This may be stupid question number 457, but here goes.
When it comes time to register arms, are you limited to one organization? What I mean is, should I choose to register with the United States Heraldic Registry, would that then prevent me from registering with the American College of Heraldry? Since there is no "official" registry in the United States, my gut response is "the more, the merrier." I just wanted to be sure on this. Thank you!
Register as often as it pleases you. There’s no limitations, other than your bank balance. When I was putting my arms together, I, too, was going to register ‘everywhere’, but folks here pointed out that other than spending bucks and getting more registration paperwork, one registration did the ‘legal job’ of establishing date of first use and that further registrations were redundant.
The United States Heraldic Registry is operated by Michael Swanson, a past officer of our society, and the registration part is free. You only pay him if you want certificates of registration and/or artwork. Then you can invest those bucks you were saving to register everywhere else and get many renditions of your arms done by several fine artists! I’m up to four, I think ... maybe 5, and am thrilled by the different artistic visions. And in total (including USHR registration with certs), I’ve shelled out a little less than I would have paid ACH just to register.
As per Patrick, there is noting stopping you from registering your arms in every heraldic organization on the planet (some around here have come close :wink:) but you don’t have to… you don’t technically have to register your arms anywhere… The USHR is a good first step, its cheap and Mr Swanson does excellent art work. It also has one of the easiest processes, some organizations (Lord Lyan, National Archives and Records Service of South Africa, etc.) require a lengthy and expensive registration process, although they do tend to offer more services.
For what it is worth, I must agree with the Mr. Smith and Mr. Williams that the USHR provides the service at a reasonable cost. I myself have my arms registered and USHR. I credit Mr. Swanson for his efforts. USHR is a very young organization and one must consider if USHR will withstand the test of time.
I would also recommend the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) Committee on Heraldry. The fee is $25 which in my opinion is reasonable. Furthermore this organization is a very old seriously accademic historic association. You can be sure that this is no fly by night outfit, and that it won’t cease to exist when a key person retires. It should be noted however, that the NEHGS Committee on Heraldry has a reputation for operating VEEEEERY SLOOOOWLY. I have sent the forms to register my arms at the NEHGS a little over a year ago, and I have not yet received a response.
A second drawback of the NEHGS Committee on Heraldry is that their Roll of Arms is not widely available. You can purchace a copy of those volumes still in print, but you will not find a copy at the library, or on-line. The USHR however is available to everyone on the internet. Therefore, the USHR is more effective as a place to post a blason and tell the world "These arms belong to me, please don’t duplicate them"
All in all I believe registering at both orginizations is cost effective and beneficial.
Definately use the free (or seriously inexpensive) services provided by the USHR. As an American, that’s all the registration you’d need, however many here find that there is safety in numbers. My second recommendation would be the NEHGS. In addition to the above statements about them, I would also like to add that they are the oldest still operating private heraldic registry in the US. That says alot to me.
I cases when thereâ€™s no official Heraldic Authority (and, unfortunately, such is the situation both in Serbia and USA) I would recommend registering in more armorial registers, since it gives better protection, than just one…
For example, my own arms were first entered in the Matricula Armorum of The Collegium Heraldicum Russiae (31 May 2005).
And later registered: The United States Heraldic Registry â€“ No.20060908A (8. September 2006); The Burkeâ€™s Peerаge & Gentry International Register of Arms - No.0075 (14. November 2006) and The Confederate College of Heraldry - No.398 (22. November 2006).
My registration with the HeraldickÃ½ Register Slovenskej Republiky (managed by The Heraldic Commission of The Ministry of Interior of The Republic of Slovakia) is still pending, and will be my only armorial registration with an official State Heraldic Authority.
So, in my opinion, you should register as many times as it pleases you and until you feel comfortable about the security of your armorial bearings.
There’s one that hasn’t been mentioned, and that is the American College of Heraldry. They’ve been in existence for 34 years. Their registration does cost, but to me at least it was worth the cost.
Not only do I have membership with them, I’ll also have my arms published in volume 16 of the Heraldic Registry. I also agree that it’s not a bad idea to register with more than one, it may show precedence if you should have to challenge someone. I also think that it’s a good idea for Americans to support all the available American registries.
I myself have my arms registered with the USHR, ACH and soon to be The Center for Orthodox Monarchism (Serbia).
There’s a benefit that I haven’t mentioned either, you usually get an emblazonment along with it! That to me is one of the great things with heraldry, multiple emblazonments from various artists.
Dear Mr. Vidal
Would you please provide greater detail about why registration at the American College of Heraldry is worth $325. It is not my intent to bash the ACH here, but I have wondered for a long time if paying this much money was really worth the price. To be blunt, I looked up a couple of volumes of "The Heraldic Register of America" and was disappointed by the low quality. The registration certificate looks nice in digital form, but I wonder, is it printed on a high quality paper, with intaglio printing, or is it simply an inkjet print. The newsletter was moderately informative, but I place a higher level of value of the information I find right here at the AHS, because I can ask a specific question and have it answered by a multitude of sources and perspectives. If I knew that the price was REALLY worth it, I’d register with and join the ACH, but from the outside looking in, I’m just not sure.
Eric (if I may),
Please, call me Andrew! The registration document itself is nice and it’s on high quality archival paper and is printed on a high quality printer from what I can tell. It’s certainly not an inkjet printer, I can say that for sure! The document is sealed with the college’s seal (embossing of the arms) and also depicts the Executive Directors arms and his signature. For me, the value wasn’t only associated to the document or the publications, it’s also the contacts that I’ve been able to make in the heraldic community from there. While I think the value I get from interacating with individuals such as yourself here are greater than any piece of paper, I also think it’s important to support American heraldry in all it’s forms (so long as they remain true to heraldry).
Some comments on the value of a registration with the ACH. I have long been a critic of the ACH for various reasons. That written, if one is able to scan the full colour illustration from the certificate and utilise the initial line drawing for writing paper or a signet ring then the entire process is worth 350 USD. An additional benefit would be that the arms are published in The Heraldic Register of the United States that is copyrighted, given an ISBN number and entered into the collection of the Library of Congress which establishes a legal date of assumption or use in the United States. As David Crossett and Dennis Ivall have passed away and their Moscow artists have proven unreliable, who is now their heraldic artist?
That is correct, I did receive a printed black and white image, and a digital copy of both the black and white and the colored image. The heraldic artist that they now use is Commander Yegorov (sp) of the RCH.
That is good to know, both he and his wife are very talented artists. I met Valery Yegorv some years ago, 1993 or 1994, in Moscow. Nice man, it is just unfortunate that his work graces the writing paper of so many people with false titles or royal fantasy pretensions. I suppose that the problems with the Russian postal system have been remedied and that bank transfers are now easier to facilitate. That did seem to be the problem some years ago in arranging timely commissions.
I’ve not registered with the ACH for purely personal reasons (cost—though not unreasonable for the artwork & publication; a bit too much "ye olde" fussiness in the wording of the ACH certificate; & their policy of not registering a wider destination than descendants of the grandfather—I’d need another generation or two to include the "cousinage" included in my state registrations as insignia of a nnprofit assocition "Descendants of…")
But in fairness the artwork (line drawing and color art) have AFAIK always been well execued & likely to cost nearly (if not over) the whole AHS registration fee if commissioned directly. Plus—probably the biggest plus—the copyright copy in the Library of Congress is likely to be a more permanent record than anything electronic on-line. (or maybe I’m just a pre-web fossil…)
Maybe Mike Swanson will, at some point & from time to time, print & "publish" a compilation and send a copy to the LoC for copyright purposes…