How to Find a Coat of Arms or Crest

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A coat of arms has a shield, crest, and motto. The crest is above the shield (usually on top of a helmet), and the motto shows at the bottom of the shield or above the crest. A coat of arms was granted to a man and his heirs down through time, or was granted to only one person during his life time. Many people today do not have an officially recognized coat of arms or crest. Read more about this subject on the following Web sites.

Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter article about coats of arms and crests

The Society of Genealogists [London] leaflet

The London College of Arms [London] frequently asked questions

The Family History Library does not collect pictures of coats of arms. Your local library may have books showing pictures of coats of arms or crests. Some commercial companies offer pictures of coats of arms for a general surname. To find these companies, go to and search for Coat of Arms.'