Coats of arms are not just for the nobility. Many people have one and don’t even know it.
Individuals, families and more are represented by coats of arms that are rich in meaning. Learning about them can help shed new light on the family history, but doing so requires delving into the mysteries of heraldry — the use of symbols, shapes and colors to visually encode genealogical information.
“Armories and Ordinaries: Coats of Arms for Genealogists” is an introduction to the basic techniques for decoding coats of arms and unlocking the genealogical stories behind them. Sebastian Nelson will explain the bizarre creatures, fanciful monsters and cunning puns that can be found in heraldry, and in the process, open the door to a hidden world for many family history researchers.
Nelson will speak at 1 p.m. Tuesday in the Blanchard Room at the Stephens Branch Library, 315 E. 14th St. His presentation is jointly sponsored by the Davis Genealogy Club and the Yolo County Library in celebration of Family History Month. Refreshments will be provided.
Nelson is an archivist at the California State Archives and a member of the Academy of Certified Archivists. He has a master’s degree in library science from San Jose State University, and a master’s degree in history from the University of Oxford in Great Britain, where he studied coats of arms as a graduate student.
For more information, call Lisa Henderson at 530-753-8943 or visit DavisGenealogy.org.