House Of Names Review 2023

If you're in the market for gifts for a special occasion for someone with a passion for their heritage and surname history, then House of Names has got you covered. This online retailer specializes in helping you discover your family's coat of arms and offers a range of gifts and other products that come decorated in your family crest.

Maybe you were unaware you had a family crest; it's an old-fashioned tradition that most of us have forgotten in modern society but was once an essential part of your family identity.

Today we're going to take a look at what a family crest is and where they originate from, the extensive range of House of Name's products as well as their company history, and the research resources they offer to help you discover the history of your family name.

Who Is House Of Names?

House of Names is a Canadian retailer owned by the Swyrich corporation. Swyrich is the industry leader when it comes to coats of arms and surname history. They also owns two other family name sites: Hall of Names and International Coat of Arms.

In 2015 House of Names enjoyed more than 5 million unique customers every month, all looking to do some light research into their family history and maybe pick up some unique memorabilia to honor their heritage.

What Is A Coat Of Arms?

A coat of arms is a distinctive pattern that you would have found hundreds of years ago on an escutcheon, that's a shield, or on items of clothing like a sur-coat, which is a loose-fitting outer garment, or on a tabard, which is a tunic or cape.

This aspect of armorial history comes from days when knights were a part of society. These knights would wear their crest with pride for easy identification either on the street, at jousting competitions, or even on the battlefield. It was a marker of your wealth and station and would immediately alert people about how you related to them on the social and financial hierarchies.

So the knight of a well-to-do, powerful house would stand out as someone to be wary of on the battlefield, but also someone who could fetch a mighty ransom if you were able to kidnap them.

What Can House Of Names Teach Me About My Surname History?

Getting a quick run down of your surname history from the House of Names database couldn't be easier, and a simple search will give you pages of information to help you discover the origins of your surname.

Even if you're not interested in buying anything from House of Names, this search is a fun way to quickly learn some interesting information about the story of your surname.

At the top of every House of Name page, you'll see a search bar with 'LAST NAME SEARCH' in it, simply type your surname in here and hit enter.

If your name appears in the database, your search will return not only your surname's unique family crest, which you can purchase as a downloadable jpeg, but also pages of information from their database about its armorial history.

Surname origin

This page tells you where the name originated from geographically, it's meaning and when it first appeared in recorded history.

Early history

This section tells you the years on House of Names records that mention your surname history. There's a link to purchase a PDF of their Extended History products here, which we'll touch on in our products section.

Early notable family members

Here you'll find out about early distinguished members of your family surname, the years they lived, and what they were famous for. These topics are covered further in their Extended History PDFs. There's also a section for contemporary notable holders of the name.

Name ranking and migration history

These sections will tell you how the name ranks globally and discuss the history of its journey to a long list of countries as a result of setting sail to new lands.

What Products Does House of Names Sell?

House of Names sells a wide array of prints and other products, including homeware, clothing, and gifts, all displaying a passion for armorial history for names from around the world.

Digital products

House of Names range of digital products can be broken down into three categories: Coat of Arms jpegs, deluxe breakdowns of your coat of arms, listed under 'Other' in the digital products drop-down menu and surname history PDFS.

Coats of arms jpegs

These come in three degrees, varying in detail and prestige, from the basic legacy series up to the book plated and heritage series, which is a much more detailed jpeg with more shading. These are all available for download upon purchase


You'll find three products under this heading: Symbolism, Deluxe symbolism, and Family Tree.


This is a download-only PDF that breaks down and analyses the origins of the individual elements of your coat of arms, giving you a fuller understanding of your armorial history and surname.

Deluxe Symbolism

This package includes full-color images of the individual elements of your coat of arms with an analysis and explanation of their symbolism, as well as a color eight 1/2X 11 print of your crest.

Family Tree

There are two family tree template options available on House of Names; both are printed on luxury parch-tone paper.

The standard size is smaller, while the deluxe version has space for both family crests in the center, making it the perfect gift for a budding genealogist or as a wedding anniversary gift for those interested in their origins.

PDF surname history

Surname History

This 3-5 page PDF document examines your surname history and includes information about the ancient origin of your surname, its movements during the Middle Ages, and its a journey to America, as well as a description of your coat of arms for only $7.65.

Extended Surname History

Included in this downloadable PDF, you'll find a complete history of your surname, a detailed bibliography for each country, up to 10 pages of settler information, and an exhaustive list of current notable holders of your name.

These fantastic resources make a perfect gift and can reach up to 32 pages in length. They are available as a free download for only $10.45, just a few bucks more than their basic package for nearly ten times the information.


Framed Prints

House of Names offers a staggering range of variety in their prints, including:

  • Coat of arms
  • Armorials
  • Surname history
  • Plaques
  • Framed Packages
  • Handmade painted plaques

Prices vary from as little as $33.45 for framed crest prints up to as much as $250 for deluxe framed prints. There's an extensive list of products priced in between varying in sizes and frames, with options to include two crests in one frame with a range of frame styles, including pine, gold, and black.

House of Names standard prints department also offers plenty of freedom for choosing the perfect gift with the following options:

  • Anniversary
  • Symbolism
  • Print packages

Their wedding anniversary prints combine two different coats of arms into one striking print, while options like the surname histories and symbolism let you purchase the digital download as a physical print on scroll paper.

Handmade prints

These are the elite tier of the wall-mountable gifts you can buy for a loved one or yourself.

Hand-painted plaques

These plaques come in small ($169.95), medium ($174.95), and large ($224.95) in either a natural style or with a walnut finish.

Your chosen family coat will be lovingly hand-painted onto the plaque, making a beautiful and truly unique gift that will last for generations.

Embroidered goods

These handmade representations of your chosen coat of arms are stitched with precision and include gold and silver thread.

You can choose from a selection of frames and styles, including a simple coat of arms, a double coat as well as a coat framed alongside a print of your surname history.

Prices start at $195 for a basic 10.75" x 13" option, up to $295 for their oversized 25" x 28" embroidered coat of arms. Whatever you choose, expect this gift to become a family heirloom that will remain in the family for years.

General apparel

T-shirts, sweatshirts and hoodies, tank tops, and charming baby one-pieces are all available, emblazoned with a striking print of the coat of arms of your surname.

Their t-shirts are printed on 100% cotton; they're soft, comfortable, and durable with your chosen coat of arms heat pressed on so it won't fade.

Choose from pullover hoodies with your chosen coat of arms emblazoned in the center or a zip-up with a classy, smaller coat of arms printed onto the left breast. Both choices are snug and loose-fitting, made with a 50% cotton/50 polyester blend.

Their baby one-pieces come in grey or white and make a perfect gift for a new life who will look adorable sporting the coat of arms of their surname in style.

Apparel accessories

If you want to accessorize your coat of arms, you can choose from the House of Arms selection of aprons, baseball caps, and oversized tote bags.

Two styles of aprons make great gifts and ensure your husband or wife will look classy while they're cooking. Their natural cotton tote bags are durable and oversized, making them a practical and environmentally conscious gift.


House of Names' range of drinkware covers every occasion, whether you're rehydrating after a workout or taking a sip of whiskey on the move. Their options include:

  • Coffee mugs
  • Steins
  • Travel mugs
  • Sport bottles
  • Shot glasses
  • Hip flasks
  • Kitchen


Show pride in your heritage by sporting your coat of arms around the kitchen in a variety of useful kitchenware items, including:

  • Chopping boards
  • Fridge magnets
  • Wine and cheeseboards

Their glass cutting boards can be chosen to display either one crest or two, making it a perfect choice for a loving kitchen shared by husband and wife, while the glass wine and cheese board comes beautifully with grape vines in the shape of a wine bottle, perfect for entertaining and impressing your guests.


House of Names' selection of accessories are the perfect choice for small but meaningful gifts for a loved one or friend or if you just want to display your coat of arms with pride in a small day-to-day way . Their selection includes:

  • Tiles
  • Coasters
  • Jewelry boxes
  • Keychains
  • Mousepads

The jewelry box is the standout, made with solid mahogany with a warm cherry varnish, lined with cream velvet, and sporting your chosen coat of arms for a competitive $45.95.

Their tiles are printed on ceramic and can also be purchased in a larger size printed on the slate, ensuring it will become an heirloom for generations.

Free Stuff

Yep, that's right! If you scroll to the bottom of the House of Names home page, you'll find their free stuff section, which is aimed at children with a range of free downloadable PDFs for coloring in. They can even share their work on their Twitter or Facebook pages.

Coloring books

These come in 8, 11, and 12 pages and come in three different styles; a mythical beasts themed file, a woodland choice full of horses and stags, and The Lions Den, which is full of lions, castles, and knights for the kids to color in.

Design your own coat of arms

A no-brainer for any coat of arms website, what could be better fun for your kids, or you than designing your family coat of arms with as much creativity as you can muster. Add whatever heraldry you like to bring your personal meaning to your family surname and create your own armorial history!

How Does House Of Names Compare To The Competition?

House of Names vs. Coat of Arms

Coat of Arms is another online retailer of family crest-themed apparel, homeware, and gifts. Coat of Arms offers a similarly large of selection of items with a few extras, such as jewelry, which includes rings and tie pins, as well as Scottish clan badges and large embroidered banners.

You can search for your family crest on Coat of Arms though it doesn't have anything like the level of information on House of Names. The website layout is also less up-to-date and harder to navigate than House of Names' user-friendly system.

House of Names vs. 4Crests

4Crests once again offers a range of similar products to House of Names, only on a much more limited scale. The main menu lists their different departments, but with no drop-down menus like the House of Names' interface has, it can be difficult to navigate as you'll need to click on each specific category and view every item in it instead of narrowing it down your search.

4Crests also has no surname database, and though it does have a crest search, it's convoluted to get to and doesn't seem to work. There's no obvious search bar, so you'll need to click on three separate buttons to get there, at which point you'll wind up at a page that's simply a Google search. Again, another competitor whose website is in desperate need of modernizing.

House Of Names Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to make an account to make a purchase?

No, if you want to purchase anything from House of Names, you can pay as a guest without making an account.

Will I be able to find my name on the House of Names?

House of Names database has over 1 million family names from around the world listed on their database, so the odds are you'll be able to discover something about the meaning of your surname and armorial history. They also have over 50 thousand first names if you're interested in the origins of your first name.

Is House of Names a reliable retailer?

House of Names is owned by a trusted corporation that owns two other surname and armorial history platforms. They promise a 100% satisfaction guarantee to their customers with support by telephone and email, and their review sections are populated with good feedback from happy customers.

Final Thoughts

House of Names is a unique company that has cornered the market on helping us not only discover the origins and meaning of our surnames from an exhaustive database and also offers a range of gifts for a wedding or birthday, homeware, clothing, and interesting documents that help us understand our history and show appreciation and passion for our ancestors.

Their prices are reasonable, and their range is extensive that regardless of how much you're willing to spend, you'll be able to find something to commemorate your history.

Neil Edwards

Neil Edwards

Genealogist and family-tree research specialist

Neil was born in Shropshire, England surrounded by centuries of living history. His interest in the past has been a lifelong passion leading to undergraduate degrees in both Economic History & Geography and History & Politics.

This interest in history quickly translated to family history when he moved to the U.S. in 2010. It was here that he began working on his own family tree as well as that of his American wife. That research allowed him to gain a wealth of experience working with both U.S. and European genealogical documents and studying their best uses in researching family history.

Following 9 years of honing his genealogical research skills, Neil was proud to have earned a certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University in late 2019. Neil also took part in the research process for a Duke University study into the families of 19th Century UK Members of Parliament.

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