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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

Az. three boars pass. or.

Origin, Meaning, Family History and Abrell Coat of Arms and Family Crest

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been regulated.  For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Abrell are characterized by many spelling variations.  As the English language changed and incorporated components of other European languages, even educate people changed the spelling of their names. Scribes and priests in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find many variations that refer to a single person.  More common variations are: Aberell, Abrel, Aubarell, Abarelli, Abarelle, Ebrell, Abrall, Abrill, Abriel, Aburel.

The surname Abrell first appeared in Herefordshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor.  The Saxon impact of English history declined after the Battle of Hastings in 1066.  The language of the courts was French for the next three centuries, and the Norman atmosphere prevailed.  But Saxon surnames remained, and the family name first introduced in the 13th century when they held lands in that shire.

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America.  Although the trip itself offered no relief – conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute – these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant donations to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed some immigrants bearing the name Abrell or a variant listed above as Richard Abrahall, who arrived in Maryland between 1655-1658.  Robert Abrahall in Virginia between 1659 and 1660.  Robert Abrahall noted in Virginia in 1681.

Abrell Coat of Arms Meaning

The main device (symbol) in the Abrell blazon is the boar. The two main tinctures (colors) are azure and or.

The bright, strong blue color in Heraldry is known in English as azure, and similarly in other European languages – azul in Spanish, azurro in Italian and azur in French. The word has its roots in the Arabic word lazura, also the source of the name of the precious stone lapis lazuli 1A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Azure. Despite this, those heralds who liked to associate colours with jewels chose instead to describe blue as Sapphire. According to Wade, the use of this colour symbolises “Loyalty and Truth” 2The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36.

The bright yellow colour frequently found in coats of arms is known to heralds as Or, or sometimes simply as Gold.3Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27. Along with, argent, or silver it forms the two “metals” of heraldry – one of the guidelines of heraldic design is that silver objects should not be placed upon gold fields and vice versa 4A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P85. The yellow colour is often associated with the Sun, and the zodiacal sign of Leo.5Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53.

In the middle ages, the wild boar, a far more fearsome creature than its domesticated relative, the pig was a much more commonly seen animal than today. It was also known as a sanglier. 6Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 72 It can appear in many of the same poses that we see for the lion, but has its own (easily imagined!) position known as enraged! 7A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Boar We should not be surprised then that this “fierce combatant” is said to be associated with the warrior. 8The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P67

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References   [ + ]

1. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Azure
2. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
3. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27
4. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P85
5. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
6. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 72
7. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Boar
8. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P67