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Coat of Arms Registries

by: Linda Mock

Since the early 13th century, Coats of Arms and Heraldry have been a source of great fascination as well as a subject of true historical importance. The rich and colorful display lives on as proof of a family's claim to "gentility".

It is easy to understand why more than half a million coats of Arms are recorded in history, these are proudly displayed after more than 7 centuries. Because war was an almost everday occurance during the middle ages, more and more armor would be added to the Knight's battle armor.

Having protected him from head to toe, it was impossible to tell one knight from another, which at a great cost of life, because no identity could be made in battle from foe or friend. A colorful solution first came as knights painted patterns on their battle shields.

Patterns were eventually woven into tunics that were worn over the armor (horses too had blankets with these symbols). As more designs were created, it became necessary to register these designs, so that no two knights would use the same design.

Records were kept that gave each knight exclusive rights to his Arms. Libraries have books on Heraldry that can tell you about the symbols and their meanings, also check on parts of the shield, the fields, charge (figures there on) colors and furs, the crest and the motto.

There are approximately 100,000 English Arms on the rolls of the Royal College of Arms in London. Below are the countries in Europe that have registries:

Belguim

Office Genealogique et Heraldique
de Belgique
Parc du Cinguantenaire 10
B-1040 Brussels, Belgium

France

Le Conseil
Historique et Heraldique de France a Paris
105 Rue de Courcelles-75017
Paris, France

Germany/Austria

(earliest arms back to 1200's)

NORTHERN GERMAN NAMES

Genealogie, Archivstrasse 12-14
D-14195
Berlin, Germany

SOUTHERN GERMAN NAMES

Osterreiches Staatsarchiv
Minoriten platz 1,1010
Wien, Austria

Great Britian/lreand

The College of Arms
128 Victoria Street
London EC4V 4BT
England

ALSO TRY THIS

The Heraldic Society
44/45 Museum Street
London WCIA 1LY
England

(Scotland)

Court of the Lord LYON
King of Arms
New Register House
Princes Street
Edinburgh, EHI 3YT
Scotland

(Ireland)

Norrroy and Ulster King of Arms
10c/o 2 Kildare Street
Dublin 2
Ireland

OR

Norroy and Ulter King of Arms
c/o Collage of Arms 128 Victoria Street
London EC4V 4BT
England

The Chief Herald of IRELAND
2 Kildare Street
Dublin 2
Ireland

Italy

Collegio Araldico
Via Santa Maria dell'Anima 16
00186 Rome, Italy

Netherlands (Dutch)

(covers from 1581-1815)

Koninklijk Nederlandsch Genootschap voor
Geschlacht en Wappenkunde
Prins-Willem-Alexanderhof 24
NL-2595
The Hague, Netherlands

Poland

(there are thought to be approximately 5 thousand CofA's in Poland, but during WW2 Germany/ Russia destroyed many orginals)

Towarzystwo Genealogiczno-Heraldycne
ul.Wodna 27 (Palac Gorkow)
PL-61-781
Poznan, Poland

Spain

Cronistas de Armas
Ministry of Justice
28000
Madrid, Spain

Sweden

Scandinavian Heraldiske Selskab
Vallgatan 3
234 00 Lomma
Scania,Sweden
OR Heraldska Salskap
Vasta Sveriges
Fortrolighhheten 4
Goteburg,Sweden

Switzerland

Schweizerische Hearldische Gesellschaft
Bibliotheque Cantonale et Universitaire
Postfach
CH-Fribourg, Switzerland

 

  

Copyright © 1999 Linda (Filippini) Mock, Sr. All rights reserved. This article is being reprinted on this site with permission from the author. (Granted 10/3/1999)


 

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