Back to top

The Royal Treatment

Published on Tue, 06/19/2018 - 07:44am
coat of arms

Have you always heard that your family can be traced back to royalty? I can trace my ancestry (very distantly) back to some British royalty, but I did not get an invite to the recent royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. I guess it makes me feel a little better that almost everyone alive has some type of connection to a past monarch, so it would have been impossible to invite all the relatives!

Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, also had a coat of arms created just for her. Sadly, I have never had anyone create a coat of arms for me. The one I created for myself back in elementary school does not count. I learned that you can’t just create a coat of arms. The Crown grants them to an individual. For any person to have rights to a coat of arms, they must have descended from the legitimate male line of the person to whom it was originally granted. Just because you have the same surname as someone with a coat of arms, it does not necessarily mean that it is yours.

I didn’t have too far to go to find out information on heraldry (the science or art of armorial bearings). I was fascinated with the symbolism in the colors, lines, and objects used to create coats of arms. The Midwest Genealogy Center has an entire section of books on the topic that you can find by searching the online catalog using either “coat of arms” or “heraldry.” Not only can you find books with pictures of the various crests, you can also find glossaries that explain terminology.

I did not realize that coats of arms appear everywhere from architecture and monuments to official documents and seals. The College of Arms maintains the official registers of pedigrees that date back to the 16th Century. So, genealogy and heraldry are closely related. One book in particular, Heraldry for the Local Historian and Genealogist, interested me because the author explained how heraldry represents a treasure of information for a genealogist.

Come into MGC to get the royal treatment and find out if your research will lead you to a noble past!

Jolene C.
Midwest Genealogy Center

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.

Resources You May Also Like

Events You May Also Like

Beginning Ancestry Library Edition

Thu, Oct 10 2019
6:30pm - 7:30pm
Registration Required
Research your family history with Ancestry Library Edition. Search the U.S. Federal Census from 1790 to 1940 as well as immigration, vital, military, court, church, and ethnic records.

Destroyed Records: Fire, Water and Thieves

Thu, Sep 12 2019
6:30pm - 7:30pm
Registration Required
When records are missing or destroyed, genealogists have to get creative and find other record collections that can answer their questions. Learn where to look for other under-utilized resources.

Blogs You May Also Like

two children

From the Old School

When I was 10 years old, I attended a school that was over 100 years old.
Read More
graduation hat

The Good Old Days

Hearing Elgar’s “Pomp and Circumstance” again brings back the memory of caps and gowns and the walk down the a
Read More
Post Office Syracuse KS

Dead Letter

July 1 is the anniversary of many postal service “firsts”—first postage stamp, first printed
Read More
taxes

Nothing Is Certain but Death and Taxes

While I was doing my income taxes, the history nerd in me surfaced, and I wanted to know whe
Read More

Was this page helpful? Yes No