From ancient times a coat of arms was used as a proof of family's lineage and its belonging to a noble estate. The series "The Armorial of Belarusian Nobility" has been published since 1996, its volumes are being prepared by the National Historical Archives of the Republic of Belarus. There are also Polish-language armorials of local nobility of several regions of the former Grand Duchy of Litva (GDL), published in late 19th – early 20th century and based on legitimation cases which district (land) courts began reviewing almost immediately after the first partition of the Polish-Litvan Commonwealth and the occupation of the eastern territories of Litva by the Russian Empire.
Full list of sources:
- "Гербоўнік беларускай шляхты" - "The Armorial of Belarusian Nobility" - vol. I-V, 2002-2018.
- "Вялікае Княства Літоўскае. Энцыклапедыя ў 2 тамах" - "The Grand Duchy of Litva. Encyclopedia in 2 volumes", 2007.
- "Herbarz szlachty prowincyi witebskiej" - "The Armorial of Viciebsk Governorate Nobility" - "Herold Polski", Krakow - 1899.
- "Оршанскій гербовникъ": "Историко-юридическіе матеріалы, извлеченные изъ актовыхъ книгъ губерній Витебской и Могилевской, хранящихся въ центральномъ архивѣ въ Витебскѣ и изданные подъ редакціей и.д. архиваріуса сего архива Дм. Ив. Довгялло" - "The Armorial of Orša" - "Historical and legal materials, extracted from the act books of Viciebsk and Mahiloŭ Governorates, are stored in the Central Archives in Viciebsk and published under the editorship of p.p. archivist of these archives Dź. Iv. Daŭgiała" - 28th release, 2nd part, 1900.
- "Малы гербоўнік Наваградзкай шляхты" - "The Small Armorial of Navahradak Nobility", 1997 (in Polish)
- "Малы гербоўнік Рагачоўскай шляхты" - "The Small Armorial of Rahačoŭ Nobility", 2008-2010
- "Малы гербоўнік Халопеніцкай шляхты" - "The Small Armorial of Chałopieničy Nobility", 1999 (in Polish)
- А. Залівака "Шляхта Вялікага Княства Літоўскага" - A. Zalivaka "The Nobility of the Grand Duchy of Litva":
- "Шляхта Магілёўскай губерні. Радаводы." - "The Mahiloŭ Governorate Nobility. The Lineages", 2013 (in Polish)
- "Шляхта Віцебскай губерні. Радаводы." - "The Viciebsk Governorate Nobility. The Lineages", Books 1st & 2nd, 2014, 2017 (in Polish)
Based on these publications, I have systematized the information about gentry and titled nobility COAs and their bearers which I am happy to present here.
The images of shields have been reconstructed based on the drawings from these publications and edited in accordance with present heraldry standards. Some of the images are published online for the first time.
- The coats of arms are sorted alphabetically. For your convenience, to ease further detailed searching the alphabetical list is divided into roughly equal groups small enough to fit a page.
- A coat of arms title is written above of an image in Polish spelling. Alternative title of a same one used in the sources are given in brackets.
- In case of discrepancies between a depiction of a particular coat of arms and its classic version, there is a note "(alt.)" [altered] after its title.
- To ease navigation, there is a specified alphanumeric source code to every bearer's family name:
- "(letter A, B, W & etc.)(article #)" - refers to the corresponding volume of "The Armorial of Belarusian Nobility" edition",
- "GDL[1st or 2nd volume](page No.)" - refers to "GDL Encyclopedia".
- "AV(list No.)" - refers to "Armorial of Viciebsk Nobility",
- "AC(article No.)" - refers to "Armorial of Chałopieničy Nobility",
- "AN(article No.)" - refers to "Armorial of Navahradak Nobility",
- "AO(article No.)" - refers to "Armorial of Orša Nobility",
- "AR(article No.)" - refers to "Armorial of Rahačoŭ Nobility",
- "ZM(article No.)" - refers to "Zalivaka-Mahiloŭ Nobility",
- "ZV[1st or 2nd book](article No.)" - refers to "Zalivaka-Viciebsk Nobility";
* From 1696 all public recordings in Litva were written and kept in Polish. Therefore in the late 19th - early 20th century Russian authorites used Polish spelling of family names in latinized identification documents issued to emigrating members of those families.