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Do you have an interest in Heraldry? Has your surname got a Coat of Arms? What is the origin of your surname?

Website: http://www.heraldryvictoria.com
Members: 21
Latest Activity: Jun 13, 2010

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Comment by Armando Framarini on November 20, 2009 at 5:13am
It seems many expert forget or apply English standards of heraldry to all questions on heraldry. One always has to take into account the country and the families origin when answering the question "Does my surname have coat of arms?" Many Dutch and Belgian families not born of royalty ot nobilty had coat of arms called FAMILIEWAPENS that were handed down through generations. Familiewapens translate to "family arms". Anyone at anytime could create there own family arms without municipal or royal authority granting it, as long as there design did not infringe on the design of other arms.

It is still the case that you would have to complete your genealogy to prove connection to the arms. Some families have many different arms yu have to know your lineage if you are connected to an ancestor who bore those arms.

Many Dutch and Belgian were displaced to England during the 1500's due to Catholic/Protestant wars. British heralds recognized and recorded several of these arms. From there many traveled into the "New World" and continued there custom of heraldry with early Colonial families from different countries.

The interesting aspect is a man without arms could adopt his wife's arms, therefore many surnames could share the same coat of arms. Again you still have to do your genealogy to prove connection to the arms.
Comment by Marcus Strudwicke on July 18, 2009 at 12:02am
Hi,
I notice on the heraldryvictoria website a description of arms for the surname of Strudwick.(Black shield with a silver wivern).
As someone who has researched at great length the subject of strudwicke armorial bearings, I am interested in the source of the information provided. There have been a number of my ancestors who claimed arms, although the question of an actual grant is still to be determined. However none of the arms either claimed or described have any relationship to those attributed on 'heraldy websites', and I have never come across any reference to 'a black shield with a silver wivern' in any armorial or visitation. All the blazons claimed by 'Strudwick' are variations of 'per pale, a lion rampant' with the variation in the tints and furs of the 'per pale' component of the shield'.
Any light you can shine on the sources for the 'Strudwick' arms on the website would be most interesting.
Cheers
Comment by David B. Appleton on July 15, 2009 at 11:36am
Hi, Anita. As someone who has assumed a coat of arms (since the US does not have a regularly constituted heraldic authority which can grant or register arms to individuals or families), I think I understand about the usage of coats of arms, and I often have to try to explain to folks here that it isn't restricted to the "upper crust" of society. But to get to the point of my concern, it seems to me that there is a great difference between pointing someone to the earliest known coat of arms borne by someone with the same surname, as something of historical interest, and answering "yes" to the question "Has your surname got a Coat of Arms?" Far too many people who are interested in knowing if there has ever been a coat of arms associated with their surname, and being shown one, take it and use it as their own, when in the vast majority of instances there is no relation between the original bearer and them. The example use in my lectures on the topic is that just because they share a surname does not mean that late singer Tennessee Ernie Ford, former U.S. President Gerald Ford, and actor Harrison Ford are heirs to any portion of the fortune or auto empire of entepreneur Henry Ford. But it seems to me that asking the question "Has your surname a Coat of Arms?" with a "yes", without doing any of the genealogical research to determine that there is a relationship to the original bearer, leaves them with the impression, unintended or not, that they can use that coat of arms as if it belonged to them. After all, they share the surname.

For my own bona fides regarding heraldry, feel free to the listing of my presentations, articles, and books on my website at http://www.appletonstudios.com/speaker.htm or my blog, Heraldry: Musings on an esoteric topic at http://blog.appletonstudios.com
Comment by Anita Payne on July 15, 2009 at 7:21am
Hello David,
You are strictly correct.
There is a common usage of coats of arms, and possibly it reflects the changes in society. We no longer have upper and lower classes (particularly in Australia) and the respect for nobility and its trappings appears to have lessened.
People are often interested to know if there has ever been a coat of arms associated with their name, and would like to see it. As there is often more than one that bearers of that name devised for themselves, the earliest know coat of arms for the name is shown in our website, heraldryvictoria.com.
Personally we find all such historic items of great interest, particularly due to the history of surnames complementing genealogy.
My husband Ian has even addressed the Victorian History Teachers Association's Annual Conference by invitation on the topic of heraldry, including pointing out the correctness of your comments.
Thanks, Anita
Comment by David B. Appleton on July 14, 2009 at 8:39am
I find myself a little troubled by the question in the "Information" section of this page: "Has your surname got a Coat of Arms?" I give a presentation entitled "An Introduction to Heraldry for Genealogists" fairly regularly, and in the course of that presentation I address the concept of a coat of arms for a surname by noting that for the surname "Warren" Burke's "General Armory" lists over sixty _different_ coats of arms. Coats of arms descend through families; with a few exceptions (heraldry in Poland, for example) there really is no such thing as a "coat of arms for a surname".
 

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