British and American Coats of Arms

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Here you’ll find crests, coats of arms, mottoes, and lineages referencing approximately 137,000 individuals. These books collected here ranges from illustrated compilations of coats of arms to definitions of terms used in heraldic research.

Before incorporating a coat of arms into your family history, it is important to note that sharing a surname does not necessarily mean that you share the right to a coat of arms. There is, for example, no such thing as a coat of arms for all people whose surname is Spencer. A coat of arms can only be granted to an individual and, as such, arms are associated with specific lineages rather than surnames. Similarly, many families with different names may share the same coat of arms. To claim a coat of arms as part of your family history, you must trace your lineage to the individual to whom the coat of arms was granted.

In order to discover whether an inherited right to arms exists, it is necessary to trace your male-line ancestry back as far as possible and then examine the official records of the heraldic authority concerned. For England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, the heraldic authority is the College of Arms and for Scotland the heraldic authority is the Lyon Office.

Books Include:

  • American Amoury and Blue Book, 1907 edition.
  • Amorial Addenda to the 1907 edition.
  • American Amoury and Blue Book, 1903 edition.
  • American Amoury and Blue Book, 1911-1923 edition.
  • Crozier’s General Armory.
  • Bolton’s American Armory.
  • Virginia Heraldica.
  • An Ordinary of Scottish Arms.
  • Fairbairn’s Book of Crests.
  • Great Britain & Ireland Crests, Vol. I, Part I.
  • Great Britain & Ireland Crests, Vol. I, Part II.
  • The General Armory