John Lehman, who has kindly arranged for one of his staff to contribute an article on heraldry in the reign of Victoria, distinguishes his heraldry website from other sources of online information.

1. All of our arms are fully sourced to real historical documents. The main sources I use are Burke’s Armorial Général, authored by Sir Bernard Burke and published in 1884, as well as the Armorial General, authored by Johannes Baptista Rietstap in 1861.

2. We provide the blazon on the page, sometimes in Italian and French in addition to English!

3. Whereas other websites depict only the shield, we depict the crest and supporters (if present)

4. Whereas other websites only have one arms per surname, we list multiple arms per surname. For example, we have 54 arms for Allen, and 297 for Smith!

5. Every page reminds readers that the term “family crest” is a misnomer, because arms belong to individuals. Unfortunately, I must use the term family crest, because the misnomer has stuck over the years.

6.Every page will include a 700-word article about the surname history and meaning, not just boilerplate: I’ve paid someone to do genuine research. It’s a slow process, and so far, only about 15% of the articles are complete. is still relatively small (we only have ~18,000) arms, but we plan to have hundreds of thousands of arms over the years from all areas of Europe and serve as the world’s largest heraldry database. Readers interested in heraldry, so-called family crests, and tracing coats of arms that might have belonged to members of their family might wish to visit The Coat of Arms Database.

Note: All the information on his site described above is available without cost to readers. Mr. Lehman hopes to pay for the research on the site by selling various kinds of merchandise bearing a coat of arms, such as mugs and T-shirts. George P. Landow.

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Last modified 11 August 2017