Have you ever been solicited by a company wanting to sell you a handsome plaque engraved with your family coat of arms on it? Such sales pitches are misleading at best and possibly downright dishonest. Companies selling such products are allowing you to believe that your family has had some sort of great honor bestowed on it, although they cleverly never make that claim.
Problem #1 – Family coats of arms are granted to individuals, not families. Therefore, only male line descendants of the person to whom the coat of arms was granted would have any right to use it. Coats of arms are considered legal property which is passed down from father to son.
Problem #2 – What are the chances that one of your ancestors was bestowed a coat of arms? Slim to none for most families. For a male today to have inherited a coat of arms, there would have to be an unbroken direct male family line from the original owner. How can a company that has not researched your direct family line know whether you have inherited the right to display a particular coat of arms? The answer is pretty clear, they really should not.
If you are interested in knowing if a coat of arms was awarded to your ancestor, you will first need to research your family history back to the ancestor you believe may have been granted a coat of arms. Next in your quest to find family coats of arms, contact the appropriate authority for the country your ancestor was from and request a search of their records.
As long as you understand that the company selling you the coat of arms is
purely motivated by profit, then go ahead.
The product you are buying probably has nothing to do with your family. If you are concerned with historical accuracy,
then buyer beware!
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