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Not what you expected?...read on, or get ripped off.

We know that most searches give you a short history of your surname, and some even tell you or show you the coat of arms, but.....don't believe everything you read.

Before I wrote this piece I searched one online database and found that they had the same identical coat of arms for all the following surnames:

Smith, Smyth, Smythe, Smtih, Smute, Smoot, Smithy, Smiths, Smithie, Smithhart, Smithee, Smar, Smithe, Smithy, and probably many more.

Is this correct.....NO!

In fact each one of these surnames not only have a different coat of arms, but also a different history, yes one surname may have originated from another i.e. Smyth from Smith etc. but do they tell you that there is a completely different coat of arms for each surname, and in many cases several coats of arms for each surname from each origin? No, and why? Because unlike Family-crests.com who research each surname by hand, and then illustrate each one by hand, others use free, or cheap to buy clip-art, have a computer program written for them that can place a limited number of elements into the right places on a shield, and then pass this of to you the customer as an authentic coat of arms.

So if we do everything by hand how can we keep our costs so low
Easy, lets take the surname 'Smith' again, a very common surname, we only have to research this once, we collect all the coat of arms descriptions and place them into our offline database, now next time someone orders the surname 'Smith' we have already done the research, also when we researched the surname 'Smith' first time round, we would have also illustrated one of the coats of arms for that particular customer, now we have all the 'Smith' coats of arms in the database, with one illustrated, and with this being such a common surname, we could have 50 orders a year for the same coat of arms, them 50 orders for the same coat of arms, pay for the extra work that has to go into researching, illustrating etc. another coat of arms that we may only sell once every 2 years. So by spreading the cost across all our orders, we are able to offer the competitive price that we do.

How can you tell if research is authentic or not?
You can't really, you have to make an informed decision based on any information you have available to you, but the first sign of an incorrect coat of arms is the description, when a coat of arms is granted (given) by the College of Arms, of a particular country, it is always presented in the form of a description, this is called a heraldic description (and don't believe when some companies tell you these are in Latin, they are not).

An English heraldic description is written in a combination of French and English, i.e.:
Argent, two naked arms in fesse, one issuant dexter fesse point, the other from the sinister, grasping a torch erect and inflamed, issuant from the dexter base a similar arm, grasping a sword in pale all proper.

This is the same format of description that Family-crests.com work from to create a coat of arms, so as soon as you see a description reading something like:
A silver shield, with a red bar and in the top a black lion.

You know to steer clear.

There are many other ways to tell to the trained eye that I will not go into length to explain now.

So why do you not sell surname histories?
Because we will not sell worthless products to our customers that are created from generic information, lets take the stand surname history, any information that is in that history is actually available free of charge on the internet, they often tell you the names and dates of the first settlers of a particular surname in the 'New World', go search for passenger lists online and you will find the same information yourself, plus more about each person.

Next the actual history of the surname, well most surnames actually do not have any traceable history, but the ones that do, you can find the same information and more again for free online, one good source ishere, once the company has this information it is left to someone with a good imagination and some background in history to write some common information that every high-school child would know.

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