Heraldry is very complicated, but a person may be entitled to show on his shield the arms of many specified families. He can show arms of a family with a straight-line male descent, and he can show the arms of maternal families who have no sons with offspring, but have daughters, although this is a simplification. These daughters are heiresses in the sense of pedigree only. It has nothing to do with material goods. With the help of a friend I have discovered that my gr-grandfather was entitled to show 29 coats of arms, and we may turn up more in the future. Since there is a descent from two brothers it allows the arms of three families to be duplicated because those two brothers had the same ancestry. Can you find them? The first and last are both Smith, but the last one is traditionally put in as a space filler. If I come up with another family with arms to which my gr-grandfather was entitled I will delete that last Smith.
Each little square on this shield represents a different family and it is possible to determine at least some ancestry by working it out. Of course there are many families that are not represented because there were no heiresses or because a family did not have a coat of arms, so it does not represent a complete pedigree. I have that in a genealogy program!
It was a lot of fun drawing out all these coats of arms. The families represented are:
1. Smith, 2. Orlebar, 3. Child, 4. Payne, 5. Boteler (2nd son), 6. Molesworth, 7. Kirton, 8. Peacock, 9. Hervey, 10. Reade, 11. Winter, 12. Hoddington,
13. Cromlyn, 14. Knovill, 15. Golofre, 16. Bassett, 17. Cassy,
18. Thurgrim, 19. Tirry, 20. Langton, 21. Chernocke, 22. ?Gurney,
23. Pynsent, 24. Boteler (1st son), 25. Molesworth, 26. Kirton, 27. Peacock, 28. Farrar, 29. Whitby, 30. Smith.