Heraldry and Genealogy

Anyone making a study of heraldry usually becomes interested in Genealogy or seeking legal claim to a particular Coat of Arms. No families, not even the royal houses, can make sound claim to the right to bear arms unless a proven connection is established through attested Genealogical records. In general the armorial bearings that we provide are those as having been at some point in history associated with the family or persons bearing your surname. Accordingly, there is no reason why you should not display these armorials as decorative reproductions with pride, derived from the association with your name.

At times, the discovery of a Family Crest in say, a relative's attic may provide clues that would not necessarily avail themselves in traditional genealogical research. One should never shun the influence and interrelationship between heraldry and genealogy. In Heraldry and Genealogy by L.G. Pine states:

"At the onset there is a curious fact in the relationship between the two subjects. While students of Heraldry do take to Genealogy and acquire a considerable knowledge of it, those who begin as genealogists seldom is ever take any interest in Heraldry. This is most unfortunate because the two subjects are necessarily related" [1]

Today, there is a rapidly growing interest in Genealogy in North America and most people wishing to trace their ancestral descent do so for the enrichment of future generations. Tracing ancestry on this continent is largely a matter of first obtaining as much information as possible from older members of the family. It is helpful to turn out the family papers, particularly the family Bible. From here, local registries are invaluable for finding documents of Births, marriages and Deaths in the areas where your ancestors first resided in North America. Further, consult Church records, inscriptions in cemeteries and references in wills. The census returns, compiled every ten years, should be studied through public Archives located in large centers.

The modern inquirer wishing to pursue his Genealogy beyond this point should then establish his ancestor's country of origin and the date of his arrival in North America. Genealogical institutes or registries of the countries in question should be approached.

The searcher must bear in mind the chaotic history of these countries, however it need not be assumed that all documents of the medieval past in Europe are defective, lost or destroyed. Genealogy being a very personal and specialized field, and as we do not specialize in tracing family descent, we therefore, suggest interested parties should explore the many genealogy sites on the Internet.

References

  1. ^ Pine L.G, Heraldry and Genealogy, London: Teach Yourself Books (1957) pp 143 ISBN 0 340 05614 2
  2. ^ Swyrich, Archive materials
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