A Roll of Early American Arms

Personal heraldry has been used in what is now the United States since the earliest European settlements.

This roll of arms borne in the present-day United States before 1825, compiled by AHS members, is intended to document the vitality of the American heraldic tradition over the years.

Arms are included in this roll based on use as attributed by the sources given. Where it has been possible to validate the user’s right to the arms or actual use of them, that information is provided. Names given in italics indicate that we are unaware of any contemporary evidence that the person to whom the sources attribute the arms actually used them, but this should not necessarily be interpreted as evidence of non-use of the arms.

Arms are indexed by the first letter of the armiger’s last name. Names beginning with the particules “de,” “von,” “van,” and the like are generally found under the name of the principal word in the surname. Where a person bore multiple surnames, or a surname and title, the arms appear under the name by which he or she is best known in the United States.

Compiled by Eric Hall, Arian Collins, and Joseph McMillan;
Illustrated by Eric Hall, Robert Tucker, Scott Denison, Joseph McMillan, and Chuck Glass



Arm

Name

Abbadie, Jean Vincent d' (of Penobscot, Me, 1687)

Blazon

Or a tree eradicated Vert in base a greyhound Gules gorged and chained to the tree Argent, on a chief Azure a crescent Argent between two mullets Or

Comments

Baron de Saint-Castin

Source

NEHGS #319

Arm

Name

Abbot, George (of Boston, 1728)

Blazon

Argent a cross Sable fimbriated Or between four eagles displayed Sable

Comments

Source

Crozier 1

Arm

Name

Abell, Robert (to Weymouth, Mass, 1630)

Blazon

Argent on a saltire engrailed Azure nine fleurs-de-lis Or

Comments

Source

NEHGS #168

Arm

Name

Abercrombie, James (of Philadelphia, 1750)

Blazon

Argent a chevron engrailed Gules between three boars’ heads erased Azure.

Comments

Arms on bookplate impaling arms of Bennet (Gules a bezant between three demi-lions Or). Bolton incorrectly blazons a fess and the boars' heads erased.

Source

Crozier 1, Bolton

Arm

Name

Abercrombie, John Joseph (Scotland, 1736-Laurens Co, S.C., 1816)

Blazon

Argent on a chevron Gules between three boar's heads erased Azure an antique crown Or

Comments

In Charleston by 1774. NEHGS blazons the boars' heads as langued Argent. Burke says the arms were granted to the Abercrombies of South Carolina, 1778, apparently a cadet line of Abercrombie of that Ilk, which bears the same arms without the crown.

Source

Vermont, NEHGS #107

Arm

Name

Abrahall, Col. Robert (of New Kent County, Va, ca 1690)

Blazon

Azure three hedgehogs Or.

Comments

Wax seal dated 1690.

Source

Wm & Mary Qtly (Apr 1894), Crozier 1, Crozier 2, Bolton

Arm

Name

Achey, John Ludwig (of Tulpehocken, Pa, 1752)

2. Achey, John Jacob (of Tulpehocken, Pa, 1752)
3. Achey, Herman (of Tulpehocken, Pa, 1752)

Blazon

Azure a fess Argent between three escutcheons Or

Comments

Source

Crozier 1

Arm

Name

Adams, Daniel (1773-1863, Pleasantville, N.J.)

Blazon

Azure a crescent and on a chief Or three fleurs-de-lis Azure.

Comments

Source

Bolton

Arm

Name

Adams, Ebenezer (of New Kent County, Va, 1714)

2. Adams, Thomas (b. New Kent Co, Va., abt. 1730, d. Augusta County, Va., 1788)

Blazon

Ermine three cats passant in pale Azure.

Comments

2. Arms on seal.

Source

1. Crozier 1, 1. Crozier 2, 2. Bolton

Arm

Name

Adams, Henry (in Braintree, Mass.,1634; d. 1646)

Blazon

Argent on a cross Gules five mullets Or.

Comments

It is doubtful whether these were actually the arms of Henry Adams of Braintree. See [[President.Adams#toc5">our article on the arms of President John Adams for further discussion.

Source

Crozier 1, Matthews

Arm

Name

Adams, John (Massachusetts, 1735-1826)

Blazon

Gules six crosses-crosslet fitchy Argent, on a chief Or three pellets, the center one charged with a fleur-de-lys and the other two with lions passant guardant Argent.

Comments

Arms on seal and bookplate; modified from the arms of Adams's maternal grandfather, Peter Boylston, by adding charges on the roundels in chief. See [[President.Adams">article on arms of President Adams.

Source

Henry Adams, "Seals and Book-Plates of the Adams Family"

Arm

Name

Adams, John Quincy (Massachusetts, 1767-1848)

Blazon

Quarterly: 1st, Argent upon a mound Vert a stag trippant toward a pine tree, in base a codfish naiant on a sea all proper, over all thirteen stars in annulet Azure (for Adams); 2nd, Sable a fess cotised between three martlets Or (for Smith); 3rd, Gules seven mascles conjoined 3, 3, and 1 Or (for Quincy); 4th, Gules six crosses-crosslet fitchy Argent, on a chief Or three pellets, the center one charged with a fleur-de-lys and the other two with lions passant guardant Argent (for Boylston).

Comments

Arms on bookplate; see [[President.Adams">article on arms of John and John Quincy Adams.

Source

Bolton, Zieber

Arm

Name

Addington, Isaac (in Boston, 1715)

Blazon

Per pale Ermine and Ermines on a chevron counterchanged between three fleurs-de-lis four lozenges all Sable on Ermine and Argent on Ermines.

Comments

Gore Roll of Arms; engraved on a caudle cup made by John Coney of Boston (active ca. 1685-1722).

Source

Bolton, Amer. Church Silver of the 17th & 18th Cents.

Arm

Name

Addison, John (to Maryland, 1667; d. England, 1709)

Blazon

Ermine on a bend Gules three annulets Or, on a chief Azure three leopards' faces Or

Comments

Reportedly on an old tankard, date unknown

Source

Md Hist Mag 14:389-391

Arm

Name

Admiralty, Board of (est 1779)

Blazon

Per chevron Azure and Argent a chevron paly of 13 Gules and Argent in base an anchor bendwise proper

Comments

Seal of the board as actually engraved and used

Source

Arm

Name

Admiralty, Board of (est 1779)

Blazon

Azure a chevron paly of 13 Gules and Argent in base an anchor bendwise proper

Comments

Design of seal of the board as adopted, 1780

Source

Arm

Name

Agnew, James (of New York, 1790s)

Blazon

Argent a chevron Gules between in chief two cinquefoils Gules and in base a saltire couped Azure all within a bordure engrailed Gules.

Comments

Bookplate, attributed to P. R. Maverick.

Source

Bolton, Allen's Amer. Bookplates

Arm

Name

Agnew, John R. (of Philadelphia, 1783)

Blazon

Argent a chevron between in chief two cinquefoils Gules and in base a saltire couped Azure.

Comments

Undifferenced Scottish arms of Agnew of Lochnaw.

Source

Crozier 1

Arm

Name

Aiken, William (of Providence, R.I., 1799)

Blazon

Gules a cross-crosslet cantoned by four roundels Or.

Comments

Source

Crozier 1

Arm

Name

Aikman, John (of New York, 1783)

Blazon

Argent, a sinister hand in base, issuing out of a cloud fessways, holding an oaken baton paleways Proper, with a branch sprouting out of the tip, overall a bend engrailed Gules

Comments

Source

Matthews