A coat of arms can be a neat thing to display on a wall or at a family reunion, and many people wonder if their family has one. Although selling coats of arms by surname has become a popular business, coats of arms in most countries were originally granted to individuals and were not inherited exactly as they were granted. They could be transmitted from father to son (and also to wives and daughters), but a coat of arms could only be used by one person at a time, and when it was transmitted it had to be changed in some way so as to differentiate it from the one used formerly. Still, if you are a direct descendant of someone who had a coat of arms, you may be eligible to legally use it. You can also create and register a coat of arms for yourself. You can visit The American College of Heraldry for more information about registering a coat of arms.
Since the bearing of coats of arms is not regulated in the United States, we personally see no harm in people displaying a coat of arms related to their surname as long as it is understood that the coat of arms doesn’t actually belong to them. And keep in mind that unless you have proven to be descended from someone who was granted that coat of arms, it is possible that the coat of arms never did belong to someone in your family tree but only to a family of a similar surname. To learn more about coats of arms for your surname, visit https://coadb.com.