French Heraldry and Related Topics

Since I am French, I have a particular interest in things French. This goes also for heraldry, and I have collected here various tidbits about heraldry and other related topics insofar as they concern France.

Je souhaite pouvoir un jour présenter ces pages en français; le temps me manque à présent pour le faire. Elles sont en anglais car je veux avant tout diffuser l'information qu'elles contiennent au plus grand nombre.


  • Heraldry
  • National Symbols
  • Royalty
  • Nobility
  • Geography
  • Orders of Knighthood
  • Miscellaneous
  • Bibliography
  • Other Resources

    French Heraldry

  • Arnaud Bunel's Héraldique européenne, an excellent an lavishly illustrated site devoted to European heraldry (in French).
  • Héraldique, sigillographie:, heraldry pages of Karolus, a French site of family history. This growing resource is in part sponsored by the Conseil Français d'Héraldique. It contains a French armory and a French dictionary of heraldic terms (both under construction), as well as bibiographies, articles, etc. An important site (in French).
  • Éléments de droit héraldique français, collection of texts on French heraldic law collected by M. Baronnet (in French)
  • Le droit aux armoiries, a good exposition of French heraldic law by the Conseil Français d'Héraldique (in French)
  • HERATLAS: Petit atlas d'héraldique en ligne by Jean-Marc Frénéa (in French): illustrated armory of French provinces, and an extensive heraldic atlas of Normandy, with maps, illustrations and blasons in French and English.
  • La Banque du Blason, a site showcasing high quality depictions of coats of arms drawn with Illustrator. Over 1000 arms are available, mostly arms of cities and local authorities. Blazons and historical notes are provided. In French.
  • French Civic Heraldry by Brian Timms
  • EarlyBlazon, a site on early coat of arms drawn from the Albigensian Crusade (in French and English).
  • Les Blasons de Savoie by X. Lansade, devoted to the heraldry of the Savoie region.
  • Mémoire & Documents, a French library specializing in genealogy, heraldry, history, regionalism.
  • the ARCHIm image database of the French national archives has a number of pictures of medieval seals
  • Of Related Interest

    Please, do not e-mail me questions about French genealogy. Questions of the type "I am researching the family X, can you help?" will be unanswered.


    Member of the Internet Genealogical Directory
  • John DuLong's excellent Bibliography for Tracing French Noble Families
  • Information on French genealogy (in French)
  • A collection of medieval illuminations devoted to French historical figures, from the National Library of France (French and English).
  • Les aventures des Bvourbon-Condé et Bourbon-Conti, a bilingual site (French/English) devoted to this branch of the Bourbon family; with many illustrations.
  • The Fondation Napoléon has a site devoted to the First and Second Empires (French and English).
  • Bourbons, a serious site devoted to the Bourbons, by the magazine of the same name edited by Bertrand Guillerm.
  • French Monarchy

    French Monarchists

  • Action Française, modern incarnation of the main royalist newspaper (1898-1944)
  • Restauration Nationale
  • Nouvelle Action Royaliste of Bertrand Renouvin, who broke away in 1971 from the right-wing positions of the traditional royalists.
  • Le WEB Légitimiste, a legitimist site with news of Luis-Alfonso de Bórbon.
  • Spes, a legitimist site devoted to the House of Bourbon, with further links (in French). The site is unstable and the link often doesn't work; don't ask me about it, there's nothing I can do.
  • Le Légitimiste by Jos Bégoc.
  • Bourbons: Le Magazine
  • La Gazette de France, Orleanist periodical, also known as Monarchiste et Nationaliste.
  • Catholique et Royaliste, with many links.
  • Nationaliste et Royaliste, the site of the monarchist supporters of Le Pen, a rabid monarchist site, not without some entertainment value. Plenty of links to the dark side of French monarchism.
  • More sites can be found using Yahoo France.
  • Off the Web

    The Commission nationale d'héraldique was instituted in 1999 to advise local authorities in heraldic matters. The 12 members of the commission, chaired by the director of the Archives de France, include 4 members ex-officio (the head of the pre-1789 archives of the National Archives, the head of the manuscripts department of the National Library, the curator of the museum of the Paris Mint, and the president of the association of mayors of France), and other members appointed by the Minister of Culture.

    In February 2015 the Minister of Culture also allowed the Commission to collect the coats of arms of physical and legal persons, with a possibility of publication.

    Here are some references for various organisations dealing with heraldry:

    The first two are learned societies:

       Fédération des Sociétés de Généalogie
         93, Tour Essor
         14, rue Scandicci
         F 93508 Pantin
       La Société Française D'Héraldique et de Sigillographie,
         60, rue des Francs-Bourgeois,
         75003 Paris

    I don't know much about the next ones. They may or may not exist, and may be publishers or professional genealogists.

       La Société du Grand Armorial de France,
         179, Boulevard Haussman
       Conseil Français d'Héraldique 
         J. J. Lartigue, président
         30, rue de la République 
         B.P. 181 
         25303 Pontarlier Cedex 
       Association Histoire et Généalogie
         animée par M. Philippe Houel de Chaulieu
         8 rue Pomereu 
         75116  Paris
         Ph: 1 47 04 23 44 
       Conseil Historique et Héraldique de France 
         Ph: 1 48 28 19 12
       Bureau d'Etudes Héraldiques et Sigillographiques (B.E.H.S) 
         3, rue de Turbigo 
         75001 Paris

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    François Velde