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Home: Surnames: Marsalis Family Genealogy Forum

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Coats of Arms were not granted forever to a family
Posted by: richard brezet (ID *****3284) Date: March 25, 2012 at 19:10:54
In Reply to: Re: Coat of Arms for Pieter Marselis/Marsalis by Sharon Marsalis of 50

Hi Sharon:

I am not related to the MARSALIS line, but just a word of caution about coats of arms. They were only awarded to one specific generation of a particular family line, for some act of loyalty or deed of valor done by one person in that line of the family (almost always a male). In most cases, the coat of arms was only good for that one generation (unless there was a note that it would be good for perhaps two or three generations). Once it expired, it could not be claimed by future generations of that family line. For example, if John Smith was awarded a coat of arms in 1600 and he had ten brothers and sisters, the coat of arms could not be given to his brothers and sisters, or their families, and it could only be passed to John Smith's next generation(s) if there was something in writing saying this could be done. If not, John would be the only one who could use the coat of arms and pass it on to his children (almost always his son, not a daughter). If the coat of arms could be passed on to the son, but no son was born, or the son died young, nothing could be passed on.

A lot of people posting messages on this surnames forum do not seem to realize these facts about the awarding of a coat of arms, and people spend years trying to track down their coat of arms because they think they can claim it, but it has expired long ago in the past. A lot of scam artists try to cheat people out of their money by making them think they can claim the arms when they cannot.

Marsalis seems to be a name from the Netherlands (Holland). In your message of 2006 you mentioned Denmark in 1643, and you also mentioned Bergen (County?). Can you let us all know where Bergen is??

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