The Foy's of Craven, Jones & Onslow Counties, NC, and Their Descendants.
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Foy Coat of Arms

French Version
Irish Version

Used by permission of  Joseph Foy
English Version

Disclaimer and Background
Artists Instructions
English Version

See correspondence notes for some related information on Heraldry and our Coat of Arms.

Also George Stevens has offered some notes on this topic
From "The Name and Family of Foy" and
Sources for additional research.


The sponsors of this Web site do not claim that the coat of arms depicted in this site is the official coat of arms for the FOY family from which they descend. We do NOT know even IF the FOY family from which we descended HAD an official coat of arms.

The coat of arms shown in this site is a FOY coat of arms and is the one depicted in the Roots Research Bureau, LTD genealogical and historical sketch (manuscript #976) on the name and family of FOY. There are several other FOY coats of arms.


As far back as Old Testament days symbols and banners have been used to identify individuals, families or tribes. The custom of putting symbols on shields, helmets and standards flourished in the Middle Ages with a Knight's armor being decorated with symbols designating the Knight's accomplishments or incidents in his life. Whole armies wore the same symbols during the Crusades; it being difficult to identify one army from another when they were wearing armor with no symbols.

As the custom became more popular the use of symbols to distinguish certain families grew. Because of duplication of popular designs various governments designated individuals known as Heralds to systematize, standardize and supervise the selection of colors and symbols used in family coats of arms. Like all government entities for all times these Heralds soon grew into a bureaucracy which regulated and sold the rights to fly certain designs and colors. Coats of Arms soon became associated with status or nobility. A tax was paid for the rights to a specific design.

Heraldry is the term used for the study and standardization of designs used to distinguish individuals and families. In England, King Richard III established the Herald's College (College of Arms) in 1484. It was this college who decided who was entitled to wear a specific coat of arms and its design.

Heraldry is complicated but interesting and this short description of its history does not do it justice. It has its own vocabulary designating colors, designs and accessories for coats of arms. Words and phrases like, Dexter chief canton, Sinister chief canton, Nombril point, Honour point, mantling, bandeau, Fleur-de-lis and argent (for the color silver) are examples of descriptive terms in the study of Heraldry.

The practice of Heraldry in The New World (America) was not seemingly as important as it was in the old. Most people in America were striving to break down the limitations of government authority and ruling family class distinctions.

America did not completely get away from symbols and colors and designs. Mostly, however, the symbols and such used in America represent groups and not families. We have military symbols, national symbols like the Great Seal of America, state flags and seals, college and fraternal symbols, team mascots, etc but few family crests.

There are many who do genealogical work who are impressed if they discover they descend from royalty or nobility or a family that had an assigned family crest and rightly so; they should be proud of that.

The FOYs of this Web site, however, have no such claims. We do not even know for a certainty from which European country our first FOYs in America came. But, we are proud of our FOY ancestors in America such as we know them and we are proud of their accomplishments such as we know about them. We have no claims as of yet to nobility or royalty. Our FOYs in America were apparently hard working farmers, ministers, teachers, Doctors and an assortment of other trades.

So, we have said all that to say what was said at the beginning of this disclaimer: The Coat of Arms shown here is a FOY Coat of Arms but we make no claims that any of our ancestors ever paid taxes to fly that standard and certainly do not intend to offend any purist who may question our intentions when including this particular coat of arms in our site. It is just decoration, folks.

Artists Instructions

Below are the instructions that came with the drawing of the Foy Coat of Arms (French Version) concerning colors etc. that was used by artist to create the above.

Here is what I think it says:

The French Coat of Arms of De Foye, Gascon, Earl of Longville in Normandy, France.

An open barred helm (5 bars gold [or] in profile is a Nobleman

Since there is no crest he was not a leader in battle

Wreath (torse) used to hold a coat over armor to protect metal armor from sun. The term "coat of arms" came from this usage. Wreath always has 6 twists.

Mantling argent (ar) is silver available in acrylic, enamel and lacquer. This is lead pencil for effect (pencil signifies silver)

Azure (az) is defined as a sky blue color

The three ogresses are defined as roundels sable (sa)


French Coat of Arms
Rietstap Amorial General 1861

Heraldry blazonry of arms listed in Mary Jacob's book. Arms - Azure semme (seme) of estoiles of five points argent; surmounted with a bend sinister of the same charged with three orgresses.

For paint colors, opaque paint markers and ink pens can be purchased at an office supply store also in silver and gold. This is a crayon and pencil color for effect.


This English version of the Foy Coat of Arms was taken by permission from
It is very similar to the one available from Halberts in Bath, Ohio. We are in possession of this coat of arms but do not have permission to publish it here. (You can contact Halberts, 3687 Ira Road, Bath, Ohio 44210 to obtain a printed copy from them.) The Halberts' version has some kind of device called an "eel ppr" which looks like a snake or eel crawling straight up out of the helmet. The "ppr." could be an abbreviation for the word "proper" which may mean "natural color" in heraldic terminology. The Halbert's version also differs slightly in proportion and the details of the design around the shield. It also has the word "Fidelity" where this one shows "Foy."

If you have a question, can add any information, or find a broken link please contact:

Trisha Carden

On the internet since 1998
Updated December 26, 2006

Copyright Information

  Much of the information published here is copyrighted by the various researchers listed on our contributor page. To obtain permission to use this information please contact the researchers individually. This site is not meant for use for commercial purposes.