Curiosity about one’s heritage is a common thread that binds us together. You may have found yourself pondering, “What does my family crest look like?” Rest assured, you’re in good company on this quest for ancestral knowledge.

With over 233,000 crests documented across the globe, the odds are favorable that there is a distinctive emblem representing your family history. Embark with us on an enlightening journey into the colorful realm of heraldry where we’ll uncover step-by-step how you can unearth the emblematic badge of your forebears.

Prepare to connect with your roots through the rich tapestry of symbols—our adventure begins now!

Key Takeaways

  • Your family crest is a symbol that represents your heritage and can include animals, colors, and patterns with special meanings.
  • You can find your family crest by researching your surname, using online databases like, or consulting heraldry experts.
  • Understanding the symbols and colors of a coat of arms provides insight into your family’s history; for instance, red means bravery and lions represent strength.
  • Verify any information you find about your crest through reliable sources to ensure its accuracy.
  • Resources like the National Library of Australia eResources offer access to thousands of documented crests to aid in your search.

Understanding Heraldry and Family Crests

Heraldry is the practice of designing, displaying, and describing armorial bearing (heraldic achievements), as well as ruling on questions of rank or protocol, and the design and usage of flags.

A coat of arms is a unique heraldic design on an escutcheon (i.e. shield), surcoat, or tabard. And a family crest usually refers to a specific part of a full achievement of arms which can include a shield or escutcheon, helmet, mantling, crest,.

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What is heraldry?

Heraldry is like a special code for families. It started a long time ago to help knights stand out in battle. They would wear unique symbols on their shields and armor so everyone could tell who they were, even from far away.

These symbols got passed down through generations and turned into family crests or coats of arms. Each crest tells a story about the family it belongs to.

You might see animals, colors, and patterns on these crests. They all mean something about the family’s achievements and history. Finding your own can be really cool because it shows you’re connected to those stories too.

Now let’s talk about what exactly is found on a coat of arms.

What is a coat of arms?

A coat of arms is a unique symbol associated with a particular surname, representing the family’s identity and heritage. It typically consists of a shield, helmet, crest, and motto.

The symbols on the coat of arms can have various meanings such as courage, loyalty, or strength. These designs were historically used in battle to identify one knight from another but are now cherished as part of the family history.

The coat of arms often holds significant historical value and offers insight into the origins and traits associated with a specific family name. Each element on the coat of arms has its own symbolism that reflects aspects of the family’s story and ancestry.

What is a family crest?

A family crest is a symbol associated with a particular surname, often referred to as a coat of arms. It represents the heritage and lineage of a family name, reflecting its history and characteristics.

Family crests typically include various symbols and designs that hold specific meanings related to the family’s past. Researching and discovering your family crest can be an engaging way to connect with your ancestry and understand your roots, providing insight into the historical significance of your surname.

Family crests are prevalent in heraldry, with over 233,000 to explore and discover. You can find yours by searching for your last name on websites like or using search tools on dedicated family crest websites.

How to Find Your Family Crest

Start with what you already know about your family history and surname. Look for heraldry symbols that may be associated with your family name, such as animals, plants, or geometric shapes.

Once you have gathered information, verify it through historical records and online databases to ensure accuracy.

Start with what you already know

Begin by researching your surname and any existing family history records. Utilize genealogy websites to explore historical records and trace your family tree back through generations. Look for clues about the origins of your family name and any associated symbols or crests. Seek out family members who may have knowledge of previous research or inherited items, such as old family crests or documents. Delve into any ancestral stories that have been passed down through the generations, as they may contain valuable information about your family’s heritage.

Look for heraldry symbols

To find heraldry symbols related to your family crest:

  1. Search for your last name on websites like or use a search tool at the top of a family crest website.
  2. Discovering your family crest can be exciting, especially if it is rare within your family tree.
  3. Family crests are also known as coat of arms and are associated with a particular surname.
  4. The symbols in a family crest reflect the history and characteristics of a specific lineage.
  5. Each element in the family crest has its own significance and meaning.
  6. Researching and discovering your family crest can be an engaging way to connect with your family’s past and understand your roots.

Verify the information

To verify the information, use reputable websites like or family crest databases. Cross-reference multiple sources to ensure accuracy and authenticity in your search for your family crest.

Be cautious of misleading claims and be discerning when researching to avoid falling for false family crests.

Researching your family’s history allows you to connect with your roots and understand the heritage behind your surname. By verifying the information about your family crest, you can confidently embrace the symbolism and meaning it holds within your ancestral lineage.

Symbolism and Meaning in Family Crests

Understanding the elements of a family crest and what the colors and symbols represent can provide insight into your family’s history and values.

Discover more about your family crest and its significance by exploring our blog!

Understanding the elements of a family crest

Family crests typically consist of various elements such as the shield, helmet, mantling, and crest. The shield is the central part and its design often includes symbols, colors, and shapes that hold significance to the family’s history and identity.

These symbols could represent occupation, virtues, or characteristics associated with your surname. The helmet on top of the shield may vary in design based on your family’s social status.

Mantling refers to decorative drapery surrounding the shield meant to protect soldiers from direct sunlight while fighting. Additionally, there is a crest situated atop the helmet which can be an animal or object carrying specific meaning related to your family’s background.

Colors play a crucial role in family crests as they convey different emotions and virtues; for instance, red symbolizes bravery while blue signifies loyalty. Furthermore, animals are common motifs on family crests due to their association with certain traits; for example, a lion might signify courage or strength.

What do the colors and symbols represent?

The colors and symbols in a family crest represent the unique characteristics and history of your lineage. Each color holds significance; for example, red signifies bravery, blue represents loyalty, and green symbolizes hope.

The symbols on the crest can also hold meaning; a lion may denote strength or courage, while an oak tree might signify longevity and stability. These colors and symbols combine to tell the story of your family’s heritage through powerful imagery that reflects their values and achievements.

Understanding the depth of symbolism in your family crest brings to light the rich history of your ancestors, embodying qualities that have been passed down through generations. Unraveling these meanings can provide deep insight into your ancestral roots, connecting you with a profound sense of identity.

Resources for Finding Your Family Crest

Utilize the National Library of Australia eResources, visit graveyards and cemeteries, or consider hiring a heraldry expert for assistance in uncovering your family crest. Ready to discover your unique family emblem? Keep reading to learn more about how you can find it!

National Library of Australia eResources

To find your family crest, the National Library of Australia eResources can be a valuable resource. With over 233,000 family crests to explore and discover, you can view your family crest for free on their website.

These resources provide an engaging way to connect with your family’s past and understand your roots, adding depth to your genealogical research. Be cautious as you search for your family crest to avoid being fooled, and always verify the information you find.

The National Library of Australia eResources offer an extensive collection of records and documents related to heraldry symbols associated with specific surnames. By utilizing this resource, I was able to find my family’s emblem and unearth its symbolism and meaning in relation to our ancestral history.

Graveyards and cemeteries

I explored graveyards and cemeteries to find information about my family crest. I found that some gravestones display the family crest as a mark of heritage and lineage, providing insights into our ancestral symbols.

Tracing my family’s history through graveyards and cemeteries offered a tangible connection to my roots.

Next, let’s delve into the symbolism and meaning of family crests.

Hiring a heraldry expert

Considering the complexity and depth of heraldry research, hiring a heraldry expert can greatly assist in uncovering your family crest. An expert will proficiently navigate through centuries of arms records and documents to recreate your family crest with accuracy.

They possess the knowledge and expertise to decipher the symbolism and meaning behind each element, providing valuable insight into your family’s history and lineage. Moreover, their guidance ensures you avoid being misled while on this fascinating journey to connect with your ancestry.

When seeking a heraldry expert’s assistance, it’s crucial to ensure they have a solid reputation for authenticity and accuracy in their work. Reputable experts utilize historical records as well as modern technology, such as hand-sketching and digital illustration, to meticulously recreate family crests.

Online databases

Researching your family crest can be an exciting journey, and online databases offer a treasure trove of resources to aid in your quest. Numerous websites provide access to a vast collection of family crests, providing an opportunity to explore the historical significance behind each symbol.

These databases allow you to search by surname, providing insight into the unique coat of arms associated with your family name. Additionally, you can view your family crest for free on various websites that offer this service.

National Library of Australia eResources and other platforms such as are valuable sources for discovering your family crest. Online databases hold a wealth of information waiting to be explored, helping you connect with the rich heritage reflected in your personalized crest design.

Uncovering these symbols is a compelling way to trace and appreciate the history woven within your lineage, shedding light on your ancestral roots while embracing their profound significance.


In conclusion, discovering your family crest can be an exciting journey into your heritage. The practical strategies provided make it easy to find and understand the significance of your family’s coat of arms.

Emphasizing the importance of this topic allows you to see the impact on connecting with your past. If you seek further guidance, consider using online databases or consulting heraldry experts for accurate information.

Reflecting on your roots and history can be a truly enriching experience that brings personal fulfillment and understanding.

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