Q. Do coats of arms belong to surnames?
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. Coats of arms belong to individuals. For any person to have a right to a coat of arms they must either have had it granted to them or be descended in the legitimate male line from a person to whom arms were granted or confirmed in the past.
Q. What are the pantone numbers for the colours used in heraldry?
A. There are no fixed shades for heraldic colours. If the official description of a coat of arms gives its tinctures as Gules (red), Azure (blue) and Argent (white or silver) then, as long as the blue is not too light and the red not too orange, purple or pink, it is up to the artist to decide which particular shades they think are appropriate.
Q. What is a crest?
A. It is a popular misconception that the word ‘crest’ describes a whole coat of arms or any heraldic device. It does not.
A crest is a specific part of a full achievement of arms: the three-dimensional object placed on top of the helm. The “Meaning” of Coats of Arms Generally speaking it is almost always impossible to accurately decipher the meaning of the symbolism on any personal coat of arms. Many of the arms in use today, or on which today’s coats of arms are based, were granted hundreds of years ago and if there was ever a specific meaning to the symbols, then this is probably lost in history. Even in situations where there are records of the granting of arms, rarely, if ever, is the symbolic significance recorded. Complex rules apply to the physical and artistic form of new creations of arms, such as the Rule of tincture. A thorough understanding of these rules is a key to the art of heraldry. In Europe originally the rules and terminology were broadly similar from kingdom to kingdom, but several national styles had developed by the end of the Middle Ages. Most aspects, however, remain in common. Though heraldry is nearly 900 years old, it is still very much in use. Many cities and towns in Europe and around the world still make use of arms. Personal heraldry, both legally protected and lawfully assumed, has continued to be used around the world. Heraldic societies exist to promote education and understanding about the subject.
Rick Aindow became fascinated with the study of family history in 1998, when he began investigating his own family heritage. Discovering his descendants were amongst the legendary Vikings of old and that in 1800′s, his family were responsible for crewing the first lifeboat in Britain, spurred a passion for uncovering the past, and restoring to light the untold and forgotton stories of yesteryear.
Today, Rick enjoys working professionally as personal and family historian. Aside from helping others preserve their life stories, he also lectures at the University of the Third Age Campus and Moreton Bay Libraries.
He also holds active memberships with the
Society of Australian Genealogists and the
Redcliffe and District Family History Group.
Rick is a member of the Redcliffe and District Family History Group.
Rick is a member of the Society of Australian Genealogists.
You can study a beginners family history course, under Ricks tutelage, through the University of the Third Age , Redcliffe Campus.