The art and science of heraldry can be of interest and importance to the genealogist dealing with noble or landed families. Many of the sources below can also be helpful in explaining and interpreting the crests, arms, seals, and mottoes that are associated with cities, states, organizations, and businesses.

The selection that follows includes most of the major sources of heraldic information for Great Britain, Scotland, Ireland, and the United States as well as the standard work on continental European armory.

Alderman Reference
CR1209 .B6 1927
Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton’s American Armory. Boston: F. W. Faxon Company, 1927.

Register of the coats of arms that have been in use in the United States from colonial times to the present. The author disclaims authenticity of any of the coats of arms listed.

Alderman Reference
CR21 .B67 1892

Boutell, Charles. Heraldry, Ancient and Modern. Rev. ed. Ed. S. T. Aveling. London: W. W. Gibbings, 1892.

History of the development of the various graphic elements of heraldic art. Includes chapters on seals, coins, and flags, Contains 488 clear illustrations. Glossary in chapter XIV; well indexed.

Clemons Stacks
CR1619 .B73 1969

Burke, Sir John Bernard. The general armory of England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales; comprising a registry of armorial bearings from the earliest to the present time. With a supplement. Reprint of London, 1884 ed. Baltimore, Genealogical Pub. Co., 1976.

Contains descriptions of over 60,000 coats of arms including “Noblemen and Gentlemen of the British Empire, and the various Coats that are to be seen in churches and family mansions, together with those traceable on Seals, Deeds, Wills, and Monumental remains,” Except for royal arms there are
no illustrations.

Alderman Stacks
CR21 .C32
Cadenas y Vicent, Vicente de. Fundamentos de heráldica : (ciencia del blasón). Madrid : Hidalguía, 1975.

Bibliography: p. 207-210.

Clemons Stacks
CR23 .C45 1976
Child, Heather. Heraldic design : a handbook for students. 2nd ed. Baltimore, Md. : Genealogical Pub. Co., 1976.

Includes index and bibliography: p. 175-176.

Alderman Stacks
CR1209 .C7 1972
Crozier, William Armstrong. Crozier’s general armory; a registry of American families entitled to coat armor. Baltimore, Genealogical Pub. Co., 1972. Originally published in 1904.
“Includes the known armigerous families of all the States in the Union . . . including not only the arms of persons of British ancestry, but of those whose ancestors came from Continental Europe.” The arrangement is alphabetical by surname.
Alderman Reference
F225 .C92 1953
Crozier, William Armstrong. Virginia heraldica, being a registry of Virginia gentry entitled to coat armor, with genealogical notes of the families. 2nd ed. Baltimore, Southern Book Co., 1953.

Descriptions of the arms, crests, and mottoes of various Virginia families. Each entry includes a brief genealogy. The arrangement of the book is very poor, and there are no bibliographic references for the genealogies; however, there is an index at the end of the volume.

Alderman Reference
CR75.G7E5 1971

Elvin, Charles Norton. A handbook of mottoes, borne by the nobility, gentry, cities, public companies, etc. London: Boil and Daldy, 1860; Detroit: Gale Research Co., 1971.

Arranged alphabetically by first letter in the motto, this volume provides an English translation of each motto and identifies its source.

Alderman Reference
CR57.G7F2 1963

Fairbairn, James. Fairbairn’s Crests of the Leading Families in Great Britain and Ireland. New York, 1911; Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1963. 2 vols. in 1.

The most complete collection of crests and mottoes; over 30,000 names arranged alphabetically, with descriptions of crests and cross-references to the plates that illustrate them. Motto section is arranged alphabetically by mottoes and lists an English translation for each motto as well as the family or families using them.

Alderman Reference
CR1619.F7 1895
Fox-Davies, Arthur Charles. Armorial Families. Edinburgh: T. C. & E. C. Jack, 1895.

Alphabetical arrangement by family name; provides biographical information, description of the arms, crest, and motto.

Alderman Reference
CR13.F7 1970

Franklyn, Julian, and John Tanner. An Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Heraldry. Oxford: Pergamon Press, 1970.

An etymological dictionary of heraldic terms which includes Afrikaans heraldic terms. The encyclopedic coverage supplies information on the devising, granting, and usage of armorial
bearings, banners, crests, supporters, and quarters as well as a brief account of all the authentic orders of chivalry. Civil and military state orders of merit and decoration are included.

Clemons Stacks
CR21 .F7 1971 
Franklyn, Julian, and John Tanner. Shield and Crest: An Account of the Art and Science of Heraldry. 3rd ed. Baltimore, Genealogical Pub. Co., 1971 [c1960]

Offers historical background on the development of the art and science of heraldry. There are descriptions of and explanations for most of the symbols and signs used in heraldry. Glossary and index of illustrations; general index.

Ald Reference
CR23.G8 1948
Grant, Francis J. The Manual of Heraldry. Edinburgh: John Grant, 1948.

A concise dictionary of heraldic terms including a chapter on the order of precedency.

Alderman Stacks
Z5313.G4 H46 1984
Henning, Eckart. Bibliographie zur Heraldik : Schrifttum Deutschlands und Österreichs bis 1980. Köln : Böhlau, 1984.

Includes indexes.

Alderman Stacks
CR671 .P36 1987
Pardo, Eduardo José. Manual de heráldica española. [Spain] : Aldaba Ediciones, [1987?] (Madrid : Gráficas Mar-Car)

Includes index and bibliography.

Alderman Reference
CR1618.P3 1970
Parker, James. A Glossary of Terms Used in Heraldry. Rutland, Vt.: Charles E. Tuttle, 1970.

Arranged in one alphabetical list, this book defines and describes heraldic terms. There are 1,000 illustrations, including several color plates.

Alderman Reference
CR1179.R52 1965
Rietstap, Johannes Baptiste. Armorial General. Baltimore : Genealogical Publishing Co., 1965.

Reprinted from the edition of 1950 Standard work on European arms, containing more than 100,000 family names, arranged A-Z by family. Illustrations are not included, and the text is in French.

Alderman Reference
CR1179.R52 Suppl.
Rietstap, Johannes Baptiste. General Illustrated Armorial. Illus. and ed. V. & H. Rolland. 3d ed. Lyons: Societe de Sauvegarde Historique, [1953?]. 6 vols.

A supplement to Armorial General, containing illustrations of all the coats of arms described therein.

Alderman Reference
CR13 .R68 1985
Rothery, Guy Cadogan. Concise encyclopedia of heraldry. London : Bracken Books, c1985.

Originally published: ABC of heraldry. London : S. Paul & Co., 1915.

Alderman Reference
Z5305.F7 S22
Saffroy, Gaston. Bibliographie généalogique, héraldique et nobiliaire de la France, des origines à nos jours, imprimés et manuscrits. Paris, G. Saffroy, 1968-79.

t. 1. Généralités: Nos 1-16008.–t. 2. Provinces et colonies françaises. Orient latin. Réfugiés. Nos 16009-33963.–t. 3. Recueils généalogiques généraux. Monographies familiales et études particulières. Nos 33964-52222.–t. 4. Table générale: auteurs, titres anonymes, matières.–t.5. Supplement 1969-1983.

Alderman Stacks
UC595 .J3 T87 2002
Turnbull, Stephen R. Samurai heraldry. Oxford (England) : Osprey, 2002.

Includes index.

Alderman Stacks
CS 587 .V27 1989
Valette, Régis. Catalogue de la noblesse française. Paris : R. Laffont, 1989.
Alderman Reference

Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott for Bailey, Banks, and Biddle, 1895.

Large section devoted to discussion and description of American state and organizational seals, ecclesiastical seals, colonial societies, and American orders.