Thursday, October 11, 2012

An Interesting Heraldic Website

And one which, when they say “family crest,” they actually mean the crest, and not the coat of arms.

I was pointed to this website by a short article in the most recent Heraldry Gazette from the Heraldry Society of England, which talked about the website, My Family Silver, http://www.myfamilysilver.com/

If you click on “Family Crest Finder” (at the upper right hand button on their main page), that takes you to: http://www.myfamilysilver.com/pages/crestfinder.aspx

Here you can search for crests by a specific family name. (I tried three different surnames from my family tree before I got a hit - a lot of non-armigerous yeomen in the old family tree, I guess - and then there were too many; 46 different families surnamed “Warren.” There were also four different Appletons, three elephant heads and one bunch of pineapples, to none of whom am I related, but I wanted to try it just for grins.) You can also browse by family names.

They have compiled their database from a number of sources, including:

Fairbairn’s Book of Crests (1905 ed.)
America Heraldica by E. de V. Vermont (1886 ed.)
Crests of the Colonial Gentry by Knight and Butler
Armorial Families by A.C. Fox-Davies (1929 ed.)
Burke’s Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry (1939 ed.)
Burke’s Peerage, Baronetage, and Gentry

There does not appear to be a way of searching for a specific crest without having the surname. Which is, alas, usually the way I have to try to track such things down.

They also have a blog: http://www.myfamilysilver.com/blog/ which may contain posts of interest to heraldry enthusiasts, although their emphasis is, naturally enough, on crested silver.

All in all, it’s a well-done and interesting site and of especial interest, perhaps, to folks with a bit of extra spending money sitting around who’d like to buy silver or glass items with their family crest on them. (Now if I could just find my crest on their website, my budget might be in serious danger!)

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