Family crests typically appear at the top of a helmet or shield.

Family crests are symbolic of a family's name and typically feature a beast as well as a figure, often in full armor. The crest was typically worn by men, though some queens wore them. While crests began as exclusive items worn by nobles, they became more popular and widespread, as a grant of arms often included the right to make a family crest. Finding your family crest requires some basic knowledge of your background, as many sites focus on a specific region, such as Ireland or Japan.

Know where your family ancestors originated from, what last names are in your family tree and the nationalities associated with your family history. Speak with members of your family to gather as much information on your ancestors as possible, and then begin to trace your family history.

Focus your search. In some nations, a family crest is more common than in others. German, Irish, French, Polish, Russian, Dutch, Portuguese, Welch, Italian, Danish and Scottish family crests are often available via heraldic searches. Complete these searches either online or by using specialized libraries that focus on coats of arms, family crests and tracing family lineage.

Hire a team to search your genealogy and family crest, if your search is not fruitful. Many free searches are generic and don't provide enough detail to identify your family crest conclusively. If you can't find the exact crest of your ancestors on your own, hire a professional heraldic investigator to help narrow down the choices.