Friday, May 12, 2006

heraldry mills

My So-Called Family Coat of Arms: "a treasured keepsake in childhood was the 'family' coat of arms."

In Pitfalls in Genealogical Research, noted genealogist Milton Rubincam shared his experience in ordering a heraldic report on his surname.

This time, however, the mail-order heralds did not cite a source because there was none. Finding no a coat of arms to use, one was conjured from the fertile (yet heraldically inaccurate) imagination of an artist.
What resulted was an arms depicting a shield divided into four quarters, one of which included the letter "R." If anything, placing the letter "R" in the coat of arms is for ridiculous, a word Milton Rubincam used in describing that illustration.

As Rubincam wrote, "No coat of arms quartered has the initial letter of any surname."


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