What does the family coat of arms of Nolan mean

Origin and meaning of family crests

At the beginning of the 12th century, coats of arms established themselves as the most important instrument for clearly distinguishing between allies and enemies. Since more than two parties often crossed the blades on crusades and campaigns, this clear sign of belonging made it easier for each other to classify on the battlefield. The aim was to keep heraldic symbols as clear and simple as possible in terms of their shape and color, so that they were remembered particularly well. But coats of arms were not only worn in the field. In medieval tournaments, knights were often wrapped in so-called full armor beyond recognition, so that here too the symbol of the family house or the liege lord adorned the armor. The coat of arms was passed on in families from generation to generation in order to confirm the ancestry of people. However, this symbol of belonging and history was not reserved for the principalities and noble houses for long. Since the 15th century at the latest, it was also fashionable for middle-class families to wear a coat of arms and thus to demonstrate their social advancement.

Heraldry as an instrument for genealogy

Heraldry, also known as heraldry, is an auxiliary science of genealogy that can be subdivided into the three subject areas of heraldry, heraldry and heraldry law. Historically, this work can be traced back to the Herald. As ambassador, arbitrator and organizer, he was the most important representative of noble houses, princes and knight associations in both war and peace periods. Then as now, the correct reading of a coat of arms, the visual design and the conditions for keeping such a coat of arms belong to the area of ​​responsibility of heraldry.

How does heraldry help with genealogy? Genealogy and heraldry are two specialist areas that complement each other wonderfully and can even be a condition in the search for results. If you get stuck with the research with and by name, family crests can provide new clues about shared relatives and ancestors. The search is often difficult, especially on the mother's side, so that a coat of arms passed down by the family can often be the only reference to the origin. For example, some documents were signed with the family seal instead of a signature. It is also worth taking a look at the design itself: Which shapes and colors were used? Are animals or objects depicted on the coat of arms? Conclusions can be drawn here about status, origin and occupational group.

What is the best way to start with heraldry?

Do heraldry on Ancestry

Discover a variety of German and European coats of arms, from the 12th to the early 20th century. The almost complete collection of Siebmacher's heraldic books is available to you as a basis. More than 100 volumes with illustrations and descriptions of old family, princely and city coats of arms are made available online on Ancestry. It becomes particularly exciting when you discover biographical data, some of which are stored as additional entries. Perhaps your family has its own coat of arms or do you even come from an old royal family? - Find out now.

Get started with Ancestry

How does heraldry work?


Step 1:

Type your family name into the search mask and find out whether there is a coat of arms for your family name and a coat of arms donor among your ancestors.


Step 2:

If there are one or more entries that match the name you are looking for, coats of arms and the corresponding sources are displayed in the Siebmacher coat of arms books.


Step 3:

Discover your very own family crest and examine the precise meanings of shape, colors and figures to learn more about your ancestors and history.

We've made the test

Our result of the coat of arms search

We searched for our family crest on Ancestry ourselves and found what we were looking for. Initially, several search results were suggested to us, which we checked in combination with our family tree. In fact, we were able to determine a name match, so that we have very likely found our family coat of arms. The coat of arms can be traced back to the 13th century and shows a lion as the main character, framed by a helmet and an archer. After initial research into the design, it is probably the coat of arms of a knight, since the lion was often used as a common heraldic animal in knighthood and symbolized courage and bravery. The cylindrically shaped pot helmet, which sits over the coat of arms, was a common style element in the Middle Ages to illustrate participation in tournaments. We think Ancestry's coat of arms search is a successful function for obtaining new information about the origins of one's own ancestors. Further exciting research can be made, especially on the importance of the design elements, which will bring variety to the genealogical research.

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A coat of arms was usually initiated by the so-called coat of arms donor for reasons of prestige. People and families of high social rank passed the family coat of arms on to subsequent generations. At weddings, women took over their husband's coat of arms. It was important that the design was kept very simple and had a personal reference if possible so that it had a high recognition value and was also recognizable from a distance.

In the state archives you will usually find individual publications on coat of arms research, which you can search for the names you know. You can start your search on Ancestry faster and more easily, as it will suggest results for the names you are looking for in a few seconds, which you can then check directly with your family tree and, if possible, verify.

The appointment of a heraldist is not bound by standards and can therefore vary. In general, the costs for the creation of a coat of arms can be specified in the three-digit range. The price is based on the personal idea of ​​use and reproduction.

Heraldry is derived from the French word héraldique and literally means "heraldry". The heralds of that time were competent in recognizing and reading the coats of arms and laid the foundation for the branch of knowledge known today of heraldry.