The prints are headed by a full-colour copy of the first registered Coat of Arms, designs from medieval times attributed to different families. These display a crest, the image that was used as a wax seal or on a signet ring by the holder of the Arms. Below this is the actual Coat of Arms that family used. This could have been displayed on a tunic over a suit of armour to identify a Knight. Some people say they were the first logo’s! Some of these designs could be over 800 years old.
Our researchers work from old records to compile around 1,800 words of the history of each name. We even list a lot of the sources used on the reverse of the print to help you do further research of your own if you would like to.
Each history gives information about the origin of the name, for example, Stewart which derived from Steward (a guardian of a Hall or an estate). As most names can change through time the reasons for changes in spelling are explained and specific examples are given. Stewart, for example, can also be Stuart.
You are then given information about where the name first came to prominence. From the ancient records, we can tell you where the family were first granted land or Titles. Very often we find many people of a given name still have strong connections with these sites.
Next, we give you a random sample of some of the people of that name who travelled to the new world, either voluntarily or by way of punishment! Where we can, we identify an individual here and give the dates of their arrival.
The last section of the print identifies some notable people of the chosen name. For example, if the name was Churchill you would find a reference to the namesake Winston Churchill.