A microscopic piece of heraldry necessarily stands condemned, because it merely pretends to hint that the owner thinks himself a person of distinction, instead of performing the true function of enabling the casual observer to identify the owner. Monograms and unostentatious heraldry are therefor the badge of the parvenu, and such heraldry is usually bogus. Genuine arms are almost always displayed boldly and beautifully at every possible opportunity, indoors and out. --
Thomas Innes of Learney, Scots Heraldry, pp. 161-162
I'm an Academic Herald. I'm not a "real" herald; I don't register people's coats of arms (though I can certainly suggest designs for those who might be interested). What I do is study, research, teach, and write about heraldry. And I like to share what I have learned about heraldry, hence this blog. I hope that you'll find it informative, interesting at least occasionally, and worth your time to come back. Got a question? Comments? Feel free to let me know. I'd love to hear from you. You can find my contact information in my Profile.
This is what happens when an heraldic artist has never seen anything more than a very rough description of an heraldic beast when painting ...
Genealogical Speakers Guild
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Thursday, April 2, 2020
New! And Improved!
Well, okay, to be honest, it isn't really new.
And, frankly, although it is improved some, it's not really improved all that much.
With that disclaimer, over the past week I have been updating my American Heraldry Collection with an additional source of historical arms used in what is now the United States of America.
The New England Historic Genealogical Society has recently digitized and uploaded to their website five of the original volumes in a New Database: Roll of Arms Registered by the NEHGS, 1915-1945. This series of images is of the originally drawn and blazoned arms of the first 378 coats of arms registered by the Committee on Heraldry. Though the names, blazons, and line drawings of these arms (as well as the other 363 which have been registered since 1945) have been published in the book A Roll of Arms available for sale on the NEHGS website's bookstore, I have found that being able to see the original color paintings of the arms was helpful in deciphering some of the blazons where I had a question about what exactly was meant, and was thus able to revise the blazons in my American Heraldry Collection to be more accurate.
Anyway, having reviewed all 378 coats in this new NEHGS database and either confirmed (in the majority of cases) or modified their blazons, or added information from this database as a new entry (and sometimes being able to combine a couple of separate entries into a single unified one), I have updated and uploaded the New and Improved™ American Heraldry Collection so that if you are interested, you can download it for your own use.
It's in a .zip file that contains two documents: a .docx file that gives some background on the Collection as well as a key to all of the sources used; and a .xlsx file that contains all of the blazons of the arms and crests, and the sources for, each surname.
The Collection can always be downloaded by clicking on the link labeled "American Heraldry Collection" in the left-hand column of this blog under the Heading "Some Articles I Have Written".