The coat-of-arms displayed on this website is not the official arms of the Elam family. The fact is, there is no such thing. I have displayed it only as an item of pictorial interest. To quote from Norma Neill's book The Elam family: Quaker Merchants of England and America, "It is illustrated in Burke's Armory, but many people do not understand that a coat-of-arms is 'granted to applicant and his heirs, male.' Misuse arises from the erroneous belief, says Terrick V.H. Fitzhugh, in his 'Directory of Genealogy,' 'that all people of the same surname must be related and ancestry must be traced to an ancestor who used the arms.'" According to Burke's the above arms were granted to an Elam who lived in Kent in the 1400s. There is also a Dr. John Elam of Chesterfield who was granted a coat-of-arms.
As per the College of Arms website, coats of arms have been and are still granted by Letters Patent from the senior heralds, the Kings of Arms. A right to arms can only be established by the registration in the official records of the College of Arms of a pedigree showing direct male line descent from an ancestor already appearing therein as entitled to arms, or by making application through the College of Arms for a grant of arms. Grants are made to corporations as well as to individuals.
There seems to be further confusion regarding a reference to "Robert Elam's mark" on some spoons listed in the will of Martin Elam. While some people believe this to refer to a coat-of-arms belonging to Robert Elam, this is not the case. This simply refers to the kind of mark or, in modern terms, a "logo" that would have been used in lieu of a signature. According to Norma Neill, "These were not the simple 'x' one finds used in the Parish Registers, where the parishioner could not write, but elaborate personal signs that people adopted, often with their initials incorporated and which they used continuously throughout their lives."
I hope this clears up any lingering confusion as to which of the several Elam coat-of-arms are to be found lurking about the internet. As there is no official American register of arms you can custom design one for yourself and use it anytime you feel the urge. Numerous programs are available and can be found be found by Googling "heraldry software." If you have children, you may find this to be a very enjoyable family activity. Have fun!