the fact the status council of Irish chiefs respects the classic Irish brehon regulation interior the concern of coats of palms; that which belongs to the supervisor belongs to the prolonged relatives. interior the present this only applies to the coat of palms, so no castles for you! additionally for some reason human beings right here insist on making use of the be conscious crest whilst they propose coat of palms. The crest is the better component to a coat of palms. sidestep web pages like abode of names. they are basically undesirable.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    If the young Earl is writing you notes on stationary with his dad's coat of arms engraved at the top, the family is rich. Ask him about it.

    If you see this coat of arms in a lineup at your local pub in Beloit, Wisconsin, called "Ye Olde English Chug-a-Lug", and your boyfriend told you it is his, the family has at least one scoundrel.

    If it is in a book of genealogy, read the book.

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