None of the Sarratt/Sarrett/Surrett family
Coat of Arms are Authentic and is not a big
deal to me, weather they were or were not.
When you realize that nearly 85 percent of all Americans can trace their heritage back to one of the British Commonwealth nations England, Scotland, Ireland or Wales, you'll be able to imagine just how many people living in America are likely to have an authentic Coat-of-Arms somewhere in their background.
There are many Coats-of-Arms
circulating that are the product
of recent artistic innovation, and if you'd like to have one of
these on the wall of your den, there are several legitimate
houses that specialize in their creation.
Heraldry, at one time, was very serious business. You see, the
reason for having a Coat-of-Arms
was so you could be identified in
battle. So not only was your shield adorned with your chosen
identification, but so was your helmet - just in case your shield
I'm certain you get the idea that knights and all that went with them were highly regarded. In most cases, Coats-of-Arms were issued to individuals (such as Lancelot) rather than to families. And under strict heraldic tradition, only the first son of the first son is entitled to bear his ancestor's Coat-of-Arms. If there was more than one son in the family, the rules of heraldry said it was alright for them to use the Coat-of-Arms, but it had to be changed in some way. If the family's line was to be carried on by daughters, she was allowed to combine her family's coat of arms with that of her husbands. That's a bit of a warning to those of you who begin to trace a Coat-of-Arms, obviously there are going to be combinations along the way that will make it necessary for you to carefully dissect each Coat-of-Arms in order to identify the changes and additions that occurred over the years.
Incidentally the name "Coat of Arms" comes from the practice of the knight wearing a cloth coat over his armor -- a coat on which his identifying arms were sewn. The knight, therefore, wore a "Coat-of-Arms."
When the custom of having a Coat-of-Arms really became popular, every knight wanted to make his own, unique insignia. Obviously, there was some duplication -- in most cases the duplication wasn't settled without some kind of fight. In fact the fighting over Coats-of-Arms became so intense that in 1419, Henry V of England issued a decree that there would be no more coats of arms unless your ancestor had one, or unless you received one as a gift from the Crown. Later in the century, Richard III, just to reinforce the decree, sent inspectors into the various parts of the kingdom to authenticate Coats-of-Arms already in use and deny their use to anyone who was trying to circumvent the king's order.
These inspectors -- known as heralds -- have full
jurisdiction over disputes over who is or who is not entitled to use a particular
Coat-of-Arms. The heralds
are still very much in existence today and
preside over the heraldric lineage at:
There are three rules for granting a Coat-of-Arms.
Actually, if you want to be 100% correct historically, you should not refer to the identifying adornment we've been discussing as a "coat-of-arms" it should be referred to as an "Achievement of Arms." Common usage has eroded the original name, but remember that the Coat-of-Arms was only what I described earlier -- a coat worn over the armor on which was painted the Achievement of Arms.
We have a "Coat of Arms inspector" that is not to happy with the reference to the various Sarratt/Sarrett/Surrett being used to day!.
Would like to Exchange and Share information on SARRATT / SARRETT / SURRATT Families, contact me at:E-Mail: Paul R. Sarrett, Jr. Auburn, CA.