While there were far fewer people in Europe in 1220 than there are in 2020 (somewhere between 37.5 and 112.5 million, compared to today’s population of 750 million), the medieval “household” was large and complex. Being able to trace the family line was a demonstration of social status. And if status could not be claimed from ancestry, it could sometimes be achieved by other means, like a careful marriage or a monastic commitment. As is still the case today, with privilege came an interest in formalizing and preserving that privilege. An entire discipline—heraldry—was developed, along with its own rules, iconography, and jargon, to distinguish boundaries of nobility for wealthy families (and to make those boundaries impassible).