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HERALDRY & GENEALOGY
The Reference Library
- Table of Contents -
BRITISH HERALDRY: British Commonwealth; Channel Islands; England; Cornwall; Ireland; Isle of Man; Scotland; Wales
CENTRAL EUROPEAN HERALDRY: Croatia; Hungary; Romania (Moldavia, Transylvania, Wallachia); Serbia
DUTCH HERALDRY: Belgium; Luxembourg; Netherlands
EASTERN EUROPEAN HERALDRY: Bulgaria; Poland (Belarus, Lithuania, Ukraine); Russia
FRENCH HERALDRY: France
LATIN HERALDRY: Italy (Papal States) ; Portugal (Brazil); Spain (Andorra)
NORDIC HERALDRY: Denmark; Finland; Iceland; Norway, Sweden
*In an effort to divide and classify the many heraldry books in this collection we have taken several concepts into consideration (1) the present day name of the European country;. (2) significant historical political entities in which some of these European countries were included; (3) the four broad heraldic style classifications in which a particular country falls; (4) geographical location of the country; (5) the primary or official language of the country or region; and (6) the amount of materials published that focus specifically on a country. For example although the Gallo-British style includes both France and Britain we’ve divided them into separate British and French Heraldry webpages. This decision was based upon the difference in language, and the amount of published materials we’ve collected for each country. We’ve taken the same approach with the classifications generally known as German-Nordic; and Central-Eastern European Heraldry. Because of geographic differences the countries now known as Scandinavia is classified as Nordic, and we’ve created separate Central and Eastern Heraldic classifications. For other countries such as the Baltic States of Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania we’ve placed them based on historical reasons. Because Estonia, and Latvia were provinces of Germany until the end of WWI they have been classified under German Heraldry. On the other hand Lithuania was a member of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth between 1569 and1795 thus most of its heraldry is tied closely to that of Poland rather than Germany.
Several countries are difficult to place mainly due to the fact that they have several different official languages. For example Dutch, French, and German are all languages of Belgium, German, French, Italian, and Romansh are the official languages of Switzerland. This is an clear indicator of different heraldic styles in each country. Based upon and examination of both countries through the lense of the aforemention six criteria of deciding classification we’ve decided to place Belgium in with France, and Switzerland in the Germanic category.
This web page is dedicated to the compilation of books that have shown to be of value in the furtherance of research into the science of heraldry as well as the geneaologies of proprietors of identified armorial bearings. This collection is primarily derived from four online sources: (1) Google Book Search; (2) the Family History Books Collection at Family Search.org; (3) Internet Text Archives: American Libraries; and (4) Ancestry.com a subscription site. We’ve also included some additional websites where you may find more books.
It is our primary aim to synthesize a coat-of-arms with its owner thus providing additional information his or her ancestors and descendants. As such a major portion of our library is has been categorized by country and in many cases by sub-categories of locale. Many of these books are a wonderful source of information for researchers with ancestors from that location. Not only may it provide you with information on the time and place in which your ancestors lived that will help you place them in historical context, but it may also provide you with very specific information about your European ancestors.
Many of these volumes are written in a wide variety of European languages. Therefore it will be necessary to translate the text into English or your first language. Some of these resources were written during the 18th and 19th centuries and include words having archaic meanings not commonly understood by current translation programs. To further compound the difficulty of your efforts many of the terms of the heraldic blazon, i.e. description of the arms, are not found in the aforementioned translation programs or within current translation dictionaries. In and effort to overcome these seemingly impossible obstacles we’ve provided several strategies you can utilize to create a fairly accurate translation of these reference materials.
Our collection of armorial bearings is focused upon the following surnames. Several coats-of-arms have been located for each surnames or their close variant spellings. The descriptive data of most of these coats-of-arms include an image, information regarding the bearer of the arms as well as a description (blazon) of the arms and an interpretation of the symbols (charges) incorporated into each coat-of-arms.
Links to websites with general information about Heraldry
The following links may help you locate and obtain many Heraldry and Family History Books Online.
Family History Books Collection- Family Search.org
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-- This webpage was last updated on --
28 September 2014