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American Heraldry: The Phelps Family Coat of Arms

In Americana Illustrated, Vol. XXI January, 1927 Number 1, page 182,  David Phelps has found and recreated the Phelps coat-of-arms below. This coat-of-arms is consistent with the others we have identified, though as might be expected the motto varies from family to family. It was in use by the ancestors of Captain William Dane Phelps, a descendant of Henry Phelps who emigrated from London, England to Salem, Massachusetts in 1634.

We also discovered an American version of the Phelps coat-of-arms in the book, The Phelps Family in America. There are now five versions presented, two English and one each Irish and American.

The Coat-of-Arms of Henry Phelps

HE WHO TRANSPLANTED,
STILL SUSTAINS
Click for larger image [53K]

From Americana Illustrated, Vol. XXI January,
1927 Number 1. Courtesy of  David Phelps

In Americana Illustrated, Vol. XXI January, 1927 Number 1, page 182,  David Phelps has found and recreated a color version of the Phelps coat-of-arms, which he has generously given us permission to reproduce on this site.

Pages 283-6 of the "Goodwin and Allied Families" chapters reference the ancestors of Captain William Dane Phelps, who is descended from Henry Phelps. He emigrated from London, England to Salem, Massachusetts in 1634 on the "Hercules."

The Coat of Arms and Crest are not necessarily represented as those specifically of Henry Phelps of London but seemingly derived from the following more generic "Phelps Line" description:

Arms: Per pale, or and argent, a wolf salient azure, between eight crosses, crosslett fitchee gules.

Crest: A wolf's head erased azure, collared or, thereon a martlet sable.

Motto: Qui transtulit sustinet. (Approximately: "He who transplanted, still sustains").

Latin Mottos

From our research, it is apparent that the Phelps coat-of-arms is relatively consistent across branches of the family. However, as is customary, families choose their own motto. This is variously given as —

  • Varitas sunt timore (Truth without fear)
  • Crux fidei lux (The cross is the light of faith)
  • Qui transtulit sustinet (He who transplanted, still sustains)
  • Nil Nisi Honestum (Nothing unless honorable