Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Is there a Palin Family Crest?

Today I received an email from someone researching the Palin family and inquired about a coat of arms or a family crest.  I wrote her a lengthy reply trying to educate her about family crests and it dawned on me that not only was it blog worthy but also a good idea to have all the resources in one location.
I would like to bend your ear for a bit and explain/educate about a Palin coat of arms, or family crest.  There is no such thing.  Let me explain.  The coat of arms was given way back when to help identify who it was under full armour.  Each person had an original coat/crest that would identify him.  So if the dad had a lion and 2 wheat bundles - the son, if also on the battle field,  could have the same lion and 3 wheat bundles.  

Nowadays companies got hold of the idea that people would like to hang something on the wall and have been making crest certificates, mugs etc.   This is all a hoax!!!!

I could list all kinds of documentation that explains that family crest websites are a hoax and one of my favourite genealogy newsletters that I have subscribed to for over 20 years is Dick Eastman.  He wrote an excellent article about it.

Now, in saying that - in today's world everything can come at a price.  For a mere £3,500 you can buy  a coat of arms direct from the College of Arms in England.   This came to my attention back in 2011 when the singer Tom Jones bought one.

Now, don't be confused by this little tidbit. Back around 1909, Gilbert Walter Palin was very much interested in family history.  He wrote a book regarding the Palins that served their country and then followed up with a second edition after WW1.  He put a family crest on the cover of the books.  A cousin of Gilbert's, Townshend D Palin did a family tree about the same time. 


I believe it was William Henry Palin that first used the crest. This crest was on a couple of his family artifacts.  You can see more about it here.

Just to make this discussion more complicated a while ago a man posted on a Palin facebook group a picture of his Palin family crest from Italy.  His crest looks nothing like the English one.


Here is the oddest thing about that Italian crest.   There is a wine from Chile called Palin.  On the label of that wine is the same circle showing on the Italian crest. That label states the circle thing represents a ball used in an ancient game.  

Did Italians emigrate to Chile?  According to Wikipedia they did - but not centuries ago.  

​I have also written about where the Palin name originated from.  There are so many theories regarding that. ​ The newest theory would certainly fit with an Italian crest.  You can read about it here.

So in summary, I have checked many ancient English heraldry books and there is no Palin or Palyn listed. Even if there was a Palin that had a coat of arms, that would be for him only, not his descendants.

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