Heraldry Message Board


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Heraldry Message Board

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1Neitz Erste Nachricht
Jul. 26, 2006, 3:29pm

I collect heraldry books and have a ridiculous number of them. It is probably the one subject for which I have more books than any other LibraryThinger so far. So I thought it appropriate that I be the one to set up a Heraldry group at LT.

Jul. 27, 2006, 7:03pm

I collect Heraldry books as well, however I think a chunk of them are as yet uncatalogued, when I find them they're going to have to be added.

Jul. 27, 2006, 11:45pm

Ditto, but I'll get on it right away!


Aug. 4, 2006, 12:21pm

I am still new in the Heraldry field, with only two books on the subject right now. I'm looking for good suggestions on books and authors who are well versed in the Heraldric tradition.

Aug. 5, 2006, 11:51pm

My favorite introduction to the subject is Simple Heraldry, Cheerfully Illustrated, if you can locate a copy - it's long out of print. Beyond that, my favorite general text on the subject is Shield and Crest, though there are many others out there that I am sure are just as good.


Aug. 6, 2006, 6:47pm

I'm eagerly awaiting the arrival of my copy of The Art of Heraldry by Arthur Charles Fox-Davies; it has many gorgeous illustrations, is quite in-depth but still accessible, and is delightfully snarky. It's also out of print, but Alibris.com has quite a few copies (including a first edition, for which I long).

I don't claim any particular expertise in heraldry, so I don't know if it's an ideal introduction, but I love it.

Aug. 6, 2006, 6:54pm

Hm, my touchstones don't seem to have worked. Let's try that again: The Art of Heraldry by Arthur Charles Fox-Davies.

Aug. 8, 2006, 5:19pm

A second for Simple Heraldry. I see it in used book stores quite often, and amazon.com has many copies listed starting at five bucks.

Another one that I think is a good introduction is Basic Heraldry, by Stephen Friar.

Aug. 8, 2006, 6:51pm

Does anyone own Rietstap's _Armorial_General_? I was sorely tempted to "forget" it when I was at Berkeley - I was the first person to have checked it out in about 20 years.

Aug. 9, 2006, 9:39am

There is a LibraryThinger who owns an edition of Rietstrap. Armorial General 2 Textual Volumes by J-.B. Rietstap

bellrock is the username: http://www.librarything.com/profile/bellrock
bellrock appears to have joined very recently (July 26, 2006) and with 927 books catalogued has already kicked me off the top of the LT heraldry heap. bellrock has a fearsome 207 books tagged heraldry, including many in languages other than english.

A digression: I have a few heraldry books in french, and I find that my comprehension tends to be much higher than with other french materials. I think that it's because many of the terms in armory come from french.

I have invited bellrock to join the heraldry group. I would be interested to learn more about someone who is more obsessive than me about the subject (going by proportion of total catalog with the tag).

11iannmag Erste Nachricht
Nov. 4, 2006, 10:28am

Hi there! Just joined and put a lot my heraldry and flag stuff on LT, so I thought I'd say hello

Dez. 29, 2006, 2:07pm

Here's a curious question:

When researching one's last name to find their family crest, is it a good sign or a bad sign to find two different crests?

Found two crests, one listed as Irish, one listed as English.
History seems to read the same for both, placing the name squarely in Yorkshire, but that is where they drift apart.

Any tips?

Dez. 29, 2006, 2:36pm

There is no such thing as a "family crest" for a surname. "Bucket shops" which sell surname crests to anyone with the name are a racket.

Arms are granted to individuals, and may be passed down to their direct male descendants. In some countries, the use and display of arms is strictly regulated.

To find out if someone in your family had a coat of arms (including a crest), you need to research your own family tree.

Dez. 30, 2006, 10:48pm

One should also remember that there are often more than one family that share a surname, but are otherwise unrelated. If both or all those families are armigerous, they will usually have quite different devices, on purpose to show that they are not related.

Another scenario might be that two branches of a family diverged so long ago that the process of "differencing" (making sure that each man's arms are unique) has caused the arms to bear little resemblance to each other.

15Roife Erste Nachricht
Nov. 2, 2007, 8:03am

Myshelves is quite correct about the Arms being granted to individuals.

Be aware that a family 'Crest' and family 'Arms' are two different things. A family could be awarded an 'Achievement' wich would incompass a 'Coat-of-Arms' (Shield), a 'Crest' (the design on a helmet), A 'Motto' (more often than not in Latin) and for some families 'Supporters' (figures that hold the shield).

The 'Bucket shops' can take the time to confirm your name, but it is always well to do a little digging yourself before hanging such a Shield on your wall, but in any case be aware it will only be a Shield of the most popular family of that name!

Feb. 25, 2009, 4:40pm

THANK YOU for pointing that out. It is a common question in genealogy circles as well. I would point out that arms can be passed through a daughter as well as a son.

In British heraldry the closest thing to a family crest is the Scottish clan badge, worn by members of a clan to demonstrate allegiance to the Clan Chieftain. It is normally the crest of the Chief surrounded by a ribbon with a motto on it. But, it belongs to the Chieftain, not the clan member who wears it.

Feb. 26, 2009, 4:51pm


You're welcome. (smile)

Genealogy is my primary interest, with heraldry as a connecting interest.

As I understand it, arms can pass through a daughter only if the man she marries is armigerous. Correct?

Sept. 18, 2009, 11:34am

I have a copy. i obtained it from Heraldry Today in the late '70s.

Sept. 18, 2009, 11:37am

I hit "send" before I was done. I have a copy of Seibermachers. I obtained it from Heraldry Today in the late '70s. Great Book.

Sept. 18, 2009, 12:04pm

>17 myshelves: Correct. The other condition about whether arms can pass through a daughter is whether she is an heraldic heiress - that is to say there are no male heirs to the arms. If she has no brothers or paternal uncles, or they have died without issue, her arms can be combined (quartered) with her husband's arms and inherited by their children. If there are male heirs, her arms are not inherited.

Sept. 19, 2013, 2:09am

Hi, All

Just bought 15 books on Heraldry at Wonder book and video in Frederick, MD. Among them was Simply Heraldry, Cheerfully Illustrated. It is a charming little book. While it is simplistic I find it very informative. Somehow I ordered two of them. So if anybody needs it and has something I don't have and you would like to trade I am all ears.

Sept. 19, 2013, 2:52am

Hi, While I agree that one needs to do you own research it not true that all arms are for individuals.

Irish arms were clan arms. If you look around for my COA you will find a few for Gallaher/Gallagher and except for very minor differences they are the same.

It is also true that anyone anywhere can adopt arms.

In fact the adoption of arms predates official grants by any central authority. If you do create you own arms you can't just copy someone else's.

Another point people seem to miss is that the College of Arms in England only covers England and Wales.

Since 1776 it has had no authority in the USA and may not have had much authority before that.

There are separate ones for Scotland and Northern Ireland not to mention Ireland and the countries of continental Europe, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia.


Sept. 22, 2013, 6:05pm

> 21
Wow, I am in Wonder Books often, and hadn't noticed they had some heraldry stock. Is there anything left?

Sept. 23, 2013, 12:33am

Simple Heraldry, Cheerfully Illustrated is one of my favorite heraldry books! It was the first one I had, and I still have that copy - a present from my dad.

Bearbeitet: Okt. 25, 2013, 1:20am

Hi rttto1,

I was looking at wonder book and video website and that is where I found the 15 books that I bought. The were way cheaper ( which is unusual for Wonder) than on Amazon or other place I have looked. Take a look at the website.

Newest book is The Irish Book of Arms Michael C. O'Laughlin Some nice color plates of arms. Lots of arms in black and white. Not much depth in the text.

Okt. 29, 2013, 2:44pm

TimGallagher, many thanks, I will check that out. I've been in the WB mail-order warehouse, and it's enormous. I would be surprised if they _didn`t_ have a selection of heraldry in there.