of Arms is the official repository of the coats of arms and pedigrees
of English, Welsh, Northern Irish and Commonwealth families and their
descendants. Its records also include official copies of the records
of Ulster King of Arms the originals of which remain in Dublin. The
officers of the College, known as heralds, specialize in genealogical
and heraldic work for their respective clients.
for more on heraldry at: www.college-of-arms.gov.uk
There is no such thing as a family coat-of-arms. Dozens of companies, operating on the Internet, in shopping malls, airports and tourist destinations will sell you all types of products under theguise of "family" coat-of-arms.
Coats-of-arms were issued to individuals, not families, and having the same last name as someone who had a coat-of-arms centuries ago does not give you an automatic claim. Commercial suppliers will not tell you this!
In short - there is no one Bagnall Family Coat of Arms.
Beware the "Bucket Shops"!!
A "bucket shop" is a term used by serious heraldic enthusiasts to describe "heraldrymongers" who dispense bogus or inaccurate coats of arms by the bucket load. They usually have a large database which contains images of historic and/or bogus armorial bearings. Even if their representations are accurate renderings of historic arms, these organisations will neglect to tell their customers that there might be anywhere from one to one hundred arms listed under any given surname. Further, when you ask these heraldrymongers, "What's my coat of arms?" or "What's my family crest?" they won't bother to tell you that armorial bearings DO NOT belong to all persons of a given surname and may rightfully be borne only by the descendants of the individual to whom they were first granted or allowed, according to the Laws of Arms in the country of origin.
There are links around this website to various companies who will sell you heraldic items. If you are tempted to buy - just take it with a pinch of salt when they lead you to believe that you have an exclusive right to the heraldic devices they sell!
"A Coat-of-Arms belongs to a Surname."
Answer - There is no such thing as a 'coat of arms for a surname'. Many people of the same surname will often be entitled to a completely different coat of arms, and many of that surname will not be entitled to bear a coat of arms at all.
A Coat of Arms belong to an individual. For any person to have a right to a coat of arms they must either have had it granted to them or be descended in the legitimate male line from a person to whom arms were granted or confirmed in the past.
"Family Crest is another name for a Coat-of-Arms"
Answer - It is a popular misconception that the word 'crest' describes a whole coat of arms or any heraldic device. It does not. A crest is a specific part of a full achievement of arms: i.e. the three-dimensional object placed on top of the helm.
Heraldry began in the early Middle Ages of Europe to help the knights and foot soldiers identify each other during a battle.
Since many of the knights wore shiny metal armour covering their whole body, they had trouble identifying their allies and opponents during a battle. Thus, the noble and knightly families designed patterns and symbols to paint on their shields that would represent their family.
These shields were called coats of arms, and any family of noble rank could have one. Peasants of the middle class could earn their own coat of arms by performing a great deed or earning the favors of a nobleman. Many peasants had their own coat of arms that were not recognized by the College.
The College was where all the heralds learned their heraldric skills and where all the official records were kept. Families had to be recognized by the College for their coat of arms to be official.
Heralds went to school at a very young age and were taught to read and to write. They had to memorize all of the coats of arms that were in existence, and they were used at battles to help determine where the positions of the enemy and allied knights were on the battlefield.
Heralds had their own language for describing the shields, called Blazon.
All coats of arms were described in this language; it was an abbreviated way to describe what could be a very complicated coat of arms. Click to Jump to Blazon details.
These images downloaded from "Designs of Wonder" at: www.designsofwonder.com
These arms and more can be found on Phil Bagnall's (thanks Phil!) website
- (temporarily unavailable)
Geoffrey de Bagenholt
This Image from Brian Timms'
|Blazon to English||Meaning|
|Or = Gold||generosity and elevation of mind|
|Argent = Silver||peace and sincerity|
|Gules = Red||warrior, brave and strong but generous and just; the martyr's colour|
|Azure = Blue||truth and loyalty|
|Vert=Green||hope, joy and love|
|Sable = Black||constancy or grief|
There are no fixed
shades for heraldic colours. If the official description of a coat of
arms gives its tinctures as Gules (red), Azure (blue) and Argent (white
or silver) then, as long as the blue is not too light and the red not
too orange, purple or pink, it is up to the artist to decide which particular
shades they think are appropriate.
|Anchor -||represents hope|
|Arrow -||symbolizes readiness(for battle)|
|Battle Axe -||symbol of the execution of military duty|
|Bear -||strength, cunning, and protection toward one's own kin|
|Boar -||bravery; one who fights to the death|
|Boar's head -||hospitality|
|Bow -||same as arrow, usually go together|
|Bull -||valor, bravery, generosity; horns represent strength and fortitude|
|Camel -||patience and perseverance|
|Cock -||courage and perseverance; badge of a hero|
|Cypress -||death and eternal life thereafter|
|Dolphin -||swiftness, diligence, and love(dolphin depicted having scales)|
|Dragon -||valor and protection|
|Eagle -||person of deeds and of noble nature, strength, bravery and alertness - wings symbolize protection|
|Scallop Shell -||traveller to far places; victorious naval commander|
|Goat -||one who wins through politics|
|Griffin -||valour and bravery|
|Hand -||sincerity, faith, and judgement|
|Harp -||composed person of tempered judgement; contemplation|
|Hawk -||one who does not rest until he achieves his objective|
|Heart, Flaming -||intense, burning affection|
|Heart, Human -||clarity and sincerity|
|Hind (female deer) -||peace and harmony|
|Horse -||readiness for all events|
|Horseshoe -||good luck and safeguard against evil spirits|
|Laurel -||peace and/or triumph|
|Lightning Bolt -||swiftness and power|
|Lion -||dauntless courage|
|Oak Tree -||great age and strength; w/ acorns: continuous growth and fertility|
|Ostrich -||willing obedience and serenity|
|Otter -||individual who lives life to fullest|
|Peacock -||beauty, power and knowledge|
|Pelican -||(shown piercing her breast to feed her young) self-sacrifice, person of charitable nature|
|Portcullis -||protection in an emergency|
|Rainbow -||good times after bad|
|Ram -||leader, represents authority|
|Raven -||divine providence|
|Rock -||symbol of safety and protection; a refuge|
|Rose, red -||grace and beauty|
|Rose, white -||faith and love|
|Spear -||honorable warrior, valiant knight|
|Spur -||preparedness, readiness for battle|
|Stag -||one who will not fight unless severely provoked; peace and harmony; antlers represent strength and fortitude|
|Sun -||(in splendour) glory and splendour; fountain of life|
|Swan -||poetic harmony and learning|
|Sword -||justice and honor|
|Tree trunk -||(sprouting) new life sprouting from old|
|Unicorn -||extreme courage|
|Vine tree -||strong and lasting friendship|
|Wings -||swiftness and protection|
|Wolf -||reward from perseverance and hard industry|
|Wyvern -||valour and protection|
Some heraldic links:
The Association of Amateur Heralds