What's this Coat of Arms at the top?

The coat of arms shown above is a digital graphic-artist version of the VFA coat of arms designed by member Betty Silfies and historian emerita Kathleen Mason, based on the arms of the Vans of Barnbarroch and the seal of the Rev. John Vans/Vance of Kilmacrenan (and if you don't know who those people are, please read A Short History of the Vance Surname). 

Heraldry can generate fierce debates over who is "entitled" to display what - debates which are rather pointless since by official heraldry standards there are very few individuals still entitled to claim a personal coat of arms.   Most of us just enjoy the association of our surname with a particular shield.  But there isn't even a one-to-one match between coats of arms and family surnames - there are at least four different coats of arms associated with the Vance name, and many more associated with the Wentz, de Vaux, and Vans origins of our VFA members, not to mention all the individual personal variations that our titled ancestors used in daily life.   

All of which simply means that the study of heraldry is complex and fascinating and historically there are many coats of arms that were associated with our Vance ancestors.  If you want a summary of these historical coats of arms, please visit What is the Vance Coat of Arms?

The VFA coat of arms is a design that deliberately mixes several of those historical origins.  As such, the VFA coat of arms is not restricted to any origin of the Vance surname and is available to all those who have Vance ancestors.

The original VFA Coat of Arms and its history can be seen at the Vance Family Association's Gallery by clicking here.

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