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    Happy customers

    Posted On : 06/28/2018

    We always love to see photos of happy customers! Here is Mr. Reynolds with his custom hand-painted Duke Battle Shield, which will hang proudly in his office in Greensboro NC. .......View More


    In over 4 decades of hand painting coats of arms for folk

    Posted On : 06/28/2018

    In over 4 decades of hand painting coats of arms for folk, I have come across the term "family crest" many times, and indeed have had to resort to using the same words myself to be understood. Most people know that the correct way is actually coat of arms, but may not realise the importance of the actual crest in a coat of arms. Nowadays the many big companies selling printed heraldry products online simply ignore the crest part of the arms altogether, or put a bunch of 2 tone feathers (usually 5) over the helmet. Not  only is this lazy, it is incorrect, as the majority of coats of ar.......View More


    Blog1

    Posted On : 03/12/2018

    We get calls sometimes from customers who wonder why the coat of arms we painted for them is different from something else they have seen. Folk seem to believe that there is one single coat of arms for each name, which in a few cases may be the case. Many names, however, have several different grants of arms, and names such as Muller, from Germany, and Smith, from England, have well over 100. We do our best to find the most suitable, and any information you may have ( region, county, city of origin) helps us do the fullest research possible. .......View More


    Handmade In Ireland

    Posted On : 01/29/2018

    Made In Ireland?....Not exactly. Embroidered coat of arms products are sold in stores and online as being "Handmade In Ireland". If this was the case, we would sell them also. The fact is that nobody in Ireland is producing these pieces commercially. I get e-mails from the actual makers every other day, and they are in Pakistan, mostly in Sialkot. I have no problem with folk in Pakistan making a living, however it is well known in this business that small children, as young as 5 years old, are exploited to make this stuff. Whether you buy American, Irish, or indeed Pakistani, please buy stu.......View More


    FAMILY HISTORY RESEARCH

    Posted On : 01/08/2014

    At www.shieldandcrest.com we get quite a few phone calls from folk interested in the coat of arms (family crest) for their name as part of their ongoing family research. ( We even pay for the call!) It’s always interesting to hear how far back in family history some people have been able to go. These days, Ancestry.com is a great resource, but it’s not the only one. Immigration records are such an interesting way to join the family dots. Before the 1800’s, immigration documents were basically unheard of, however, some of our customers have relayed stories of discoverin.......View More


    THE MOST POPULAR IRISH SURNAMES

    Posted On : 11/06/2013

    The twenty most numerous Irish surnames are: 1-Murphy. 2-Kelly. 3-Sullivan. 4-Walsh. 5-Smith. 6- O’Brien. 7-Byrne. 8-Ryan. 9-Connor. 10- O’Neill. 11-Reilly. 12-Doyle. 13-McCarthy. 14-Gallagher. 15-Doherty. 16-Kennedy. 17-Lynch. 18-Murray. 19-Quinn. 20-Moore. One in every 75 Irish inhabitants has the surname Murphy. The original Irish language (Gaelige) spelling of the name is O’Murchadha. It is the most common name in County Wexford, and the second most common name in County Cork. Kelly is the second most common name in Ireland ( O’Ceallaigh in the Irish to.......View More


    ALL ABOUT COATS OF ARMS - PART ONE

    Posted On : 10/25/2013

    Nearly every heraldry site you see will state that coats of arms (family crests to some) were invented so that one could tell one mounted rider from another in battle. The heraldic scholar, A.C. Fox-Davies points out that coats of arms were in existence long before the closed helmet was invented, and were probably more to do with vanity than anything else. Up until 1944 in England, if your family had a hereditary grant of a coat of arms, you were required to pay a levy of two guineas (A guinea was one pound, and one shilling) per year to the Inland Revenue. This tax of about $4 per coat.......View More


    AUGMENTATIONS OF HONOUR

    Posted On : 10/11/2013

    Certain coats of arms fall into the category of augmentations of honour. Some arms will have been directly awarded, in the case of English heraldry, by the Monarch of the day. The arms of the Dodge family is said to have been directly granted by King Edward I for services rendered to his army (feeding them it appears). The arms contain the unusual heraldic charge of a woman’s breast distilling drops of milk. Edward III granted an arm to Sir John de Pelham for the victory at the Battle of Poitiers and the capture of the French King John. The arms contain buckles and ropes to signify th.......View More


    THE TORSE (WREATH OF THE COLORS)

    Posted On : 10/04/2013

    As I have recorded in previous articles, the crest was made from light wood, animal hides ( leather) or paper mache and mounted on top of the helmet. It helped to make the rider appear much taller. The issue of where the crest was attached to the mantling soon became a problem. In an effort to make everything look seamless, a wreath, or torse was added to the base of the crest to hide unsightly joining. The wreath was simply two twisted pieces of cloth, containing the primary colors of the arms. (One color, one metal such as white or yellow) It can be seen in most modern representations of .......View More


    CROWNS & CORONETS

    Posted On : 09/12/2013

    Ancient man probably utilized a headband, or fillet, to keep his long hair from getting into his eyes. Later on it became more specialized, religious leaders would wear a different style from fighting warriors for instance. By the time of the Pharaohs of Egypt, the first “proper” crown had arrived, the Uraeus was a golden representation of the Egyptian snake god and was a symbol of royalty. The use of crowns and coronets in heraldry is widespread. In the early grants of arms, crowns and coronets were considered an integral part of the crest area. After 1672 the use of crowns.......View More


    THE ARMS OF SCOTLAND

    Posted On : 08/20/2013

    The Arms of Scotland comprise a yellow (gold) shield with a red lion rampant surrounded by (in heraldic language) “A double tressure flory-counterflory gules” Two thin lines studded with red fleur de lys. Many myths surround the origins of the Arms of Scotland, the tressure was supposed to have been a reference to an alliance between the Emperor Charlemange and Achius, King of Scotland in the 8th. century, the story being that as the Scots had defended the “French lilies” therefore the lilies would surround, and defend, the Scottish lion. A more likely origin fo.......View More


    THE COURT OF LORD LYON OF SCOTLAND

    Posted On : 08/12/2013

    Coats of arms ( Family Crests) in Scotland come under the control of the Court Of Lord Lyon. There are eleven officers of the court and they deal with all aspects of Scottish heraldry and the granting of new grants of arms. Under the Lyon King Of Arms Act of 1672 the applicant must be “a virtuous and well deserving person”. The petitioner must also have domicile in Scotland, as opposed to owning land on which he or she doesn’t actually live. It is not possible for a non-British citizen to be granted a Scottish coat of arms (family crest) unless they can show a direct linea.......View More


    POLISH SURNAMES

    Posted On : 07/25/2013

    One of the most treasured reference books we have at www.shieldandcrest.com is Herbarz Polski. Compiled by H.Stupnicki in 1855, it is a comprehensive list of Polish surnames and their link to a particular coat of arms (Family Crest). It wasn’t until the 1400’s that the Polish nobility began to use family names. Soon a system of Clan names arose in which Clans would contain many different family names, some of them based toponomically on the village or area the bearer came from. In time, each Clan developed their own particular coat of arms, which became the arms of all those who.......View More


    IRISH SURNAMES IN THEIR ORIGINAL FORM

    Posted On : 07/22/2013

    I get lots of calls on the Shield And Crest Toll-Free line (866-289-2798) from folk with Irish names who worry about the difference between, for example, O’Connor, Connor, Connors, MacConnor, and Conor. The truth is that all those names are anglicized versions of the original Irish language name O’Conchobhair ( Pronounced O’ Cro-huir). In 1366 the English Crown passed The Statutes Of Kilkenny, which, among it’s many provisions, outlawed the official use of the Irish language ( Gaelige) in the colony. The decline of the language continued throughout the centuries,.......View More


    MacDonalds and Campbells

    Posted On : 06/10/2013

    These venerable clans have been at loggerheads for centuries in the Highlands of Scotland. After King William of Orange defeated King James and assumed the English monarchy, he offered pardons to all the Scottish Clans which had opposed him in favor of James. It seems that the MacDonald Clan were a wee bit tardy in pledging their allegiance to the new King and his Minister for Scotland, John Dalrymple, organized a plan to deal with them-harshly. On February 13th 1692, Dalrymple’s plan was put into effect by the Campbells at Glencoe. The MacDonalds were invited to the area for a fe.......View More


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