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About Coat Of Arms

First again I will note that arms are not associated with surnames, but with individuals and, in some countries, with families. None of the arms listed on this site are known to be associated with any direct ancestor.

Since most of our ancestors are English, the following is used to describe English Arms:

A full English coat of arms (an "achievement") consists of:

- a shield (with arms painted on it, obviously);
- above the shield, a helm or helmet;
- hanging from the helm, the mantling, which represents a piece of cloth used for protection from the sun. The mantling is frequently arranged in decorative swirls around the shield, suggesting a tattered cloth hacked about in fighting;
- a torse, or wreath, being twists of cloth wound around the helmet; - the crest, sitting on the torse.

There may also be, if the bearer is entitled to them:

- a supporter on each side of the shield (in some cases there may be only one supporter);
- a compartment for the supporters to stand on;
- one or more collars of orders of knighthood surrounding the shield, or symbols of office (eg batons) behind it.

Not all the elements have to be present; the essential part is the shield. There may also be other bits and pieces, such as mottos, badges or war cries.

Parts of a Coat of Arms

The colors and charges are a part of the blazon.Shield shapes vary according to the geographical origin as well as the time period.
The crest is whatever appears above the helm. (Note that there is not always a crest for every coat of arms.)
This is said to represent the clothe that hung from the wreath and protected the back of the head and neck, even though it may often be depicted more like the leaves of a plant.
The helmet varies with the bearer's rank or the century.
The wreath usually consists of the primary color and metal.

The Colors of Heraldry

Justice, Sovereignty, Regal

Victorious , Patient in Battle

Warrior , Martyr , Military Strength

Worthwhile Ambition

Blue (azure)
Strength , Loyalty

Constancy , Grief

Hope , Loyalty in Love