The original Gaelic view was that Clan land belongs to the whole tribe. Some believe that this implies that a familys arms would also belong to all members of that family. That is not the case, because Gaelic leaders did not actually possess arms in ancient times. The terms family crests or clan arms or sept arms remain an anathma in Anglo-Norman Irish heraldry, because arms were only granted to an individual noble and his descendants. Not to a whole family group. Exactly which bold Boylan King of Dartry was granted the eagle arms and why is lost in antiquity and remains undocumented. This means that no living Boylan individual has a heraldic right to officially bear the Boylan arms as an individual on his silver ware, stationary and the like. Luckily, hanging a painting of Boylan arms on your wall for historic purposes is an accepted practice and will neither bring the wrath of the Clan OBoylan nor of the Chief Herald of Ireland upon you.

The first Irish Chief Herald, Edward MacLysaght was appointed in 1943. He published Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins. Boylan arms are first mentioned directly in the introduction on page 11. Readers of his work will note that the science of heraldry uses very particular terminology.

The idea of coats of arms was first imported to Ireland by Anglo-Norman invaders. The 1096 Norman Crusade introduced full body armor, so they utilized arms for recognition purposes on the battlefield. After the Anglo-Norman invasion of 1167 - 1172, the English  began to grant arms to noble Irish leaders as they saw fit, for services rendered. The time of the Norman invasion of Ireland was the apex of the power of Boylan Kings in Dartraighe.

Our arms are based upon the Roman Eagle Aquila. Not through the Roman Collas, as first comes to mind. The truth is even more interesting than than: When the German Hohenzollern King Henri IV was elevated to Holy Roman Emperor, he utilized the Roman Aquila in his arms around 1200. There was a Gaelic Monestery in Regensburg at that time. The Connachta donated to the Regensburg monestary to support the work of the Irish monks there and were granted the Roman Eagle coat of arms by by the abbey. Click here for proof

Those Connachta must have donated a miserly sum because they only received HALF of an eagle. If you compare the pictures below you will find BEYOND THE SHADOW OF A DOUBT that King Boylan donated double as much: About 1300 AD, a noble Boylan was granted both sides of the ancient Holy Roman Empire eagle by the Abby of Regensburg as a gift in recognition of Boylan patronage! Perhaps the Boylan arms grant even predates the Connachta...

Discovered by Peter Boylan, on 02.01.2021

Origins. Roman Aquila 100 AD

Source: Ryan Boylan

Don Boylans version

Hohenstaufen & Holy Roman Emperor Henri IV 1200, (from Codex Manesse ca 1300) online Reichsadler

Boylan Arms, according to Edward Maclysaght

Hedgelock and Breton Woods version

German National Eagle

No wonder it looks similar to Boylan arms!

This one with the retro spelling is from Ryan Boylan

George W.  Boylan

Scott Boylan of Colorado has been working on a version the Boylan arms in Photoshop and has donated the three pics below to the Boylan clan under the creative commons license. This means that you are free to rightmouse and copy the crests for private internal use. Tip - great for Windows Wallpaper. Many THANKS to Scott for this clan-friendly deed. Please bear in mind that you are not authorized to use the arms that were granted to our ancestor of Clan OBoylan externally on stationary or similar use. However we think it is great if you identify with the Clan! Please like and follow William Henry Boylan on facebook to demonstrate your Clan affiliation.

Other arms of interest to the Hedgelock Boylans:

Dunham Arms

Voorhees Arms

Hedgelock Symbol

3 stars and wreath for three brothers