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I'm trying to find a good resource for researching German coat of arms.

Specifically I've traced my family Zaun back to the 1700s in Rothenditmold, Kassel, Hessen, Germany. Archion has been my largest resource though I have used a few others.

Where should I turn to research the coat of arms? When I do a simple Google search for them I turn up a ton of sites that look like they are 20 years old and seem quite scammy.

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Johann Siebmacher (de.wikipedia.org) published some early books on German coats of arms around 1600 (images from the book from 1605: Wikimedia Commons: Siebmachers Wappenbuch). His name was used in the 19th century for a book named Neuer Siebmacher, a collection of coat of arms that was still in reprint in the 20th century. The website of Bernhard Peters states that 130.000 different coat of arms were collected in 119 volumes. He lists a vast number of digital resources (digitized books).

The German association Herold published a successor, the so-called Deutsche Wappenrolle (75 volumes so far).

If you have a good reason to believe that family Zaun had/has a coat of arms you should turn to a specialized message board like heraldik-wappen.de for further help.

The German Wikipedia entry on Wappen (= coat of arms) has a lengthy bibliography on German heraldry.

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