[ Brungardt ] [ Linenberger
] [ The Origins and Meaning
of Heraldry ]
This page is dedicated to the heraldry of the surnames in our ancestral
tree. I have provided the coat of arms and description of the
origin of the family name. You may wonder why you will find multiple
coats of arms for some of the surnames. In my research, I have
turned up multiple coats all claiming to be the "real" family
coat of arms. Since I don't know any better than the next person
which is the "real" coat, I have decided to publish them all
with as much information as I can to their origin, leaving you to
decide. If you would like to read about The
Origins and Meaning of Heraldry, you may click the link or scroll to
the bottom of this page. If you have a coat of arms or historical
description of a family name in our ancestral tree and would like to
present it on this page for others to learn about, please contact me so
I may include it on this site.
The heraldic description of this coat of arms is as follows:
Nuremberg, Bavaria, Germany, 1505.
Arms: Azure, a demi fesse in dexter between three mullets of six two
and one, argent.
Crest: a demi Moor in profile, habited azure and wreathed about the
temples of the last and argent.
This coat of arms was ordered from www.coat-arms.com
based in the United Kingdom. I have questioned the company regarding
it's accuracy based on the coat of arms certificate below that I already
had and the color coat of arms below that I found on Brian Kinderknecht's
site. This is their response:
I can first off tell you that the coat of arms that
we supplied is by all
means 100% correct, and can be found in J.
Siebmacher's Grosses Wappenbuch.
I would be inclined to say that the coat of arms that
you are already aware
of is incorrect, the reason being that the arms shows
colour on colour (blue
on red), this being one of the rules of heraldry, no
colour on colour, and
no metal on metal. Also the wings would seem to be
wrong as these would
normally be the main colours of the shield, red and
blue in this case.
This coat of arms certificate was found in my
grandparent's (Bernard & Isabell (Linenberger) Brungardt) home.
In my 21 years of growing up in their home town, I can remember this
certificate being framed and hanging on their livingroom wall.
Brian Kinderknecht purchased this coat of arms from a company in the states
and does not know the wherabouts of the certificate at this time but will get it
to us when he can find it.
This coat of arms can be ordered from
The heraldic description of this coat of arms is as follows:
Lützelhausen, Germany. Arms registered at the Munich Herald¹s Office,
registration number 057/6433.
Arms: Azure, issuing from a mount of three coupeaux or, charged with a sprig
of three lime leaves gules, a demi swan, wings expanded argent, beaked of the
Crest: In front of a branch of fourteen lime leaves or, six in dexter and
sinister and two in the centre, two trunks azure.
This coat of arms was ordered from www.coat-arms.com,
based in the United Kingdom, the same company the first Brungardt coat of
arms was ordered from.
This coat of arms was found in my
grandmother's (Isabell (Linenberger) Brungardt) scrapbook. It was
only a copy that someone had sent her in the past. We do not know the
origin of it.
Joseph C. Wolf
Historically, heraldry began as a mark of
identification in social interaction and found its full flowering as a
useful art in the Middle Ages, when it came to be used to distinguish the
warriors on the battlefield.
Originally, a knight was free to choose his own device, but by the 15th
century, the multiplication of arms resulted in the complete systemization
of the practice, and heraldry became an exact science. All armorial
bearings came to be granted by the King, and all arms, both the recently
granted and those established by right of ancient usage, were registered
with the College of Arms, if English, or with similar agencies in
Even the heraldic terms used became exact and a coat of arms was not
described, but was blazoned. Terms for partition lines were developed such
as engrailed, nebuly, inverted, dancety, embattled, etc. Charges (figures
in the field) were of three kinds: the Ordinaries (chief, pale, bend,
fess, chevron, cross, saltire, bar, baton, etc.), the Subordinaries
(roundels, fusils, orle, annulets, cinquefoil, etc.) and the Common (hand,
fish, lions, bears, birds, mullets, etc.). The colors used were: two
metals: gold (or) and silver (argent): and five colors: red (gules), green
(vert), blue (azure), black (sable) and purple (purpurs).
The need for this means of identification declined with the passing of
chivalry, but the custom was anchored in antiquity and had a definite
appeal of its own.
There have been a great many people who insisted upon having a coat of
arms, whether they had a right to them or not, and there were also a
number of pretenders calling themselves heraldic artists, who were willing
to supply anything for a price. A coat of arms does not necessarily belong
to a person just because some one of the same surname bore it. He must
prove descent from the owner.
Marks and designs were used to mark a warrior’s armor and his surcoat,
which was the garment that he wore over his coat of mail. From this use
comes the expression coat of arms. These marks were not at first
hereditary. They gradually became so, however, and were recognized as
evidence of the wearer’s noble or gentle birth. The right to bear a
certain coat of arms came to be hereditary as early as 1390. In 1488 the
Herald’s College was incorporated by Richard III of England and it was
their duty to trace ancestry, to approve coats of arms, to confirm titles
of honor, and to examine claims to armorial rights. Some inherit their
father’s arms not equally but by law of cadency: that is, each son has
added to his inherited arms a particular sign indicating his order of
Women’s rights to coat armor are strictly limited, unless she is a
sovereign. She is granted the right to use a coat of arms bearing the arms
of her father or husband, but not on a shield. She uses a lozenge, a
diamond shaped frame.
Since a woman was not a warrior she could not use the shield, helmet,
crest, mantling or war-cry motto. Until her marriage, she used her
father’s arms in a lozenge, and oftentimes surmounted it with a true
lover’s knot of light blue ribbon. This later, however, has no official
After marriage, she used her husband’s arms on a lozenge, and continued
the practice if she became a widow. Sometimes the husband impaled his arms
with those of the wife’s father. At first, impaling was the placing of
the two shields side by side, but later it became the practice to place
the husband’s arms on the dexter (left as you face the shield), and the
arms of the wife’s father on the sinister.
If a woman was a heraldic heiress (having no brothers to inherit the coat
of arms) her husband placed a small shield with the arms of his wife’s
father in the center of his own so it would show he was carrying the arms
for the benefit of his children, the grandchildren of his wife’s father.
This was called the "escutcheon of pretense". The children
carried both of the arms, which were quartered.
The situation in America was and is somewhat different. While this country
was under English domination, before the Revolutionary War. There was some
general regulation of the right to bear arms - or at least the rules and
the customs have prevailed. Apparently, however, no effort was made by the
colonial government to compel citizens to abide by there laws, and as a
result, the later colonists did pretty much as they pleased about
displaying anything that struck their fancy.
At the close of the 17th century, this illegal use of arms was helped
along by an obliging carriage painter of Boston named Gore, who created
arms and eventually made a roll of arms which is completely without
authority. About a century later, another gentleman, a Mr. Cole, performed
similar labors throughout New England.
Actually, the patriots of America who won the Revolution were
"traitors" to England, and this fact, in reality, cancels their
rights and their descendant’s rights to the coat of arms granted to
During the 18th and 19th centuries, the unwarranted assumption of arms
reached huge proportions. Most persons took them without a shadow of a
claim. Because of American interest in Heraldry, the New England and
Historic and Genealogical Society, of Boston, has organized a committee on
heraldry. It is the function of this committee to investigate and
establish the right of certain American families to bear arms, and it has
published a roll of authentic coats of arms. However, such registration
has no legal effect, nor any meaning other than that, in the opinion of
the committee, such arms are rightfully used by certain families. The
committee accepts all coats where descent is proved from a grant of arms
where it can be proved that the first comer to this country used them; but
if it be shown that such user was without rights, the arms are removed
from the list.
The use of coat armor in the United States is a matter of personal taste.
There is no American law by which you can obtain a coat of arms, as our
government has not ever recognized coat armor. In using coats of arms, we
should abide by the laws governing its use in the country in which the
arms were granted. The right to bear arms in this country is limited to
those comparatively few families who can show a direct descent from an
arms bearing ancestor.