Heraldry Coat Of Arms

The Coat of Arms arose in about the 12th century, around the time of the Crusades. A knight dressed in armor from head to foot could not be recognized by friend or enemy, so a new method of identification became necessary. This resulted in special markings being painted on the knight's shield, as it was the largest piece of equipment the knight had, and as the shield was easily seen,  people could see who was who at a glance.

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A Coat of Arms was not awarded to a family or a name, but to an individual. A Coat of Arms was probably granted to someone with your surname many hundreds of years ago. A Coat of Arms usually started out as fairly simple in design, then subsequent generations added onto or made slight variations to the design to make it their own. Marriages often resulted in a combination of two different family lines' Coat of Arms.