Authentic Coats of Arms & Treasures

Family Crest Meanings

The Meanings Of Various Family Crest Animals


Coat of arms symbols and meanings are a very important part of the heraldic process. As we’ve mentioned in previous blogs, coats of arms and family crests aren’t exactly the same thing, although the terms are often used interchangeably in the common vernacular. In fact, the crest is only one element–albeit an essential one–that makes up a traditional coat of arms.

A family crest typically sits atop the helm or helmet in a coat of arms (if they’re included) and is very often some time of animal. If you’re planning your coat of arms design, you may be thinking about including an animal for your own crest and wondering which animal bears the right type of meaning for your purposes.

To help with this process, we’ve decided to list out some of the animals that have historically appeared on family crests, along with their traditional meanings. Also, it’s worth noting that in the heraldic world, it’s proper to refer to your family crest animal as a “beast.” Kind of fun, right?

Common Family Crest Beasts And Their Meanings

Boar (Wild Pig) Indicates ferocity, a fighter to the death
Dragon Indicates a valiant defender of the weak
Horse Indicates readiness for duty
Peacock Indicates pride and beauty
Dove Indicates a dedication to peace and love
Wolf Indicates perseverance in adversity
Snake Indicates renewal, fertility, and wisdom
Fish Indicates bravery, royalty, and science
Dog Indicates fidelity, courage, and loyalty
Leopard Indicates endurance and valiance


Other Things That Can Serve As A Family Crest

Remember that choosing a heraldic charge for your family crest need not be limited to the animal kingdom, though there are many different birds, beasts, fish, reptiles, and creatures of the sea to choose from. If you don’t feel that a beast can accurately represent  your family values, you might want to consider some of the other coat of arms symbols and meanings below.

Human Figures – In some traditional family crests, the beast was replaced with the depiction of a certain human (usually religious in nature) or a human body part. These included the Virgin Mary, the Figure of Justice, a Mermaid, Neptune or Triton, or an Angel or Cherub. When it comes to including body parts, pretty much anything is fair game so long as it’s meaningful in some way. The head, hands, arms, feet, teeth, tongue, heart, breast, beard, and testicles were all popular body parts to depict on family crests!

Plants – When it comes to including symbols that aren’t human or animal, trees, fruit, crops, and flowers were commonly used. Take a look at some of their meanings below:

Acorn Indicates independence and strength
Berries Indicate liberality, felicity, and peace
Cypress Tree Indicates death and eternal life
Fleur-de-lis (lily) Indicates light, hope, and joy
Grapevine Indicates strength and friendship

Inanimate Objects – Don’t worry if the meanings of these flora and fauna aren’t the coat of arms symbols you’re looking for. It’s also completely possible to create a family crest using inanimate objects as well! Some possibilities for this category include an anchor (symbolizing salvation and hope), an anvil (symbolizing honor), a book (symbolizing learning and knowledge), and a castle (symbolizing spiritual strength, vigilance, home, and safety).


The Different Meanings Behind Coats Of Arms And Family Crests


In seeking to gain more knowledge about the history of your family and the meaning of your surname, it’s likely that you’ve come across terms like “family crest” and “coat of arms.” In some circles these terms are used interchangeably, but here at Fine Legacy, we think it’s important for our clients to know exactly what they’re talking about as well as exactly what they’ll get when creating a coat of arms with the help of our experts.

A Family Crest Is Just One Element Of A Coat Of Arms

Simply put a family crest is not the same thing as a coat of arms, no matter what you may have heard people say or read on the internet. The crest is an important element of your coat of arms, although not every coat of arms throughout history has included a crest. Basically, the crest is considered to be whatever appears about the helm/helmet in your coat of arms.

Famous Family Crests Throughout History

The crest is often an animal of significance to a family, often symbolizing an achievement, but it could also be something else if you choose. While it’s rare to find two crests that are exactly the same, it’s true that some symbols are especially popular for occupying this position on your coat of arms. Family crest symbols that you may have seen on other coats of arms include

  • The Christian cross
  • Ornate leaves
  • Flower and trees
  • Lions
  • Tigers
  • Fish
  • Horses
  • Lizards
  • Birds
  • Castles

Finding Your Family Crest Requires Research

Fine Legacy is here to help you with every aspect of coat of arms design, including the search for a traditional family crest should that be what you desire. Remember, historical authenticity is your mission for each and every coat of arms design, however, we are ultimately concerned with your satisfaction. If you’re creating a coat of arms from scratch, or simply want to break from tradition and create your own legacy, we’d be more than happy to brainstorm crest options with you.

Remember, historically, coats of arms weren’t bestowed upon a surname, they were bestowed upon individuals who earned the privilege of bearing them. While finding out what other coats of arms have looked like for your relatives throughout history may be interesting, it needed limit your options when creating your own coat of arms. This means you’re free to choose the crest that best suits your needs!

Fine Legacy Can Help You Decide On A Family Crest

As it occupies one the top-most positions on your coat of arms, deciding on a crest is an important part of the design process. If you’re stumped when it comes to choosing this important element, Fine Legacy is available to help. Our experienced heralds can present you with options that will mesh well with the rest of your coat of arms design, helping you to choose the symbol that will resonate with your family for many years to come.

Want to get started? Getting excited but still have questions? Contact Fine Legacy today!

3 Exciting Ways To Incorporate Your Family Crest Into The Holidays!


Halloween is behind us which means the winter holidays are just around the corner! Here at Fine Legacy, we believe it’s never to early to start preparing for the holiday season, which means fine tuning your menus, setting up the decorations, and yes, organizing your holiday wish lists so you can be sure to choose the perfect presents for your loved ones.

Here at Fine Legacy, we specialize in creating authentic coats of arms and family crests for those who are interested in honoring their heritage. We take the time to thoroughly research your family lineage, selecting meaningful aspects of your history that can be displayed proudly in a unique and beautiful family crest. We’ve helped thousands of people create a family crest that holds special meaning to their loved ones, and serves as an heirloom that can be passed down for generations.


Ways To Spice Up The Holidays With Your Family Crest

In today’s post, we’d like to focus on all of the ways that an authentic coat of arms or family crest can help elevate your holiday celebrations to a whole new level. If you’re trying to think of new ideas for gift-giving this year, we encourage you to keep reading!

1. Put It On Your Holiday Card

Family crest meanings are as unique as each member of your family. Show of your beautifully-designed family crest from Fine Legacy by incorporating it into your Christmas photo card this year. Your far flung friends and family will love seeing the unique family crest and coat of arms, and it will most likely earn you a plethora of compliments!

2. Display It At Your Holiday Feast

Will your home will be the gathering place for friends and family this holiday season? Your guests will expect delicious food and festive decorations, but one thing they won’t be expecting is your beautiful family crest displayed in the dining room! If you’re interested in using meaning of your family crest to spark conversation around the holiday table this year, make sure you place your order right away!

3. Give Gifts Customized With Your Family Crest

In addition to designing family crest meanings, Fine Legacy also specializes in creating beautiful treasures that allow you to display the crest proudly on a daily basis. These treasures include timepieces, signet rings, and works of art that give a home or office a distinctive feel. If you’re having a difficult time coming up with gift ideas for those hard-to-please relatives on your list, why not surprise them with something that’s been customized with their family crest?

Discover Your Family Crest Meanings Today!

We hope this post has helped you to see how easy it can be to incorporate family crests and their beloved meanings into your holiday celebrations. As always, please feel free to contact Fine Legacy if you have questions about our coat of arms creation, coat of arms gallery, or the treasures that can be customized with family crest meanings. Our specialists are always happen to help you learn more about the time-honored process of creating family crests and coats of arms, as well as your options for giving gifts customized with your family’s crest!


Family Crest Meanings: More Game of Thrones Crests


In our last blog post, we discussed the family crest meanings for the Stark and Lannister family in Game of Thrones. Today, we’re going to dig a little deeper and look into the family crests of the some of the other families featured in the show.

The Targaryen Family Crest

One of the most exciting family crests in the series is the Targaryen family crest, which features a three-headed red dragon on a black background. This royal family’s claim to fame lies in their pet dragons, which keep unruly citizens as well as their enemies in check.

The most powerful Targaryen, Daenerys, considers herself to be the mother of three dragons, and she has no problem delegating her dirty work to her dragon babies. In the crest, the red color of the dragons symbolizes both passion and bloodshed, which is all too familiar to this family. The black background most likely refers to the darkness of mental illness that haunts this family as well.

The Baratheon Family Crest

This controversial family features a black stag standing on his hind legs inside of a burning red heart on a bright yellow background. Fire is a destructive theme within the Baratheon family, which is the source of deaths for thousands of Baratheon soldiers and family members as well. In mythology, the stag is often associated with the spiritual realm, and Stannis Baratheon in particular was a religious fanatic.

The coat of arms symbols in the series are truly fascinating. If you would like to learn more about the coat of arms design process, contact Fine Legacy today!


Family Crest Meanings: Game of Thrones


Are you not only a history buff with an interest in family crest meanings, but also a fan of Game of Thrones? Let’s talk about some of the different family crests prominent in one of the most popular TV shows in the industry, based upon the much beloved book series by George R.R. Martin.

The Stark Family Crest

The beloved and often down-on-their-luck family on Game of Thrones are associated with wolves. In some of the earliest episodes, each Stark child received a pet direwolf. These loyal pet wolves protected the Starks from great danger, sometimes with deadly consequences. The Stark family crest features a grey direwolf running in a white background, which symbolizes courage and loyalty. The white background represents the snowy landscape of their domain in the North.

The Lannister Family Crest

To many Game of Thrones fans, the Lannister family are the true villains of the show, with the exception of the loyal Tyrion Lannister. This family crest features a gold lion with a bright red background, which is a perfect representation of the Lannisters. The wealthiest and most powerful family in the seven kingdoms, the gold lion symbolizes both their power and their financial status.  Lions are not only powerful creatures, they are prideful and dangerous as well, just like the family they represent. Responsible for many deadly battles, the crimson background accurately links the Lannisters to the bloodshed brought upon their enemies.

We’ve only scratched the surface with these Game of Thrones family crests, so stay tuned for the next blog post about other coats of arms in the show! Are you interested in designing a family crest? Contact Fine Things today for more information!

Family Crest Meanings: Some Fun Facts


Are you a history buff and interested in family crest meanings? Today, we’ll discuss some fun facts about coats of arms that you may not have known previously. Originating in the Middle Ages, family crests were painted onto soldiers’ shields during battle so that they could distinguish their allies from their enemies. Because knights wore helmets with face shields, they needed a way to identify their friends and enemies. These paintings identified the family one belonged to.

From Crests to “Coats of Arms”

Not only did warriors paint crests onto their shield, but they also sewed the crests into their tunics, which is how the term “coat of arms” originated. Additionally, warriors began painting crests on their banners as well.

Records of Coats of Arms

As coats of arms gained popularity, people began keeping records of the symbols used so that no two families shared the same coat of arms. The large number of knights and banners created a need for heralds, the record-keepers of the different banners. Soon, the government enacted a law that mandated that all coats of arms be registered with the government.

Colors and Shapes

As a result of the spreading popularity of coats of arms, different colors and geometric shapes were incorporated into crests in order to display the social status of each family. Different colors represented different meanings, and were associated with certain families.

Are you fascinated by family crest meanings? Fine legacy works with many different coat of arms symbols and meanings, and we would love to create a special family crest just for you!


Family Crest Meanings: Kate Middleton’s Coat of Arms


Shortly before Kate Middleton married Prince William, her father commissioned a coat of arms for her, representing the Middleton family.  This beautiful heraldic design incorporates design elements from both the history of the Middletons as well as their the places they love. Let’s explore the meaning behind this family crest:


The coat of arms features three acorns, which tie into the Middleton’s English heritage. An acorn grows into a magnificent oak tree, which is a traditional symbol of England. Oak trees grow in abundance in West Berkshire, the area in which the Middletons raised their children. The three individual acorns represent Kate, her sister, Pippa, and her brother, James.

The Tied Ribbon

Keep in mind that this coat of arms was created shortly before Kate married William, so this untied ribbon actually symbolizes that Kate is an unmarried woman. The untied ribbon ties in with the shape of the design with scalloped edges, which again signifies that Kate is an unmarried woman.

The Gold Chevron

The gold chevron incorporates design elements referencing matriarch Carol Middleton’s maiden name, Goldsmith. The Middleton family’s love of mountains is symbolized through the peaked shape of the Chevron.

Red and Blue

The artist incorporated the colors red and blue into the coat of arms for two reasons. The red and the blue meet in the middle, which could be referred to as the “ middle tone,” which references the Middleton family name. These two colors also distinguish this design from a similar coat of arms from many centuries ago.

Would you like to create a coat of arms for your family or learn more about family crest meanings? Contact Fine Legacy today!

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