A genuine family coat of arms is a symbol Medieval families used for identification. Most European families used a coat of arms, and various countries around the world with European influence followed suit. The coat of arms is unique to a family, and often describes the family history or symbolizes a family characteristic. A crest depicting a lion and a soldier symbolized a family with a strong military history, for example.
Research your family history. Ask ancestors where the family may have originated, or search old family documents for clues. The most important piece of evidence for finding a family coat of arms is to discover if your family is European. Once the origins of the family are discovered, find the correct spelling of the original European name. If a family has moved to a new country, especially America, the chances that the spelling of the name was changed are high.
Browse free coat of arms searches on websites designed for the purpose. These websites display a family coat of arms with options to buy or print the design for personal use. Genealogyspot.com, for example, is a beginner's site designed to help those searching for their coat of arms and a history of their family surname.
Enter your last name into the database searches, using a spelling as close to the original as possible. Some sites will generate different groups of people with the same last name from different areas. Refer to your researched family history to locate your specific area and pinpoint which last name belongs to your families' coat of arms.