If you are fond of antiques and come across some old English silver, examine the piece to see if you can find a family insignia stamped on the bottom. Those who possessed a legal right to the coats-of-arms added symbols to their personal property which was listed in the inventories of their estates. The custom of carving coats-of-arms on tombs was a general practice in the colony (as it was in the Mother Country) . It was not an uncommon provision in a last will and testament to provide that the coat-of-arms should be stamped in brass upon the decedent's tombstone. In 1674, Colonel Richard Cole gave directions that a slab of black marble, bearing his coat-of-arms, engraved in this metal, should, after his death, be purchased in England, brought over, and laid on the spot where he desired his body to be buried. Source: Westmoreland County Records, Vol. 1665-77, page 186.
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