This is an astute question we receive quite often. The answer is a long, technical one, but we attempt to provide the following, shortened explanation for the reader’s benefit.
Historically, in the British Isles (and most parts of mainland Europe), strictly technically speaking, there is no such thing as a “family coat of arms”. Why? Coats of arms were granted to individuals, not entire families. This explains why so many surnames have multiple coats of arms.
Further, the arms were passed downed to the father’s son, grandson, and other constituents of hisparticularly family, according to a set of rules. Stated another way, the arms do not pass to his brothers or collateral lines. The arms only “belonged”, or was the legal property of, the direct bearer.
Similar rules existed elsewhere in Europe. That being said, they may have descended from a common ancestor in a more remote past.
If you would like to know if you are a descendant of any of the bearers of these coats of arms, we offer a risk-free research service to you: