Webster defines heraldry as the art or science having to do with coats of arms, genealogies, etc. He further states that coats of arms are shields marked with the designs (heraldic bearings) of a person, family, etc.
It's only natural for those that have an interest in genealogy, whether they only occasionally dabble in the field or spend endless hours pouring through records looking for answers, to end up wondering about their coats of arms.
Armorial bearings do not belong to all persons of a given surname and may rightfully be borne only by the descendants of the individual to whom they were first granted or allowed, according to the Laws of Arms in the country of origin. To discover if an inherited right to arms exists, it is necessary to trace the male-line ancestry back as far as possible and then examine the official records of the heraldic authority concerned. See the site below for more information:
While the family genealogies on our web site are not intended to represent the owners of the coats of arms displayed on the family pages, the coats of arms are intended to represent a study in the heraldic origins of those particular family names and the coats of arms associated with those origins.
Some of the coats of arms graphics on my family heraldic & genealogy pages are the work of J. M. Elliott, Designs of Wonder and On-Line Publishing. The link to her Designs of Wonder web site can be found below:
Other coats of arms were designed by James P. Wolf.
And some were developed by Eddie Geoghegan and can be seen at:
Some of my other favorite heraldry sights are:
These 2 books can be downloaded from the above site: