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.
Parts of a Coat of Arms
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.
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
Strength , Loyalty
Constancy , Grief
Hope , Loyalty in Love