Discover the history behind your family name:
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Ever wondered how we create our coat of arms and surname history prints? In this article,we explain how we do it, where the information comes from, and how we trace the heraldry.

When you place your order for a coat of arms and surname history print, your details and name request are shown on our online order list.

We then type the surname required into our unique Hall of Names system. This instantly displays the earliest coat of arms related to the name, as well as intriguing details about the surname.

These include spelling variations, early lands owned, notable bearers of the name and other fascinating facts. You might discover that there were people of the name on board the Titanic (read our blog about the Titanic here). You could find out that bearers of your surname were transported to the penal colonies (read our blog about transportation to the colonies here).

Where do we find all this information? Well, our team of researchers, based in Canada, have been undertaking surname research for over 40 years. They have become experts in the field, and have amassed a huge amount of information relating to over a million surnames.  This includes many names of European origin.

The sources they have used are extensive, ranging from manorial rolls, court records, passenger lists and Catholic directories, to the Domesday Book, International Who’s Who, the Regis Rolls, the Book of Kells, and dozens of other genuine sources. All of these are in a list in the Bibliography, which appears on the reverse of each print.

What about the coats of arms?

These are on display in full colour at the top of each print. We can also replicate this on all of our personalised gift range. We source the artwork from early records found in sources such as Burke’s General Armoury. The border graphics surrounding the heraldry relate to the country of origin or your chosen surname. These make a super addition to the heraldic artwork.

The main elements of the coat of arms is at the top of the scroll, and include any associated motto. Don’t worry if you don’t speak Latin – we do include a translation!

If you would like to find out more about the symbolism of the heraldry, have a look at our free online dictionary, which lists all of the main symbols on the coats of arms, and what they signify. It is always interesting to see the various symbols on coats of arms, and discover their hidden meanings.To find out more about heraldry in general, we have lots of useful articles and links – click here to read the topic list.

The coat of arms relates to the earliest-known bearer of the name, rather than to our specific customers. To find out more about how coats of arms, read our blog ‘Does my family name have a coat of arms?’ here. Perhaps you would like to petition for your own coat of arms?!

We get many requests from our customers who require us to replicated the heraldry onto quality shields. This makes a really special family gift. If you would like to know more about our shield artist, David, click here.

Once we have your surname history on-screen, we check through it. We then print this onto out our quality laser-jet printer. We use high quality parchment-style paper and the reproduction quality is excellent.

Each coat of arms and surname history certificate comes with its own unique reference number. In addition, we attach a gold seal with red ribbon to the base of the print. It is usually company Director Peter Horsler who oversees the process, ensuring consistency of product quality. Meet our team here.

For customers requiring a frame, we have a choice of gold-effect or dark wood-effect, which add a superb finishing touch. We can also frame the coat of arms and surname history.  We seal this with special framing tape on the back of the frame. Corner protectors ensure safety during transport by Royal Mail. For extra protection, we also use bubble-wrap.

We follow the same procedures for our Anniversary Double prints, our Irish Surname Histories and our Clan Histories, so you can be assured of the product quality across the range.

Don’t forget, you can always visit our home page and check if we have your surname, by entering it in our search box.

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