Our expertise lies in creating surname history scrolls for you to display and enjoy. We have more than a million surnames and their associated coats of arms on our database, and in this article, we explain just how this research into surname meanings has been carried out. It’s a massive undertaking and there has been extensive work we have had to carry out over the last forty years to ensure that our surname history scrolls contain information that is as accurate as possible.
Earliest Records of the Surname
The information on each print is gleaned from the earliest records our researchers can find, sometimes dating back as far as 1,100 years ago. Only accurate texts and registers from all over the world have been collected to make up the source library. Now, professional historians, many accredited in their field, research from these sources at our Canadian headquarters in Kingston, Ontario.
Their work focuses on the major ethnic backgrounds and we cover much of Europe. We continue to cover more nationalities as our database of surnames continues to expand. Authenticity is paramount to our business, with research continuing all the time. On the reverse of each surname history scroll is a bibliography which details the source material from which the research team gain information.
How we get our information – surname history scrolls.
Examples of sources used are as follows:
- The Domesday Book
- Baptismal records
- Parish and church records and registers
- Passenger lists
…and hundreds more! These include records from mainland Europe. We consequently have names originating in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, as well as the European countries of France, Spain, Germany, Holland, Portugal, Italy Poland and Austria. In some cases, the surname history is available for print in a choice of languages (French and Spanish). On the reverse of your surname history scroll, you can check the full bibliography of sources, should you wish to carry our your own research into the name.
The coats of arms are sourced for the name or a variant of that name, and relate to the name’s earliest-known bearer. Sources include references such as Burke’s. To discover more about the hidden meanings of heraldry, have a look at our free online dictionary here. We have an article about colour in heraldry and artistic interpretation in heraldry. It is not true to say that every single person has their own coat of arms, and we explain why in our article ‘Does my family name have a coat of arms‘.
America and the New World
Migration to the New World is a key focus for our research team, who scour passenger lists of ship. For example, the passenger list of the Titanic reveals the surnames of those aboard the doomed vessel. We also include information such as convicts sent to the penal colonies. Altogether this, gives a fascinating insight into the name’s history.
The team also investigate the intriguing history of the Irish ‘septs’, providing information about the surname meaning, and the name’s origins in the emerald isle. You can find more information about here about Tracing Your Irish History. The Scottish clan history scrolls show the clan badge rather that a coat of arms. Slightly different to the coat of arms and surname history print, these scrolls show clan badges and affiliations. We include the history in full detail, and this follows with key facts, such as clan tartan, pipe music, and associated flora and fauna. Fascinating stuff!
Extensive research of the ancient ‘armorials’ results in our collection of over a million coats of arms. Colours are vibrant and true to ancient heraldic standards. Attractive border graphics reflect the original nationality of the surname, to create a stunning and informative artwork for the home.
What have we done lately?
Our work never stops! For example, in the last two years, we have:
Added 40,837 and edited 11,453 Notables
Also added 9,784 and edited 6,355 Settlers
As well as this we have added and edited 68,502 surname histories as we discover more information.
It really is a world-wide business and we are proud to be the primary retailer in the UK. We have outlets at top historic attractions. Our website headquarters are in Somerset in the South West of England. Not only are our printed scrolls fabulous gifts. They’re also a personalised record of a name to treasure for generations to come.
Check out the history of your own family name with our coat of arms and surname history print.