Mon, 11 Dec 2023

"The Historic Meaning of Family Crest"

15 Feb 2023, 19:05 GMT+10

Have you ever seen a family crest or coat of arms? Oldschool symbols have a rich history and carry a great deal of significance. In essence, they represent a family's identity, heritage, and values.

In this article, we'll explore the history of family crests and coats of arms, what they stand for, who used them, what they say about your family, and how to find them. Whether you're interested in learning more about your family's history or simply curious about these fascinating symbols - this article is for you.

The History of Family Crests and Coats of Arms

Family crests and coats of arms have been around for several centuries, but they originated in medieval times when knights and warriors used them as a means of identification.

Over time, family crests and coats of arms became a symbol of a family's heritage and identity. They were often used to distinguish one family from another, and to display a family's status or rank in a societal structure.

Today, family crests and coats of arms can be found all around the world, representing a family's unique history and legacy, but they are not really used by soldiers in battle.

What do they stand for?

A family crest or coat of arms consists of various elements that have different meanings.

  • Shield: The shield is the central element of the crest and typically represents the family's defensive capabilities.
  • Helmet: The helmet sits on top of the shield and represents the family's readiness for battle.
  • Crest: The crest is the decorative element that sits on top of the helmet and represents the family's rank or status.
  • Slogan: The slogan is a brief phrase or sentence that reflects the family's values or beliefs.
  • Colors: The colors used in the family crest often have specific meanings and associations. For example, red may represent courage or strength, while blue may represent loyalty or truth.
  • Animals: Many family crests feature animals or other creatures, which may represent specific characteristics or traits. For example, a lion may represent bravery or nobility, while a serpent may represent wisdom or cunning.
  • Symbols: Family crests may also feature various symbols, such as a tree, a sword, or a shield, which can have specific meanings and associations. These symbols may be related to the family's history, profession, or geographic location.

Who Used Family Crests

In the past, family crests and coats of arms were primarily used by members of royal families. However, as the use spread and they became more common among the middle class and even lower class as time went by.

What they say about your family

A family crest or coat of arms can reveal a great deal about a family's history and what they stood for. For example, certain colors and symbols may be associated with a family's profession or geographic location. A family's slogan may reflect their values or even their religious beliefs. The use of certain animals or other symbols can represent a family's personality or morals.

By understanding the various elements of a family crest or coat of arms, you can gain insight into your family's unique history and identity.

How to Find Your Family Crest

The easiest way to find your family crest is to hire a professional research company. They have the expertise and resources to trace your family's history and identify your family crest or coat of arms.

A great example is crests & arms - they do in-depth research to find your family crest for you. They are also members of the Heraldry Society of Europe and the American Heraldry Society, which means they have a high level of expertise in the field of heraldry.

You'll save several hours by hiring someone that is specialized on this type of research. You can learn more about them here: Crests & Arms - Leaders in Family Crest Research.


Family crests and coats of arms are a fascinating aspect of history and a way to connect with your family's heritage and identity. By understanding the history and meaning of family crests and coats of arms, you can gain a deeper appreciation for your family's unique story. So, what are you waiting for? Dig into the history of your own family and find your coat of arms.

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