Hot Chocolate & Genealogy
Hot Chocolate & Genealogy

The Science and Art of Coat of Arms

Those glorious emblems - we see them everywhere. They are a part of school crests, government and military logos and sometimes our family tree. In this issue we hope to give you a bit of inisght on their history, hereditary tradition and where to find out more information.

Heraldry began from politics. It was a symbolic language to express nobility and achievements of families in European countries. While families today adopt their coat of arms from encyclopedias, they might be surprised to know that the insignia might not really belong to their branch of the family.

A lot of artistry goes into designing the coat of arms, too much to mention in this short article. Certain graphics are repeated in different designs to express courage, success, rank and a family's origin. They are vivid in colour and intricate in design.

Here are some addresses that might help you uncover your coat of arms and its meaning:

The Heraldic Society of Canada, PO Box 8467 Terminal T, Ottawa, Ontario. K1G 3H9.

Chief Herald of Canada, Canadian Heraldic Authority, Rideau Hall, Ottawa, Ont. K1A 0A1.

On the internet, visit the Heraldry newsgroup at rec.heraldry. There are also many good books on the subject at your local library or bookstore.


This article appeared in the November 1996 issue of Hot Chocolate.

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