Course details

Unlocking Heraldry for Family Historians (341)


Tutor: Richard Baker


Have you often wondered whether your family is entitled to bear a coat of arms? Have you seen coats of arms displayed on buildings or on hatchments in churches and wondered as to the story behind them? This course will help you unlock the language of heraldry, a fascinating branch of family history research.

Heraldry was originally a means of personal identification in a world that was largely illiterate, by means of easily recognisable designs which we know as coats of arms. The hereditary character of coats of arms means that the subject is inextricably linked to genealogy and family history. In innumerable cases of historical research, heraldry has provided the key to resolution.

The course begins with an introduction to heraldry and the terminology. We will look at different types of coats of arms, and examine how they are being used for personal, civic and corporate identity. We will examine the components of an achievement of arms and the language of heraldry and you will learn to blazon simple coats of arms.

In the second half of the course, we will move onto ways in which coats of arms are combined in families, how to begin to identify an unknown coat of arms and where to dig for more genealogical information.

You will learn that having a coat of arms in the family can unlock a host of genealogical information and sources that you may not have previously considered.

By the end of this course students should be able to:

* Describe a coat of arms in the language of heraldry or draw a coat of arms from a description
* Understand the different methods of marshalling arms
* Identify marks of difference on a coat of arms and be aware of their meaning
* Implement strategies to identify the bearer of a coat of arms

Lesson Headings:
  • * Heraldry in Practice
  • * Heraldic Language
  • * Marshalling and Differencing
  • * Identification

See How the Courses Work.

Relevant Countries:

Course Length: 4 weeks
Start Date: 04 Oct 2021
Cost: £45.99

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