French Nobles

“Pierre d’Hozier was a seventeenth century French genealogist and juge d’armes to the king. His job was to check on claims of nobility. His son, Charles, eventually took over the work and the position of juge d’armes. He created, at the request of Louis XIV, the Armorial général de France,  a list of all the coats of arms in use at … Read more

County Seals

Denver County Seal

Do a Google image search on “county seals” and you’ll see that they (and state seals) are usually poorly designed. I would venture to guess that most were thrown together over lunch by some of the folks in the back office. Every now and then one stands out, either because it uses legitimate heraldry or … Read more

Roll of Arms

A family roll of arms. Beaumont, of Whitley Beaumont, co. Yorks. Gules a lion rampant Argent langued and armed Azure within an orle of nine crescents of the second. Crest: A bull’s head erased, quarterly Argent and Gules. Motto: Fide sed cui vide (Trust, but mind whom you trust). Notes: Perhaps related to Beamont of Crosland. The … Read more

Swanström Coat of Arms

The Swanström coat of arms was assumed (I believe) during or shortly after World War I, perhaps about 1918, and certainly before 1942 by my great uncle Hugo Ferdinand Swanström (1886-1971). The arms might be older. No records exist of the arms assumed and borne by Swedish commoners, so the arms could have come down … Read more

Indigenous Heraldry

Although coats of arms originated in Europe and customarily follow European forms, there has been some movement toward adapting the emblems of indigenous people to heraldry. My father, Ridge Durand (1933-2002) was a Lakota pejuta wikasa (”medicine man”) and a member of the Spotted Eagle Medicine Men’s Society. He was a hunkpa (”blood brother”) of Pete Catches (Petaga Yuha … Read more

Howery Coat of Arms

The earliest record of the Hauri coat of arms is an illustration of them in the early 15th century Liber Vitae of the collegiate church of Beromünster, Canton Luzern, to memorialize an undetermined member of the Hauri family. The drawing at right was taken from the Liber Vitae. These arms would be blazoned as: Azure a dove … Read more

Swanström Brand

In heraldic terms, a cattle brand is a badge. The Swanström brand, H Lazy S, was first registered in 1914 with the Wyoming State Livestock Commission by my grand uncle, Hugo Swanström, of Marbleton, Wyoming. He probably had registered the brand a decade earlier with officials in Sublette County. When he moved to California, he … Read more