What’s the difference between a family crest and a coat of arms?

The coat of arms generally refers to the, cape, shield, crest and helmet, while the family crest technically only refers to the small image that lies on the helm (top of the helmet). The family crest is a component of a coat of arms, which can be used as a simplified symbol when the full coat of arms is too detailed.

How does a family get a crest?

Crests were passed down by men to their firstborn male offspring, similar to how a man named William Jones might name his son William Jones Jr. In a tradition known as cadency, the father’s other sons embellished on this crest to create a semi-original one to represent their own families [source: Powell].

What does it mean if your family has a crest?

They were commonly used throughout the 11–17th centuries, and they can still be meaningful reminders for families past, present, and future. The symbolism in the design of a family crest or coat of arms can tell you about your ancestors’ achievements and status in society—a real testament to a family’s legacy.

Does each family have a coat of arms?

A. No. There is no such thing as a ‘coat of arms for a surname’. Many people of the same surname will often be entitled to completely different coats of arms, and many of that surname will be entitled to no coat of arms.

What kind of families have a coat of arms?

Coats of arms are granted to individuals, not families or surnames. A form of property, coats of arms may rightfully be used only by the uninterrupted male-line descendants of the person to whom the coat of arms was originally granted.

Can anyone make a family crest?

There is always an option to create a crest for yourself or your family from scratch. It may not be “official,” but it can be fun to customize a coat of arms that is specific to you, your interests, hobbies, family history, philosophy, or religion, to name a few examples.

How do you know if you have a family crest?

How to Find Your Family Crest

  1. Determine What You Already Know. You’ll need to decide on a branch of your family you want to research and trace that family name back as far as you can. …
  2. Look for Heraldry Symbols. …
  3. Verify the Information You Find. …
  4. Understand the Symbolism. …
  5. Get a Useable Family Crest for Genealogy.

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