This database contains genealogies of some of the citizens of Oxfordshire, England that were taken in the years 1566 by William Harvey Clarencieux; 1574 by Richard Lee, Portcullis; and 1634 by John Philpott, Somerset, and William Ryley, Bluemantle. Heralds (those in charge of controlling the use of coats of arms under the direction of the Crown) conducted visitations to record the use of arms. Part of this recording included recording the pedigrees of the families using coats of arms. Pedigrees were recorded because families had to prove their right to bear the arms by showing their connections back to the original bearers. Because coats of arms were passed down through the generations, armory, or heraldry, has much genealogical value. These visitations, therefore, are significant because they provide over 200 pedigree charts as well as several illustrations of coats of arms used by families in the 16th and 17th centuries in Oxford.
Taken from: Herber, Mark D. Ancestral Trails. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Company, Inc., 1998, pp. 492-494.