Why did families have crests?
Coats of arms can help you learn a lot about your ancestry. They were intended to recognize achievements and family heritage, so the design can provide insight into your family’s legacy. They’re also passed down through generations and carry the history of the family with them.
When were family crests first used?
This system was developed in northern Europe in the mid-12th century for the purpose of identification and was very widely adopted by kings, princes, knights and other major power holders throughout western Europe.
Does every family name have a family crest?
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’s the difference between a family crest and a coat of arms?
Although some people refer to a “family crest” and a “coat of arms” interchangeably, there is a difference. A crest is an element or part of a coat of arms, but not the entire arms. On a coat of arms, the crest is found above the shield, usually on top of a helmet.
What goes on a family crest?
A family coat of arms has several basic components. These individual parts include the shield, the mantling and the helm and wreath. Some, but not all, also include a crest. Colors, animals or other artwork and mottoes are all additional choices to make.
What is the symbolic meaning of the helmet on a family crest?
Helmet. The helmet supports the crest. Positioning of the helmet represents rank: For example, a helmet facing forward with the visor opened means a knight, while a helmet facing side-ways with the visor closed is for a gentleman.
What is the oldest coat of arms?
The oldest known image is the seal of Żegota, the Kraków voivode. Historically, this coat of arms was used by 639 Polish noble families.
Why is it called a coat of arms?
What is a coat of arms? A coat of arms is the name for the colourful decoration that knights had on their shields and as part of their outfits. They date all the way back to the 1100s, when they were worn over armour during battles and tournaments. They were used so that knights could tell each other apart.
Why is the coat of arms important?
A national coat of arms is a symbol which denotes an independent state in the form of a heraldic achievement. … An important use for national coats of arms is as the main symbol on the covers of passports, the document used internationally to prove the citizenship of a person.