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House of Names


List of Questions

List of Answers

Q1: How authentic are the surname histories?
The name data base we use has been created and researched over three decades. The Bibliography lists some of the resources used for creating name history data. This research has resulted in over a 1,000,000 names in our data base. We strive for authencity and accuracy.

Q2: Who can have a coat of arms?
Any one has the right to bear a coat of arms. Arms can be held by persons, countries, municipalities, and corporations.

Q3: What's in a surname history?
A family name history is a narrative of a name over time, not the genealogy of a specific member of a family. The products we provide complements the type of information found through a genealogical search. The crest and coat of arms we provide you are normally the earliest known version of the arms.

Q4: Can you create a new coat of arms for me?
We do not 'grant' coats of arms. There are organizations that do this for you. Actually in some countries you can 'assume' any arms, though you could consider being historically consistent by drawing upon known versions of the coats of arms for your last name. To learn more about creating a coat of arms, refer to books on heraldry, such as Design Your Own Coat of Arms by Rosemasry A. Chorzempa, or research the subject matter on the web (for example, knebworthouse.com or familytreemagzine.com). Also refer to Q11.

Q5: Is the family crest really my family crest?
The crest is yours to use. Also refer to Q11.

Q6: Does this site help me in the search of my family tree?
Indirectly; our surname history will give to a broad historical review of your last name which includes key name related events and dates.

Q7: Can you create a family tree for me?
No; however, we do have a scroll for a two family 'family tree' which includes two family crests and info areas for immediate family members.

Q8: What nationalities do you include in your data base?
The name database has names originating from many geographical areas and ethic groups, including the Americas, Europe, Russia, China, Austraila/New Zealand, and so forth. Research on names is on-going, and our data base is continually updated by surname history researchers.

Q9: Are people who bought your product satisified with the content?
All products come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, and we have always had a very low return rate. Customer comments and testimonials are now included on our web-site, and can be seen on our product description pages. See for example Armorial history.

Q10: Why have I seen a different coat of arms for my name (This doesn't match what I've seen before)?
There are often several different coats of arms for any given surname. Coats of arms were originally granted to individuals, who then passed them down through direct descents. We generally try to find the earliest coat of arms on record associated with a surname or one of its spelling variations, then draw it on the computer according to heraldic standards.

Q11: Is this My coat of arms? (Can I legally bear these arms?)
The rules of heraldry vary by country. Under most heraldic authorities, if you can show direct descent to one of the bearers of a coats of arms then you can "inherit" these arms. Take a look at the British heraldic authority web site.

In America there is no legal requirement attached to coats of arms. You may design and display anything you like, including the coat of arms of someone who bore your surname whether you are directly related to him or not. There is an American body that will register coats of arms for Americans, but there is no legality involved here.

Q12: Do you sell genealogies? (Is this my family's history?)
We do not sell genealogies. Our histories are by nature rather general as they are for everyone who ever bore a particular surname rather than a history of any one family line.

Q13: What is the difference between Family Crest and a Coat of Arms?
There is a technical difference between a family 'Crest' and a 'Coat of Arms', but people often us the terms interchangeably. A 'Coat of Arms' (full achievement) generally refers to the shield, crest, helmet, mantling and supporters (if any), while the 'Crest' technically only refers to the small image that lies on the helm (top of the helmet). A Coat of Arms that bears a name was originally bestowed to an individual; also see Q11.

Q14: Are there Family Crests?
Strictly speaking there is no 'Family Crest', nor 'Family Coat of Arms' (also see Q13), but these terms have come into common usage and are therfore use on this web site. The more correct terms are 'Coat of Arms' and 'Armorial bearing'