Search billions of records on



History, Purpose, Contact and Membership Info

Known Lines

Identified Corson families

300+ Project

Major research project

Research Aids

Publications, Library Catalog,  Library Programs, Bibliography and Resource Lists

Other Projects

DNA, Translation, Census Transcription, "Faces and Places"


Member Activities, Reunions

Military Honor Roll

Corsons in the military


Corson-related web resources

Site Map

Members Only

Research Aids, Newsletter Archives, Membership Directory

Home > Members Only > Heraldry Information



Shield bar

  There are no known, GENUINE coats of arms for any of the CORSON surname variations within our organization's interest. Should anyone have any information to the contrary please submit the details.      (Some possibilities are mentioned below.)
There are many places to get information about the details and study of "HERALDRY."

A lesson on the subject is found in the Rootsweb Guide:

Cyndis's List has a number of listings:
   Included in these listings are some sites where you can use software to create your own coat of arms.

Another couple good places to find the basics and a number of links to more information can be found at:
   This address comes from the rec.heraldry newsgroup. Some of the basic statements found are:

If you are descended from someone who was granted arms by some heraldic authority then you may have some claim to those arms within the jurisdiction of that authority. The chances are very good that you do not have any claim on any actual arms. Most people in the world do not. Exactly what conditions you have to meet to establish such a claim vary considerably from one country to another. At the very least, you will have to prove that a recognized holder of the arms is your ancestor. In some countries, you would have to prove that you are the legal heir (Note: heir is not the same as descendant.) of that person. Getting an official recognition of your claim is likely to be expensive and time-consuming; in England, for example, it costs thousands of pounds. *** Your last name has nothing to do with the matter. *** Arms are not associated with surnames, but with individuals and, in some countries, with families. The important thing is who your ancestors are, not what surname you happen to bear. The fact that your name happens to be "Smith", for example, gives you no claim whatsoever on any of the thousands of arms borne throughout history by various people named "Smith."

Unfortunately, there are lots of unscrupulous businessmen worldwide who are happy to promulgate false information about the subject of armory. They will happily take your money to tell you "Your Family Arms", which they supply simply by finding an armigerous family that happens to share your surname. (Or in many cases simply creating a totally phony, made up version using similar to real elements, and then creating a 'motto' which is not only fake, but in many instances ridiculous., ed. note.) We suggest that you avoid these companies; if you want anything more than a decorative wall-hanging, they are a waste of your money. And if you will be happy with any pretty picture to hang on your wall, you can save yourself the trouble of dealing with these companies, and simply choose arms that you like.

Several books by L. G. Pine contain the following quote, including his "Heraldry and Genealogy", the English Universities Press, Ltd., London, 1968.  He quotes (p.124) Robert Dirkson Weston, Chairman of the Committee on Heraldry, as follows: "There is certainly no legal reason, perhaps no reason at all, why an American gentleman should not assume  [in more majorem (it.)]
any new coat that pleases his fancy, but he should not assume an old coat; for if he does, he is very likely denying his own forefathers and he surely is affirming what he has no sufficient reason to believe is true."  In this view, heraldry serves as an identifier, like a brand, and can be adopted democratically, as distinct from some other viewpoints in which heraldry is a sign of snobbishness reserved for aristocracy.  In most instances, a new coat of arms can be recognized and registered by little more than paying a stipulated fee.

The rules of heraldry vary from one country to another, but a coat of arms in most of them can be passed along not only from father to eldest son but also to other male descendants.  Some include the women.  Because each emblem is intended to be unique to an individual, however, it is customary for each member of a family to modify the basic emblem slightly, a practice called "cadency."

Although we tend to look to England, other countries have also established formal heraldry organizations, including, more recently, societies in New England and elsewhere in the United States, among them the American College of Arms.

     Submitted by Gale Corson

CORSON - possible COA  - Submitted by Gale Corson <>
[The specific family to which this was granted is not established.]
"The General Armory of England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales" by Edmund Burke.  2nd Ed, Harrison, London, 1884; facsimile reprint Genealogical Book Company, Baltimore, 1962.  1153 pp + supplement and index.
     Burke offers the following as a registered coat of arms:  "Corson (Suffolk).  Ar. a bend sa. betw. three dragon's heads erased gu."  Glossary:  Ar. = silver (shield); sa. = sable, or black; gu. = gules, or red; bend = diagonal line(s) that divide the shield; erased = forcibly torn from the body - a head, limb, or other object erased, has its severed parts jagged.
COURSEN - possible COA - Submitted by Iverne C. Rinehart  <>

The publication I have has a spiral bound cover - probably so it could carry the typewritten title THE COURSEN (CORSON) FAMILY 1612 to 1917 with the Staten Island Branch.  I say this because the inside does have a Coat of Arms with just the word "COURSEN" below it.  On the second page, at the top is "THE PRESIDENT'S ADDRESS." which ended as follows,

    "Two days ago, however, I received a letter from Perceval G. Ullman, an attorney in New York City, and I will read you what he has been able to discover of still further interest to us:
    "Alan Corson, Esq., Chairman, etc., 7042 Chew Street, Mt. Airy, Philadelphia, Pa.  Dear Kinsman:--The Corson Reunion first came to my knowledge today.  It is with much regret that I will be unable to attend.  I therefore enclose the brief history of our origin with love and affection for our kin.  I am, sir, Sincerely yours, PERCEVAL GLENROY ULLMAN"
The next two pages are apparently the "brief history" he mentioned.  He describes a coat of arms:  "The French family COURSEN coat of arms is a shield with three owls facing you.  (See copy of book of French Coat of Arms and Crests in
N.Y. Pub. Library under title of "Coursen.")"  Alan's address later mentions the shield and says a friend looked it up for him and says it was a purple color with the three owls natural.  It was in the Hall of the Crusaders in the Palace of Versailles and represents an ancient barony of Brittany.

The next page - apparently the "Ullman supplement" - is a photocopy from the National Genealogical Society Library, Wash. DC,  and is a title page:  THE COURSENS / From 1612 to 1917 compiled from Ancient and Modern Records with the Staten Island Branch / By / Percival Glenroy Ullman / Counsellor at Law / Coursen Coat of Arms / [sketch as described above] / Courson / Bret. / Motto on family crest / "TOUJOURS DROIT" / "Coursen"    [Each slash indicates next line]

Next is his "page ii" on which he says the owls are on a background of gold - ???  He also mentioned this was then the
one in use by the American descendants in Pennsylvania.  A "page 15" has a paragraph: "Compiled from ancient Colonial records of New Amsterdam and the early and modern records of the State of New York, as an appendix to the history by Hiram Corson, M.D., entitled, 'The Corson Family,' by Percival Glenroy Ullman, counsellor at law, of Staten Island, N. Y., is as follows:"  He goes on to refer to the International Cyclopedia, 1892 issue, p. 587, under the title of New York (for some New Amsterdam history) and to Woodruff's "The Coursens of Sussex County, New Jersey" (in which Woodruff referred to "The Calendar of Dutch MSS" pp. 5-62, and "Collection of New York MSS, Vol. I, p. 72")  Then he disputes some of the findings!
The book goes on through page 88 - only about a half-inch thick.....

CORZINE - possible COA - Submitted by Deven T. Corzine  <>

A probable relative (another Corzine tracing back through Union County Illinois back to NC) sent me a document he got from another relative; it is titled "Corzine Ancestry" and has a shield of some sort (I have no idea if it's authentic or completely made up), and there are two lines under the shield.  The first line is  "Cosyns", with two dots over the Y.  The second line is "P.d'Utrecht", which is described in the document as being the province north of the Rhine River in southern Holland.  It also says that there were coats of arms for both "COSYNS" and "COURSON", which could be two branches of the same family.

"I have no idea how accurate this document is, although it doesn't look bogus; much of the information seems consistent with much of the other Corzine information I've turned up.  I have not, however, found any of my known ancestors in this document."

Variants for CORZINE are also listed in this document.  See the VARIANTS page for the list.

Site maintained by  Michael Corson (CCFHA Member M-297). Please report any errors, comments, or suggestions to

The CCFHA web site originally created by Jeff Owens (CCFHA Member M-260).

This page updated 24 Jan 2006

©Copyrights reserved by Corson / Colson Family History Association.