Official Heraldic Authorities

(This page last updated on 24 November, 2002)

Official Heraldic Authorities

 

     College of Arms in London - click on the image for their official website.

The College of Arms grants Arms to British subjects and citizens of the Commonwealth, and will grant "honorary arms" to Americans who can prove descent (paternal or maternal) from a British subject, which would include someone residing in the American colonies before the Revolutionary War.

(Click here to see a sample document)

     Court of the Lord Lyon in Scotland

Click on the image to go to an informative website about the Lyon Court.

(Click here to see a sample document)

     Chief Herald of Ireland

Click on the image for the official website. The Chief Herald of Ireland grants Arms to anyone of Irish descent throughout the world.

(Click here to see a sample document)

     Canadian Heraldic Authority

Click on the image for their official website. The CHA grants Arms to Canadian citizens, and will also register foreign Arms granted to Canadians.

(Click here to see a sample document)

     The South African Bureau of Heraldry

Click on the image to go to an informative website about the Bureau of Heraldry (BoH). The BoH grants Arms to South Africans and to foreign nationals.

(Click here to see a sample document)

   The Chroniclers of Arms in Spain

There are currently two Cronistas officially accredited by the Ministry of Justice as Chroniclers of Arms in Spain.

The older is Don Vicente de Cadenas y Vicent, who was appointed to his office by Generalissimo Franco in 1951. He is now not well and we understand he does not issue certifications any longer. His previous certifications are registered with the Ministry of Justice and are recognized by the Lord Lyon, but NOT by the College of Arms. The Chief Herald of Ireland no longer registers non-Irish arms, but will grant new arms based on Spanish certificates if the holder is Irish (see the Irish entry above).

The other Cronista is Don Alfonso Ceballos-Escalera y Gil, Marqués de la Floresta, who was appointed by King Juan Carlos II in 1992 to serve as the Chronicler of Arms of Castile and Leon. When the King grants new arms to those of Spanish nationality or descent (or recipients of Spanish honors) it is the Marqués de la Floresta who draws up the documents that the King signs. An AAH member enquired about the fees for this service in October 2002 and the reply was one thousand Euros. The Marqués will also certify new arms granted by a foreign heraldic authority for a fee of approximately US$900. The documents issued by Don Alfonso are more attractive than Don Vicente's certifications (which consist of a color drawing of the arms and typewritten pages), and they also carry more prestige. Anyone who wishes to apply for a Spanish certification of arms is advised to contact in the first instance our member

Click on this image to go to an informative website about the Chroniclers of Arms in Spain.

Click on this image to go to a most interesating website about the history of the Chroniclers of Arms in Spain, owned by Sebastian Nelson.

German Heraldic Societies

The following extract is from the helpful note about Germany by Michael Waas elsewhere on this site:
Since 1918 heraldic affairs are handled under the Civil Law. Personal arms are protected as a part of the name if the bearing is officially recorded and published. For this purpose there are a number of “heraldic societies” which have to be licensed by the local Lower Court, the Revenue, and the Chamber of Commerce. The society has to be formally established and obey various rules, including keeping and publishing an armorial and keeping genealogical records for the arms it registers. It is worth noting at this point that in Germany the arms relate to a family, and so a name, and not to an individual.

The German heraldic societies we know about are as follows:

Heraldische Gemeinschaft Westfalen http://www.westfalen-heraldik.de/page4.html

Der Herold - no web-site but the address can be found here. The oldest society in Germany, which has registered some thousand arms. Large published armorial, more than 30 volumes.

Zum Kleeblatt: http://www.zum-kleeblatt.de/ One of the oldest heraldry societies in Germany.

Rhein-Main-Wappenrolle http://www.schloss-alsbach.org/rolle1.htm

Der Wappen-Loewe http://www.wappen-loewe.de/ Large published armorial.

Muenchner Herold http://heraldic-consult.de/index.html A commercial company offering various degrees of publication of registered arms (the higher the price, the more elaborate the publication).

Pro Heraldica http://www.pro-heraldica.de/ Another commercial company offering various degrees of publication of registered arms. It has "taken over" a number of older heraldic enterprises and so claims a large heraldic database.

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