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  1. #1
    Join Date
    18th March 16
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    Burke's General Armory

    I have recently found a copy of the "Coat of Arms" for Burns as registered with Burke's General Armory. My wife's family is Armstrong and I would like to integrate the two into a combined "Coat of Arms" for our particular family, having certain elements of both, creating a unique piece for our family. Has anyone else here done something similar?

  2. #2
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    30th September 08
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    See this previous thread...

    You might see this older thread for information on obtaining arms, and pay particular attention to post #6:

    http://www.xmarksthescot.com/forum/f...at-arms-84599/

    It seems to be an arduous and expensive process.
    Last edited by ShaunMaxwell; 22nd March 16 at 10:50 AM.
    Shaun Maxwell
    Vice President & Texas Commissioner
    Clan Maxwell Society

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  4. #3
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    What Chas said in the other thread.
    Plus the Lord Lyon will want to see proof of your Scottish pedigree on your paternal line, going back at least four generations.

  5. #4
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    You have seen the name Lord Lyon mentioned. Perhaps it would be helpful to you to know who and what this is;

    The website of The Court of The Lord Lyon - http://www.lyon-court.com/lordlyon/CCC_FirstPage.jsp

    Here is a quote from the home page -

    "The Court of the Lord Lyon is the heraldic authority for Scotland and deals with all matters relating to Scottish Heraldry and Coats of Arms and maintains the Scottish Public Registers of Arms and Genealogies."



    And here is what is said about Coats of Arms -

    "There is a widespread misconception that a family or a clan can have a family or clan Coat of Arms. Many heraldic and clan web sites and other media suggest that a person has the right to use the family or clan Arms. This is completely incorrect.

    A Coat of Arms belongs only to one individual person and can only be used by that person and no one else. In order for a person to be able to use a Coat of Arms it is necessary for that individual person to apply for a personal Coat of Arms to be granted to him or her.

    What is permitted is for a member of a clan to use the clan crest. Usually what is referred to as the clan Coat of Arms is in fact the personal Arms of the chief of the clan which can only be used by the chief."



    You will not get any more definitive answer than that - as it applies in Scotland. They take this stuff pretty seriously there.

    In the US there is no equivalent to The Lord Lyon simply because Arms are not recognized or part of US culture. This is one of the results of a war a few years ago. If you wish to draw something up using symbols that are significant you your family that is fine. There is nothing in the US law to stop you.
    But please do not then claim Scottish Arms or attempt to display or use them within Scotland.

    Tartan on the other hand is a whole different animal. Tartan is a design to which names have been given. There are many Tartans specifically for branches of families, with Scottish names, all over the world. You could, if you wished, combine the Armstrong and Burns Tartans and call it something like "The Armstrong-Burns of America Tartan". You could then wear this with pride anywhere.
    Last edited by Steve Ashton; 22nd March 16 at 02:21 PM.
    Steve Ashton
    Forum Owner

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  7. #5
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    As you can read in the thread kindly linked by ShaunMaxwell, coats of arms are regulated by law in the UK (as well as other countries), though the United States has no such laws. The thing to keep in mind about coats of arms, especially in Scotland, is that they are individual - while coats of arms of members of a particular family are similar, they are unique to each individual. While the eldest son of a family will inherit his father's arms, to ensure they're unique while his father lives, a heraldic charge called a label is used on the heir's shield until the arms become his upon his father's death, while any younger brothers will bear slightly different arms that show their position in the family. Because of this, there's really no such thing as a "family" coat of arms.

    I'm a traditionalist deep down and am planning to petition my own arms from Lord Lyon at some point in the future.

    That said, seeing that you are in the United States, there's nothing to stop you from creating a coat of arms (often called "assumed arms" because they're not granted by a heraldic authority) and using it on stationery, home decor, etc. Just keep in mind that using that coat of arms might not be legal outside the United States, so check local laws should you decide to travel abroad with luggage emblazoned with your "assumed" arms!

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  9. #6
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    Composed Arms

    When elements from two or more different arms are combined to form a single coat of arms you have a "composed" coat of arms.

    As a US citizen, you have three options: (1) is to simply assume arms and go on your merry way; (2) involves applying to one of the European heraldic jurisdictions for a de novo grant, a process that has a great deal of snob value (in North America) but is expensive; (3) or you can register your assumed arms in Spain or South Africa. The last option is the least expensive insofar as having your arms actually certified as yours, and yours alone, by a functioning governmental heraldic authority.

    Of the three options, I tend to favour the third if one can not afford the $3000+ fees one is going to incur in dealing with the Scottish, Irish, or English heraldic authorities. Choosing between Spain or South Africa is really a matter of personal preference, with Spain being the least expensive option -- a few hundred dollars, at most.

    As far as the design of your proposed composed arms, there are several gentlemen here on XMTS who could give you assistance in that area; without wishing to advocate a monopoly of talent, I'd suggest you might want to speak with Harold Cannon (here or on Facebook) and have him work with you on the design of your arms, as well as guiding you through the process of registering those arms in Spain, or South Africa.
    [SIZE=1]and at EH6 7HW[/SIZE]

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