Look up a family crest with the family name search tool at the Heraldry and Crests website or by typing in a last name in the search bar on AllFamilyCrests.com. Finding the right family crest for a name depends on the country of origin.
When looking up a family crest, an individual needs to select the origin of the name, as family crests of the same name differ depending on the country. For instance, the Nelson family crest from Germany boasts a plume of ostrich feathers with a boat, cross and palm tree. The boat symbolizes sea voyages and both the cross and palm tree have Christian meaning. However, the Danish Nelson family crest sports a rock, a palm tree and a boat with the color red, which denotes the military. Furthermore, the family crest of an English Nelson features an armored arm and a fleur-de-lis, the latter of which symbolizes an association with France. The black and white in the crest correspond to grief and innocence, respectively.
Family crests were originally passed down from father to son and enhanced by the son accordingly, ensuring that no two crests, even within families of the same last name, were the same.