Coat of Arms and Surname History

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Is your surname on our top 20?

Our database has over a million surname histories and theri earliest known coats of arms. Below are the top 20 names in order of popularity, with an interesting fact  relating to each name.

Each of our prints contains intriguing details about your chosen name and there are many blog articles here on our site to help you with your family research.

Here goes!

1. Smith - Motto: Divine providence

2. Jones - Symbol on coat of arms is a lion, representing a valiant warrior

How to interview relatives.

Once again we have teamed up with Family Tree Magazine, who have kindly provided the following article. A must-read for those embarking on a journey of family research...

If you’re lucky enough to be seeing relatives, make the most of the opportunity and enlist their help. Older members of the family, and those from other branches, can be a mine of information, memories and colourful clues to the past, so don’t miss the chance to ask some useful questions.

Your family tree created with calligraphy

Are you working on your family tree? Perhaps you have traced it back as far as you can. Now might be the time to commit to posterity the information you have gleaned. That’s where an expert calligrapher might be able to help. At this year’s ‘Who Do You Think You Are? Live!’ Show at Birmingham’s NEC, we were exhibiting our coats of arms and surname histories, when we met Janet Smith of Oak Leaf Calligraphy.

The Irish Potato Famine and how it changed the face of history.

You are likely to have heard of the Irish Potato Famine: In this article, we look at the key facts, including when it was, why it happened and how people managed to escape.

The famine permanently changed the landscape of Ireland in many ways, and also the socio-economic landscape of the US where many Irish immigrants eventually settled, particularly in areas such as Boston.

Planning a Clan Gathering?

Have you ever thought about organising a Family or Clan Gathering? The task can seem a daunting one, but here at Hall of Names, we regularly speak to experts that can help.

In this article, Mary Kelly of the Kelly Clan Association shares her tips for organising a clan gathering, to bring together worldwide members of a family or clan.

The Kelly Clan have been holding gatherings since 1993 when the first one took place in Co Tipperary. Since then the Clan have held bi-annual gatherings throughout Ireland, attracting people worldwide.

Who creates and paints our coat of arms shields?

Introducing our shield artist David Barker.

Ever wondered how our hand-painted shields are produced? Each unique coat of arms shield is created to order and painstakingly recreated in specialist enamel paint.

Here, we introduce the man behind the beautiful work! Our artist David Barker has worked in heraldry for decades, and has a wealth of expertise that comes from years of practice.

American with family roots in the UK? Let us help you begin your family research!

Delving into your family tree can be an amazing adventure and it is fascinating to discover your family roots.

Moving around the world was just as common in the time of your ancestors as it is today, and between 1836 and 1914 millions of Europeans migrated to the United States in search of jobs and a better life. Others travelled to Australia and other parts of the world.

Tips from a professional genealogist.

Using a professional genealogist to help with your family research.

6 best websites for tracing your Welsh ancestors like Greg Davies

Our friends at Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine have kindly provided the following article, with great tips and links on tracing your Welsh ancestry. To discover more on how to trace your own family’s history, why not visit the Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine website here. We also have An EXCLUSIVE SPECIAL OFFER - £5 issue for just £5.

Creative ways to address to unique issues faced by retailers in historic attractions

In an increasingly competitive environment, heritage retailers face challenges that are unique to the sector. There are many problems faced by retailers in historic attractions and this article addresses how some have found inventive ways to have overcome them.

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