Notice Board / Policies
NOTICE: Rules on Posthumous Registrations
24 March 2023
The Tressure Roll has recently been approached for the posthumous registration of a personal coat of arms. That is: the registration of a coat of arms for an ancestor who passed away many decades ago. In fact, more than a century and a half ago. The applicant wished to register a coat of arms which he designed in the form of a burgher wappen, with the inclusion of personally selected “general” charges found on typical arms for the surname. Upon initial discussions and deliberations, the Tressure Roll did feel obliged to conform to the request based on the large amount of research the applicant was able to provide. It was initially agreed upon (in principle) that the application for the design and registration of ancestral arms as a posthumous registration may proceed.
HOWEVER: Upon reflection, research, and the fact that the information provided by the client was based on genealogical research with little to none heraldic research and evidence, and being guided by what Heraldic Authorities practice, the Tressure Roll revoked permission to the applicant to register ancestral arms posthumously.
The Tressure Roll’s policy on the registration of arms for a deceased ancestor posthumously is as follows:
1. That no arms may be designed or registered for a deceased ancestor.
2. That a coat of arms or other heraldic representation, which was in the process of being designed & registered with the Tressure Roll, and which reached a point of design which was agreed upon by the applicant and the Tressure Roll, may be proceeded to be registered by the Tressure Roll, posthumously, should the applicant have passed away during the design & registration process. The coat of arms may later be matriculated with, or without difference for descendants of the applicant as inheritors of a heraldically correct ancestral coat of arms.
It is presumptuous for a descendant to “know” what an ancestor would have chosen for a coat of arms. The elements and charges which an ancestor might have chosen are symbolic and may be a combination of inherited charges, divisions etc., new ideas, symbols & symbolism, and if not known by a descendant cannot be ascribed to the ancestor. The very personal nature of coats of arms cannot be underestimated and by creating a posthumous coat of arms this is disregarded.
To design and register a coat of arms posthumously or to simply adopt a general burgher wappen for an ancestor may be a form of deception as it is not based on the true wishes (or not) of the ancestor for a coat of arms, its contents, its symbolism, colors, charges, divisions etc.
In many cases no "burgher wappen" existed under surnames or family names, yet regardless of this descendants want to design & register "ancient" arms for their predecessors. In addition burgher wappen of other families under the same surname are often adopted for unrelated family lines in spite of the fact that no hereditary, genealogical or DNA links exist between them. When applicants are informed that this is not acceptable they are often upset and asks why and that "their genealogist said that they can do this".
The honorable and correct option, for a descendant of an ancestor who did not bear arms, is to nobly accept that fact and then to initiate the design & registration of a personal coat of arms for him/herself, which will be the start of his family line’s armorial pedigree.
NOTICE: Rules on Additaments
2 February 2023
Dear Fellow Armigers/Heralds/Heraldists/Enthusiasts/Genealogists
The past three years have been a wonderful experience in the creation and management of the Tressure Roll. Since its establishment a steady flow of applications for registration came in. Many compliments were received, and the creative process saw several great designs seeing the light. The process of design also changed and grew. Certain design challenges were soon identified. Hand painting was one of them where the artist’s turnover time and fees became pricey. The move therefore to electronic design naturally evolved.
Where applicants chose to submit their own designs, these were graphically enhanced and improved. This resulted in good quality artworks being placed on the Tressure Roll Armorial.
Early on The Tressure Roll was contacted by several people who requested me to ensure that the Tressure Roll be as pure and heraldically correct as possible. This meant the following and implementation of the Rules of Heraldry diligently.
Initially it was felt that being an Armorial under Roman-Dutch and Common Law it would be acceptable for anyone to register what they want. People saw the opportunity and did just that. There were applications for the registration of armorial bearings with the inclusion of references to unproven nobility. There were self-styled orders of chivalry. Also unrecognised organisations of questionable character, posing as ancient or recognised orders and so on. There was no regard or consequence to the ancient laws of heraldry.
The result of the above was that the Tressure Roll became compromised. In view of the above the following rules will forthwith apply:
1. The Tressure Roll will henceforth register plain armorial bearings consisting of a Shield, Helmet, Crest, Wreath & Mantling and Motto only. No references to title, rank, post - or pre - nominal titles will be permitted.
2. No supporters, compartments or special compartments will be permitted.
3. No helmets of rank, especially bearing the colour / tincture Or will be permitted. Plain helmets will be acceptable and may vary.
4. In the blazon - no references of title, rank, nobiliary status, pre - or post - nominal titles etc, will be permitted.
5. Registrations prior to 1 January 2023 will remain. Where there were registrations bearing unproven claims or content no discussion will be entered into to ensure basic respect to their owners.
6. The Tressure Roll will continue to design & register other heraldic representations such as flags, banners, heraldic banners, standards, burgees, pennants, badges, bookplates etc. as normal.