A first step in determining your family coat of arms is to complete your family tree. Doing so may lead you to an ancestor surname that was granted a coat of arms. If so, contact the College of Arms or appropriate entity from that ancestor’s country of origin.

However, only certain surnames from parts of Eastern Europe have coats of arms attached to them, because historically, coats of arms were given to individual persons, not to families. Companies that claim they can look up a family coat of arms, may offer inaccurate, incomplete or deliberately misleading information. The same surname may also have differing coats of arms, as various ancestors with that surname could have each earned different coats of arms. A genealogy search that finds a specific ancestor who was given a coat of arms is necessary to determine a coat of arms.