DEVON-L ArchivesArchiver > DEVON > 1999-06 > 0929711988
From: Henry Sutliff <>
Subject: Re: 1678 Visitations of Devon
Date: Fri, 18 Jun 1999 13:19:48 +0000
Donald Holmes wrote:
> You have piqued my interest. What are visitations?
> Don Holmes
A short answer (upon which others might want to expand), is that beginning in
the mid-16th century a Royal Commision appointed the Clarenceux King of Arms to
visit various counties. This was to survey the arms and crests of the subjects
and their ancestry and descents. They are considered an enormously helpful
source for gentry families, although there is a caveat that there are errors and
falsified or embellished ancestries. I have found them very useful as a source.
The Harleian Society has been responsible for copying and printing many of these
records. The NEHGS Circulating Library has many of these for loan to members.