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frieze3The Committee on Heraldry was established in 1864, within the New England Historic Genealogical Society, to “collect and preserve information in regard to heraldry.” Dating back to the twelfth century, heraldry is the art of representing individuals and families with particular symbols and colors arranged on and around a shield (a “coat of arms”) or other conventional shape. Because heraldry has been used for centuries to identify individuals and families, it can be vitally important for genealogical research. Yet beyond their genealogical value, heraldic arts from every era are well worthy of study and appreciation. Heraldry can be found abundantly on gravestones, seals, portraits, embroideries, and countless monuments and buildings, in every European country and in every land colonized by Europeans, including the United States. Since 1864 the Committee on Heraldry has been collecting information on American colonists and modern Americans with coats of arms, as well as on the use of heraldry and heraldic artifacts in the United States and her colonial predecessors. This website provides information on the Committee and its projects, an index to the Roll of Arms of colonists or early immigrants with proved hereditary arms, and information and forms for registering or recording coats of arms with the Committee.
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