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Joe Maccarrone




Location: Seattle, WA USA
Joined: 19 Sep 2003

Posts: 161

PostPosted: Thu 06 Aug, 2009 12:27 pm    Post subject: Heraldry search sites?         Reply with quote

Can anyone point me toward a site that will do the following: allow me to enter heraldic elements (e.g. 'lion rampant azure') and return a list of coats of arms matching those elements?

The last hour of sifting through Google, and I can't find anything of the sort. I'd swear I found such a site before, but it eludes me now. Everything I find that has a search feature is trying to sell me some bullcrap family crest for $19.99....

Thanks. Happy
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Martin Erben




Location: Germany, Düsseldorf
Joined: 10 Jul 2008
Likes: 2 pages

Posts: 66

PostPosted: Thu 06 Aug, 2009 1:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This depend on what and WHERE exactly you search. If you want to search existing coats of arms from Austria and the former austrian and german lands and if you are able to speak german, you might find good help at http://www.austroarchiv.com/ . If you exactly tell me a little more about the why and where, i would ask the people there for you (if you are not able to do it yourself)

Best Wishes
Martin
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Thu 06 Aug, 2009 1:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

To get your family crest information, you have to search for the genealogy of your family. That is, trace the roots to your parents, and their parents, etc. The idea of having a family crest attributed simply to your last name is the story of mall shops and mail order outlets selling that stuff.

For example, I can search for the "Robinson Family Crest" and I'll get some results, for sure. I can purchase items with it on it as well, but the truth is that it has absolutely nothing to do with my family.

Most families won't have a crest, regardless of their last name. Those that do have a crest associated with them likely won't look anything at all like the generic stuff sent to you by outfits selling "family crest" merchandise.

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Julian Reynolds




Location: United Kingdom
Joined: 30 Mar 2008

Posts: 271

PostPosted: Thu 06 Aug, 2009 2:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan is absolutely correct. An heraldic achievement (ie. a coat of arms) is bestowed upon an individual in recognition of an act or deed (hence 'achievement'). It may be passed down to heirs (according to defined criteria), but it certainly does not follow that all heirs or, indeed, anyone else with that particular 'surname' has any right to that achievement.

There are a great many enterprising individuals who will sell you any number of trinkets adorned with 'coats of arms' that relate to people who are armigerous who share your surname. But you should never assume that they relate to the particular name they are supposed to represent. If you are seeking to find an heraldic achievement that relates to your family in particular, there is no better way than to look into your family history and trace your ancestors, as Nathan suggests, until you find one that is armigerous. Although you may not have any real claim to their achievements, it's still a worthwhile journey and one that can be very rewarding and certainly interesting.

On no account assume that a particular surname has a coat of arms attached to it.

If, on the other hand, your journey is an aesthetic one, and you're looking for an armigerous name associated with a particular symbol, there are a great many books (many written in the 19thC) that go into the symbolism of heraldry. They are flawed in many ways, but they can be used to link an heraldic image to a name. (Fox-Davies, Joseph Foster, Stephen Friar etc. etc.)
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Joe Maccarrone




Location: Seattle, WA USA
Joined: 19 Sep 2003

Posts: 161

PostPosted: Thu 06 Aug, 2009 2:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Guys, maybe I wasn't clear enough in my initial post -- I am specifically NOT trying to search family names. I'm trying to search for particular heraldic elements/charges, to see which families/persons/places have used those, for pure historical interest more than anything else (England and Scotland, primarily).

(As a side note, I have spent far, far more time on genealogical research than any non-retired person can afford, and learned through painful experience how to do it well... If anyone needs a pointer in the right direction, send me a PM! Big Grin )
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Joe Maccarrone




Location: Seattle, WA USA
Joined: 19 Sep 2003

Posts: 161

PostPosted: Thu 06 Aug, 2009 2:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Julian Reynolds wrote:

If, on the other hand, your journey is an aesthetic one, and you're looking for an armigerous name associated with a particular symbol, there are a great many books (many written in the 19thC) that go into the symbolism of heraldry. They are flawed in many ways, but they can be used to link an heraldic image to a name. (Fox-Davies, Joseph Foster, Stephen Friar etc. etc.)


Yep, that's what I'm looking for -- do you know if any of these books are available for copyright-free download? Thanks.
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Lin Robinson




Location: NC
Joined: 15 Jun 2006
Likes: 6 pages
Reading list: 6 books

Posts: 1,200

PostPosted: Thu 06 Aug, 2009 2:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Heraldry search sites?         Reply with quote

Joe Maccarrone wrote:
Can anyone point me toward a site that will do the following: allow me to enter heraldic elements (e.g. 'lion rampant azure') and return a list of coats of arms matching those elements?

The last hour of sifting through Google, and I can't find anything of the sort. I'd swear I found such a site before, but it eludes me now. Everything I find that has a search feature is trying to sell me some bullcrap family crest for $19.99....

Thanks. Happy


Joe...

I don't think you will find such a site and if you do, I would seriously doubt its value.

Nathan makes some very good points regarding Heraldry, which can be a murky pursuit in many cases. Heraldry developed for much the same reasons everywhere, but the processes of obtaining, designing and passing down arms vary considerably from country to country. My only real interest has been in Scottish heraldry so I direct you and others who have the interest to http://www.heraldry-scotland.co.uk/acquirarms.html. The Scottish Heraldry Society answers a lot of questions on its site and I have found it very informative. You can also put the Lyon Court in your browser and get info directly from the horse's mouth, so to speak. Scottish heraldry differs from most in that arms are never granted to families, only to individuals. The Scots are also very particular about the use and display of arms and, since the Lyon
Court is just that, a legal authority, there can be penalties for displaying another's arms. Donald Trump recently ran afoul of the Lyon Court when he displayed some arms his minions had made up for his new golf/country club complex in Scotland. He was told to take them down as they were not approved, fought it for a short time, then gave in, which was the right thing to do.

Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
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Julian Reynolds




Location: United Kingdom
Joined: 30 Mar 2008

Posts: 271

PostPosted: Thu 06 Aug, 2009 3:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

To my knowledge, there are no such sites. If there were, I would also be interested in knowing more, as they may be useful for my mediaeval tiles. As it is, I rely on my library of books by the authors I mentioned earlier, amongst many others.

From an artistic point of view, I find Fox-Davies to be a great pictorial source. Sorry I can't be of more use.



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Julian Reynolds




Location: United Kingdom
Joined: 30 Mar 2008

Posts: 271

PostPosted: Thu 06 Aug, 2009 3:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you're looking for a visual 'quick and easy' symbol-name/name-symbol book, then you could do worse than Joseph Foster's 'Dictionary of Heraldry'. But please bear in mind that he had his (many) faults and inaccuracies, too.
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,803

PostPosted: Thu 06 Aug, 2009 11:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I could pull some of my Google bookshelf but one you will find thereeasily is Burke's books. I am beiong lazy in shagging that for you but the associated titles will sort some of the mess for England, Scotland and Ireland. Just Gogle Burke and heraldry together, then elect book. The is a French man's work but I'm forgetting the name. INterlibrary for some of these if not completely online. My serious notes are buried from five years ago but I'll check and see if the little brown book can pull up the Frenchman, especially.

I'll poke around my pocket planners.

GC

Probert I have bookmarked aside from the bookshelves
http://www.probertencyclopaedia.com/heraldry.htm

Sift ecyclopedia of heraldry on Google, also the books section.

This guy has a searchable, one I had not seen bfore but some of the books froom my shelf as well
http://perso.numericable.fr/~briantimms/

What I'm looking for is my library bibliography from a few years ago and I have no idea what I did with my interlibrary list and online account. I know I have paper notes somewhere here but not really handy.
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Joe Maccarrone




Location: Seattle, WA USA
Joined: 19 Sep 2003

Posts: 161

PostPosted: Fri 07 Aug, 2009 9:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks, gents -- I will sift through Google Books tonight.

Julian, that's nice work; I take it you paint those?
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J.W. Salyards





Joined: 11 Aug 2009

Posts: 20

PostPosted: Wed 26 Aug, 2009 11:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm not sure if this fits the bill, but this site has a database with over 4,000 entries from a wide variety or rolls of arms/armorials from the 13th and early 14th centuries:

http://perso.numericable.fr/~briantimms/era/e...20arms.htm

If you click on the index, you can do a find for whatever element you are interested in (e.g., lion passant), and while it won't compile or group them neatly, you can catalogue them yourself, or failing that, at least get an idea of how common that element was and where it appeared.

Somewhat clunky and clumsy, but better than nothing. Please bear in mind, that if you click on any armorial, you are seeing a modern interpretation of the blazonry, not a scan of the original artwork.

(EDIT: D'oh! I just realized this link was posted above. Apologies for reading too quickly!)

Not English, but the Manesse Codex has a pretty good sampling from Germany/HRE:
http://diglit.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/cpg848

Not the most user friendly for searching, but a lot to look at. Along the same lines, the Zurich Roll of Arms is also fun to plunder:
http://www.vikinganswerlady.com/ZurichRoll/

The Armorial de Gelre has a bunch from late 14th/early-15th c., pan-European:
http://www.heraldique-europeenne.org/Armoriaux/Gelre/index.html

Again, it takes a little work to sift through, but worth the effort.
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