Friday, October 31, 2008

How to Create a Coat of Arms: Part 7

This segment will conclude my postings on How to Create a Coat of Arms.

Step 7: The Blazon of Arms

The blazon of arms is the written description of the image, described in such a manner that an accurate drawing may be made. This must follow a particular order. The blazon had to be precise because it would be given to an artist to create the coat of arms. The blazon would help the artist understand exactly what was required.

For the instructions that follow, I will use the Lyons family coat of arms as an example. For more detailed instructions on creating your own blazon of arms, here are a couple good websites to visit:
The Basics of Blazonry
Master Bruce's Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Blazon

First, the color of the shield is given. Thus a blazon would begin with one word to describe the color, such as Sable (black).

Next would come the divisions of the shield, if there are any, and what color they are.
Sable, a chevron ermine.

Following the divisions would be the primary charges and their colors. The specific position of the charges follows the color.
Sable, a chevron ermine between three lions argent langued gules, sejant guardant.
(Langued gules = tongue and claws in red.)

Then secondary charges are listed, along with their colors and position.
Over the chevron, a label gules.

If the coat of arms includes a crest, that would follow.
For the crest, a demi lion ermine rampant maintaining a cross-crosslet fitchee.
(Demi = partial. Ermine = fur: black ermine spot on white. Maintaining = holding in a non-threatening manner. Cross-crosslet fitchee = the specific type of cross used.)

Thus my husband's blazon of arms would read:
Sable, a chevron ermine between three lions argent langued gules, sejant guardant. Over the chevron, a label gules. For the crest, a demi lion ermine rampant maintaining a cross-crosslet fitchee. For the motto: Vertute et fidelitate.

I hope you've had some fun creating your own coat of arms. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or would like some assistance.


  1. I also am a Nicodemus and I am looking for a family crest/Coat of Arms. I enjoyed your information about making up my own, but I want to know if one already exists. I do not know which Nicodemus line I hail from. I only know that my grandfather was Ezra Nicodemus who was a farmer in Idaho where my father grew up, although he was born in Foxholm, ND. Any ideas about the linage or crest? Thanks. I do not know how best to sign my identity so I just did anonymous. I am pleased to fully id myself.

  2. Dear Anonymous:

    I'll do some searching through the Nicodemus geneology info that I have to try to find your grandfather. If you can give me some additional info, that would be helpful, like when he was born and who he was married to. I know it's sometimes hard to dig up birth dates of grandparents if you don't already have them, but whatever else you can give me will help. It'll take some time because there are hundreds of pages of tiny print to search through, and I'm only just beginning to familiarize myself with it all.

    I don't know of any other Nicodemus family crests. All the searches I had done online came up empty. I also don't know when this particular crest was developed or how far back in the lineage it goes.

    Send an email to me at so we can keep in touch about this.

  3. What do you need to get started on making a coat of arms for me?

  4. Hey, Kev:

    Thanks for visiting my post. Here's what I would need:

    * Your last name
    * Your family's country of origin
    * If you have a spouse and want to make a combined coat, give me her info as well.

    That would get me started on some research on the historical coat of arms for your family name. I'll let you know what I find, and we'll proceed from there.

    If you don't want anything historical, then tell me what you would like represented on your coat, such as: your profession, your character, or even your philosophy of life.

    If you don't want to post any of that info publicly here, you can PM me at

  5. I am also a nicodemus looking for family. Could use any help anyone has. My greatgrandmother was Rachel M. Nicodemus from Penn.
    (born around 1894)1920 census has her at age 26
    Married Ray O. Bucklew, later having at least 4 boys, living in oaklahoma,and missouri. Any help would be appreciated.

  6. I'll see what I can find in the materials that I have. It'll take awhile though. Hundreds of pages of small print to look through. Unfortunately, a lot of it was done via typewriter, so there's no computer file. One of these days I'll scan all the pages.

    In the meantime, send me an email at so I can keep in touch with you personally, in case I learn anything.