Hello everyone! New Member checking in (though I’m not sure my account has been processed).
Just a brief about myself, my name is Bryan Braddy. Currently live in North Carolina by way of California. I am currently designing my arms and would love some help!
I have always been interested by heraldry and it took a more serious turn as my ancestry research has ramped up.
I look forward to chatting with you and being a contributing member!
Welcome! While we wait for your Society membership to process, there are some general concerns we can address. In no particular order (i.e. random order) these include coverage - whether you want to design arms primarily personal to yourself, or self and offspring/descendants, or to represent your Braddy family & if so how broadly - parents & siblings? Entended family sharing the Braddy surname e.g first cousins (same grandparents), or broader? Maybe all Braddy descendants of your first Braddy ancestor in the US? Since the primary purpose or function of arms, beyond eye candy, is identification, who will they identify?
And what sorts of patterns or items might be relevant to, or of shared interest to those Braddys within your desired coverage? Possibly something suggestive of the name (what is it’s etymology in whatever language it came from?) or the life and activities of the earliest shared ancestors? Any family stories? Or some shared interest, activity, occupation common to the current or more recent Baddy’s within the desired coverage? (Note that this might also influence how broad a coverage you choose.)
Another (related) question is whether & to what degree you want to reflect your particular ethnic background and the heraldic style or practices of the old country? (Which one?). This is optional, you can cut that cord if you prefer - either way is perfectly OK in this country, but will affect the design process. (There are some foreign practices that are not OK - e.g. those signifying nobility, which is inappropriate here; but otherwise generally not a problem. If you haven’t yet, you might want to read our Guidelines, linked on the left side of our home page.)
All of which occurs, consciously or otherwise, in any heraldic design process; but better, less time wasted and hopefully less regrets downstream, if consciously thought out early in the process.
Hope this is helpful. Others here may suggest other approaches, likely as good as or better than…
Thanks for the thought provoking reply! To answer your questions, I tossed around the idea of a broader reaching set of arms for myself and my descendants but I am leaning towards just personal arms.
Ethnically speaking I am majority Irish/British Isles with a little Iberian Peninsula thrown in (thanks AncestryDNA!), and would want to reflect the that within the design. There are no registered coats of arms to any Braddy’s that I can find; though it is unsure, but highly likely the Braddys are linked to the Bradys/Gradys/etc.
There are a few registered CoAs for Bradys and I found this bit of information…
"The Chief Herald of Ireland records the ancient sept arms of MacBrady
Sable, in the sinister base a dexter hand couped at the wrist proper pointing with the index finger at a sun in splendour in dexter chief or.
No crest or motto is recorded, but in 1766, the arms of James Bernard MacBrady, Count of the Holy Roman Empire were recorded as above with the addition of a crest "a cherub proper the wings or" and the motto "claritate dextra" (which roughly means, the right hand is clear). This crest and motto appears in the arms of at least four other Bradys - sufficiently numerous to be regarded as traditional sept symbols along with the shield."
I’m not sure if I would want to use these elements in my CoA however, or if it would even make sense. I have some design ideas and can share them, though I imagine there is probably a better Discussion section for it?
Thanks so much!
You might enjoy looking through the Armorial of a number of our members’ arms (link at top of this page) - see especially Hugh Brady’s arms, clearly based on the Irish arms you cited above but with different colors etc to clearly show he’s not claiming any proven descent from the Irish chieftain.
That approach, in Scottish & Irish practice, is generally termed "indeterminate cadency" as distinguished from "determinate cadency" within the proven lineage of the ancient clan (Scots) or sept (Irish) chiefly family. In essence, it’s a sort of legal fiction that everyone of the same name are / might be related in some unknown / undocumented way and acknowledge the same chief; which historically is unlikely but a nice way to signal same/similar name and ethnic roots. There are several more examples in the same Armorial - Dempster, Duncan, Henderson, MacLea, McCartney, McMillan, Power, maybe more, some granted in Scotland or Ireland (we have several most welcome foreign members), others designed & assumed here following the same general approach by members with known or probable Scottish, Irish, or Scotch-Irish roots.
But note that while this is one approach, no one here, however Scottish or Irish their roots, is bound to follow it.
Spelling of names historically was usually phonetic and variable. Without knowing more about your Braddy ancestors, the name could be a variation of Irish Brady sept, Scottish Brodie clan, English Broadie from Essex area, or Brody, a city in the western Ukraine - or maybe "none of the above." Before spending much time & energy on indeterminate cadency you should learn what you can about where your Braddy folk were from, or at least where they thought they were from
In any case, as noted earlier, this is only one of many possible approaches to consider.
Welcome! Michael’s approach is one many people in the US take. Alternatively, some choose to reflect other information about themselves or their family like where they live (we have a number of Californians reflecting Bears and Mountains and the like), what their professions are, schools attended (degrees earned) etc.
Additionally, many do Canting arms - arms which reflect their names.. Dohrman Byers being one of those I often use as an example.
Some design their shield to reflect "family" history (as discussed by Michael) and their Crest to reflect "personal" history.
Yet others merely look to develop a pleasing, simple, elegant design without all the deep meanings (many of the earliest arms had no particular "meaning")...
The process is not meant to be a quick grab, but a rather thoughtful effort… And great fun!
As soon as your membership is confirmed, you will see the membership section of the forums and can start a thread in the appropriate area—start with some of your thoughts and early designs and see where things go…
Ditto Kathy’s comments. When you have access, one of the forums in the Members area is Heraldic Design, which you might enjoy surfing; and we’ll be looking for you there!
As you get into this, you do want to watch out for third-party characterizations of what the various heraldic authorities in the British Isles have done, particularly in Ireland and Scotland. Most Irish heraldists reject the concept of sept arms, the Office of the Chief Herald of Ireland (OCHI) doesn’t register them as such, and certainly it’s not a term that would have been used by Ulster Office (the precursor of the OCHI) in the 18th century.
You may want to take a look at the National Library of Ireland website, which has many of the Ulster Office/OCHI records in digital format—unfortunately not searchable, but most of the volumes titled "Grants" have a name index at either the front or back of the book. I believe you will find a considerable number of arms of the name Brady or O’Brady, which will give you an idea of the Irish (and Scottish) approach works in practice.
The link is http://catalogue.nli.ie/Search/Results?lookfor=”+Heraldry+Ireland”&type=Subject&filter=format:“Manuscript”&filter=digitised:“Digitised”&sort=last_indexed+desc,first_indexed+desc&page=1&view=list
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