The Wall of Shields

(and Coats of Arms and Seals)

Note: The following are some of the Shields, Coats of Arms and Seals I have encountered while researching my ancestry. Do note, however, that according to College of Arms FAQs on heraldry, "There is no such thing as a 'coat of arms for a surname'. Many people of the same surname will often be entitled to completely different coats of arms, and many of that surname will be entitled to no coat of arms. Coats of arms belong to individuals. For any person to have a right to a coat of arms they must either have had it granted to them or be descended in the legitimate male line from a person to whom arms were granted or confirmed in the past." This is echoed by Fleur-de-lis Designs' article "Excuse Me, But There's No Such Thing As A Family Crest". That said, some of my ancestors represented below did in fact trace their ancestry to a subject of the crown.
~ James "Jamie" Arthur Johnson

Verified Ancestries with Verified Shields
(and Coats of Arms and Seals)

Aubigne of Brittany - d'Aubigny ancestry

Arms of Bohun: The Earls of Hereford, male descendants of my ancestor Humphrey "The Bearded" or "The Old" de Bohun, I, adopted this ca. 1200.

The Bruce Clan is that of my ancestor Robert the Bruce (King Robert I of Scotland). Its motto Fuímus means "We have been."

Shield associated with my direct ancestor Marjorie Bruce (daughter of Robert the Bruce).

Shield associated with my direct ancestor Marjorie Bruce (daughter of Robert the Bruce).

Shield associated with my direct ancestor Marjorie Bruce (daughter of Robert the Bruce).

Campbell is a Scottish and Irish name appearing in both the paternal Scottish (via Malinda Campbell Johnson) and maternal Irish (via John Campbell) ancestries of James Arthur Johnson.

The Seal of Charlemagne (Karolus Magnus) seen outside of Aachen Cathedral.

Jamais arrière - "Never behind." Also "Tender and true" and "Forwards."
Douglas Ancestry

I've verified my ancestor Margaret Gospatrick of Dunbar carried the Dunbar name. The Dunbar motto is In promptu, which means "In readiness."

Arms for
Clan Drummond
Na Druimeanaich

Motto: Virtutem coronat honos
     (Honour crowns virtue)


Clan Drummond
Na Druimeanaich

Crest: On a crest coronet Or, a goshhawk wings displayed Proper, armed and belled Or, jessed Gules

Motto: Virtutem coronat honos
     (Honour crowns virtue)


Eye is likely German in origin, seen also as Au, Auge, Awe and Owie.
Eye/Au/Owie Ancestry

Farrell -- The Uí Fhearghail (O'Ferralls or O'Farrell) -- Clan of Ireland (Source: The Farrel Clan - Longford, Ireland)
-- ancestors of the Kearns.

Prodesse Non Nocere -- "To do Good not Evil"

Forbes is a Scottish name that goes back to Scottish Royalty (Robert the Bruce) and other notable royal relatives. The Forbes line married into the De Skene/Skene/Skeen line.

In the Drummond ancestry is Gilbert (Gille Brigte), Earl of Strathearn. This is his second Seal from a Charter to the Abbey of Inchaffray

Robert De Caen, son of King Henry I of England, was the first Earl of Gloucester.

The Gospatrick ancestry is via my ancestor Margaret Gospatrick of Dunbar, wife of Gille Brigte mac Dufugan, 2nd Earl of Angus. She is also the first ancestor I've verified to carry the Dunbar name.

Wida Sigillum Hedwigis "Wida Seal of Hedwig"
Hedwiga (Hathui of Babenberg), Hedwig, Gemahlin Heinrich X. (wife of Henry X; she was his widow), Vogt von Weida, wife of Otto I (Duke of Saxony), mother of Henry the Fowler
Carolingians: Hedwiga

Seal of Henry the Fowler, son of Otto I and Hedwiga, from a document dated 30 March 925 with the words Heinricus Rex "Henry King," Duke of Saxony from 912 and the King of Germany from 919 until his death in 936.
Carolingians: Henry the Fowler

Esse quam videri
"To be rather than to appear."
Source from The Ivey Family in the United States by George Franks Ivey
Ivey Ancestry

The Kearns name is an anglicized form of the Irish name Ó Céirín or Ó Ciaráin, (source)

"fidens et constans"
Stand firm on trust

Veritas vincit - "Truth Conquers."
Keith Ancestry

In the Drummond ancestry are the Mormaers or Earls of Menteith. Above: Arms of Muireadhach I, Earl of Menteith (d. 1213), the Earl at the start of the age of heraldry.

This Propst line is of German (Saxony/Bavaria) origin, not Swiss origin. The name is derived from probst, a provost of a Roman Catholic Church diocese (in Germany). Propst Ancestry

Granted to Rexrode or von-Rexrode from Wanfried in Hesse of southwestern Germany between Thuringia and the Rhine River. Rexrode/Rexroad/Rexroth/Recksrodt Ancestry

Rexrode is derived from a village mentioned in 1337 as Reystras and in 1490 as Rexraide though a legend says this family made weapons and armor for Otto the Red, hence the Latin Rex for "king" paired with the old German roth for "red." Rexrode/Rexroad/Rexroth/Recksrodt Ancestry

Another version of the von-Recksrodt/Reckerodt/Rexrode/Rexroad Shield
Rexrode/Rexroad/Rexroth/Recksrodt Ancestry

Seal of King Robert II of France, "The Pious" (le Pieux) or "The Wise" (le Sage)
Vermandois Ancestry

"Virtue the Reward of Bravery"
Skeen comes from Scottish sgian, a dagger the ancestor used to save the king from a wolf. Skeen/(De) Skene Ancestry

Skene/Skeen comes from Scottish sgian, a dagger the ancestor used to save the king from a wolf. Skeen/(De) Skene Ancestry


Clan Skene Crest:
Virtutis Regia Merces
"A palace the reward of bravery"
Clan Skene Ancestry

The arms of the Stewarts were: or, a fesse chequy argent and azure. These arms were quartered by the several branches of the family. Moray" (Weeks, p. 317)

The Coat of Arms of Waltheof, the last Saxon Earl of Northumberland, who was beheaded May 31, 1076, at the request of his wife's uncle William the Conqueror due to participation in the Revolt of Earls.

Verified Ancestries with Unverified Shields
(and Coats of Arms and Seals)

Coffman/Kauffman Ancestry

Ad virtus astra - "Virtue to the stars"
Cranford Ancestry

Ad virtus astra - "Virtue to the stars"
Cranford Ancestry

The English Johnson Coat of Arms. My Johnson line appears to have origins in southern and central England.
The Early Johnsons

The Johnson shield may be one of these (but not Scottish).

See note regarding Cranford shields.


The McMullen Chief's Coat of Arms
Miseris Succurrere Disco
"I learn to succour the distressed"

The McMullen Crest (Clan Badge)
Miseris Succurrere Disco
"I learn to succour the distressed"

Unverified Ancestries with Unverified Shields
(and Coats of Arms and Seals)

Gilleberti Filii Gilleberti Sigilum Comitis
"Gilbert son of Gilbert Earl Seal"
Gilbert fitz Gilbert de Clare "Strongbow",
1st Earl of Pembroke

Richard de Clare "Strongbow" seal
2nd Earl of Pembroke, conqueror of Ireland and Justice of Ireland, son of Gilbert fitz Gilbert de Clare
de Clare "Strongbow" Ancestry

The arms of the Maules of Panmure are distiguished from those of the French family by the border being partitioned and the charges counterchanged. The number of escallops was eight in the arms of Sir William De Maule drawn ca.1296, but nine by his son Sir Henry ca. 1320.
De Maule Ancestry

Coin of King Olaf of Sweden
Olof Skötkonung (may have been known as Olaf Eriksson, though it this is not reliably referenced)
Viking Ancestry

Ukrainian coin depicting Sviatoslav I of Kiev
Kievan Ancestry

Honorary Shields

by my daughter Leona

The shield; you will fight for me.
I chose the tree; you help me to grow.
A star for you are the third-born son.
The helmet; you are my knight in
shining armor.

Faith, Family, Genealogy, Communication, Tech

A shield I drew to show the things that are important to me.

Knight shield from my high school

One of my favorite books Lionheart: Living in History, England 1190AD (1987) by Edwin King, which has provided information regarding many of my ancestors in England (1000-1190).

Bruce Wayne, the Batman, my favorite superhero. Image by mattcandraw on DeviantArt


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Developed in January 2019.