Sunday, September 30, 2012

Family Coat of Arms? Oh brother!

As a family researcher,  you may have encountered a certain family member has a “special” document to share with you? Then they say that the document includes information on the origins of the family name and an image of the Family Crest/Coat of Arms. Nothing makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up more than when a family members informs me that they have a document pertain to our family’s Coat of Arms. Really? Our family has a Coat of Arms? Most often these “documents” were purchased at a mall or cultural gift shop, or even worst, they were found online. These places are often called “Bucket Shops” by those of common genealogical sense. These documents and crest are nothing more than fairy tales and often have outlandish claims on the origins of the family names. And as usually, my reply is often a difficult conversation to have with a relative who has held onto this document as if it was the pure truth, the greatest of family heirlooms. What is even more unfortunate is that I have debated this subject with apparently “knowledgeable” researchers of Acadian families over the years… not sure how early Acadian families were able to gain such nobility and honor from Crown!? In September 2012, Dick Eastman of “Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter” wrote a wonderful article on “bogus” family crest. The article can be found at Dick puts the whole subject into a great perspective. Best of luck out there when dealing with those people in love with this junk!

One of five(5) "unofficial" GAUDET family crest

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