Coat of Arms

Goskar coat of Arms

Goskar coat of Arms

Ken, a good friend of mine, and one of the most talented artists I know, has painted a wonderful watercolour of the Goskar coat of arms. The description came from Burke’s General Armoury (available in most larger libraries in the UK), where thousands of family coats of arms are described in heraldic terminology.

I’m not sure why my family were awarded a coat of arms, but I intend to find out.

The birds depicted on the shield and on the crest are Cornish choughs. More about them later.

Books about heraldry on Amazon…

10 Responses to Coat of Arms

  1. Howard Durdle 25 May, 2005 at 9:57 am #

    That’s fantastic! I wonder if there’s a coat of arms for Durdle? And how does one find out if a family was awarded a coat of arms?

  2. Tom 26 May, 2005 at 8:20 am #

    You’ll need to go to a reference library and look up your surname in Burke’s General Armoury, or if you’re lucky, Burke’s Peerage (or Landed Gentry). If your surname is listed, you’ll need to prove that you are descended from the person originally granted the arms. A coat of arms is not tied to a surname. The best place for more info is the College of Arms

  3. Graham Tait 29 May, 2005 at 11:09 pm #

    Well, after stumbling on your marvellous ‘blog (I think that word should have an apostrophe before it – but maybe I’m old fashioned!), it’s got me wondering if there is a Tait coat of arms. Off to get a copy of Burke’s Peerage then!

  4. Jon O'Brien 15 June, 2005 at 5:21 pm #

    Sorry to (potentially) disillusion you, Tom, but a coat of arms isn’t awarded. Anyone that reached a sufficiently elevated social position, as well as having the cash to pay for it, could, and still can, buy one!

    Still, at least you know that, somewhere in your ancestry, someone rose above the level of a serfdom. 😉

  5. Jon O'Brien 15 June, 2005 at 5:26 pm #

    You’ve already got a whopping great chalk arch named after your family, Howard!

  6. Tom 15 June, 2005 at 5:46 pm #


    ‘Tis true! One of my ancestors could indeed have bought a coat of arms to gentrify himself, and the family thereafter…

    I prefer to think it was for some noble deed, like dragon slaying 😉

  7. Jon O'Brien 18 June, 2005 at 2:46 am #


    In Kernow, it probably had more to do with selling flagons than slaying dragons!

  8. Christina Tait 6 March, 2007 at 9:45 pm #

    Wow Graham you have the same exact last name as me. I wonder if we are related? Yes we do have a coat of arms. Anyways I find this family crest/ coat of arms thing very interesting. I love things like this.

  9. rita cochrane 25 May, 2010 at 10:12 pm #

    Hi, Temima, I’m related to Tom as my grandmother was a Goskar from King’s Lynn. Tom and I were corresponding about the family a few years ago but lost touch. I have found a Thomas Goskar who was a worsted weaver in Great Yarmouth and was probably a Walloon!
    He was a Freeman of Norwich and at the very end of the 17century paid £50 so as NOT to become a Sherriff. So he had a bit of money then!


  1. » Blog Archive » In the footsteps of my families - 20 July, 2006

    […] The Goskars I am now related to are from Cornwall. They have a coat of arms but we as yet we don’t know why they were awarded it. Some cursory searches have found Goskars in south Wales and Norfolk and a few years ago one in South Africa. It is an unusual name and does not seem to be of Cornish (linguistically) origin itself. Many people think it sounds Scandinavian, Germanic or Slavic. There is an enormous outcrop of rock off the North Beach in Tenby called Goskar Rock (also spelt Goscar). When we visited the local museum in Tenby they seemed to trace the word to a ‘Saxon’ word for a ploughshare – the main cutting blade of a plough but we have found no reliable references for this to date. Perhaps more intruiguing is the existence of a small village called Goskar now in north-west Poland and called Gostchorze but previously in Germany (the region of Prussia). Someone has written a short history of Goskar in German and published it online. My German is too ropey to understand it well but I am hoping to ask a friend a favour and try and find out more about this village which was and possibly still is a small farming community. […]