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The Palmer Coat of Arms – A case study


Our customers often call us wishing to understand more about their surname history and if it ever had a coat of arms associated with it. In this case study, we look at the Palmer coat of arms. We look at its earliest-known family crest and coat of arms, plus the symbolism of its heraldry.


The Palmer Coat of Arms is a historical symbol of the family’s lineage and heritage. The coat of arms, also known as a ‘heraldic device’, was used in medieval times to identify a person’s rank, social status, and family history. (Read more about heraldry in one of our many blog posts here). The Palmer Coat of Arms is a prime example of how heraldry was used to signify a family’s lineage and social status. For the purposes of this blog, we are looking at the English version of the Palmer coat of arms. It’s worth noting that here are also versions that originated in Germany, Italy and Spain.

Colours on the Palmer coat of arms


The shield itself is divided into several sections or each containing the different symbols and colours. In the case of the Palmer coat of arms, the colours used are black and silver. The black, called ‘Sable’ on a coat of arms, likely signifies constancy (although it can also sometimes represent grief). Whereas the silver, known as ‘Argent’ in heraldry, denotes peace and sincerity. Read more about colours on coats of arms.

The trefoil as heraldic symbol


The trefoil, which is a stylized three-leaf clover, is a symbol which is placed in triplicate in both of the black lines on the Palmer coat of arms.  A trefoil represents the past, present and future. It is also often used as a symbol of fertility and abundance in heraldry. This is interesting as it is one of the major elements on the Palmer coat of arms. The trefoil is derived from the shamrock, which, according to legend, was chosen as an emblem of Ireland because it was used by St. Patrick to illustrate the concept of the Holy Trinity.


The Greyhound on the coat of arms


Above the shield, there is a helmet with a crest on top, which typically includes additional symbols or animals that represent the family. In the case of the Palmer family crest on its earliest coat of arms, the earliest family crest is a greyhound. Often people use the terms family crest and coat of arms interchangeably, but they are in fact distinct parts of the heraldry (read more here).




Below the shield, there might be a motto or phrase that represents the family’s values or history. These mottos are usually written in Latin, although they can also be in other languages. The purpose of a motto is to express the values or beliefs of the individual or organisation that the coat of arms represents. It can also serve as a rallying cry or a reminder of one’s heritage or identity.

Some mottos are simple and direct, while others are more poetic or philosophical. Regardless of their form, mottoes on coat of arms are an important part of heraldry and can provide insight into the history and culture of the particular individual.

The Palmer coat of arms has a motto which reads ‘Palma Virtuti’ which translates as ‘The palm is for virtue’.




The Palmer coat of arms

The Palmer coat of arms

Early migration


Our surname history scrolls give a highly detailed history of the actual Palmer surname including its early origins, any lands owned, spelling variations, migration to the new world and famous bearers of the name. For example, William Palmer arrived in Plymouth Massachusetts in 1621. If you’d like to know more about the information you can find on a coat of arms and surname history scroll, we have a useful blog post here.


Further research


If you are a Palmer family member conducting further research into your family’s origins, then it is always worth consulting specialist sites such as Ancestry who can help to piece together the information. Plus you can collaborate with other Palmer family members! Here are some top tips if you are trying to conduct family research.



Our top 5 tips for family research.



  1. Start with what you know: Before diving into extensive research. It’s essential to start with what you know about your family history. Ask other Palmer family members, especially older ones, about their memories and any stories that have been passed down through the generations. Take note of names, dates, and locations.
  2. Use online resources: There are numerous online resources available for family research, such as, and These websites provide access to a wealth of historical records about the Palmer name. For example, these include census data, birth, marriage, and death certificates, and military records.
  3. Look beyond the internet: While the internet is a great resource for family research, it’s important not to overlook other sources of information. Consider visiting local libraries, archives, and historical societies in person to access records and documents about the Palmer name. Such records may not be available online.
  4. Be organised: Keeping track of all the information you gather can be overwhelming, so it’s important to be organised. Create a system for recording your findings, whether it’s a notebook or a computer program. And keep track of your sources so that you can easily refer back to them.
  5. Join a genealogy society: This can be an excellent way to connect with other researchers and learn more about family research. These societies often have access to resources and expertise that can help you break through brick walls in your research.



Palmer coat of arms gifts


It’s worth noting that coats of arms are specific to individuals and families, so the exact design and elements of the Palmer coat of arms with a trefoil and a greyhound would depend on the particular Palmer family in question. If you’d like a special gift that celebrates the Palmer name, here are a few ideas to whet your appetite, although you can of course shop all here.


Coat of arms and surname history scroll

Double coat of arms scroll – to celebrate the marriage of a Palmer, displaying coats of arms of both partners.

Coat of arms shield – hand painted just for the Palmer family

Whisky tumblers – engraved with the Palmer coat of arms

Ceremonial sword – with the Palmer coat of arms on the pommel


These are of course just a few ideas – plenty more to choose from!  If we can help you in any way, please do get in touch. We are an independent business and are pleased to help with your enquiry. Happy shopping!




Coat of arms / family crest gifts

Coat of arms / family crest gifts are an excellent way to display the proud Palmer heritage.

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