Blazons & Genealogy Notes
(Glamorgan). Az. a chev. betw. three griffins’ heads erased or.
(Glamorgan). Az. a chev. betw. three griffins’ heads erased or.
This interesting and long-established surname has two different possible origins, each with its own history and origin. Firstly, Abrey may be of Old French origin, and a variant of the more common Aubrey, itself acquiring from either of two Old French specific names. The first, “Aubri, Auberi”, acquires from the Old German “Alberic”, a combination of the components “alb”, elf, and “ric”, power, and the second, “Albree, Aubree”, acquires ultimately from the Old Germanic female given name “Albrada”, elf-counsel. Both names were initially brought into England by the Normans after the Invasion of 1066, and early records contain Walterus Filius (son of) Alberi, listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 for Suffolk, and Aubri Bunt, recorded in the 1273 Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire. The surname, first listed in the late 13th Century, was re-introduced into Britain by French Huguenot refugees fleeing religious oppression in their own country during the 16th and 17th Centuries. In August 1655, Fransois Aubry was named at the French Huguenot Parish, Threadneedle Street, London. The second possibility is that Abrey is a French home name for a person living in a simple dwelling, from the Old French “abri,” shelter, cover. In April 1587, the christening of Ydatte Abry took place at Loromontzey, Meurthe-et-Moselle, France, and in 1598, Edward Abrey noted in the Oxford University Register.
More common variations are: Abrey, Abery Aubry, Eabry, Abray, Abury, Abary, Awbry, Abrory, Abory.
The surname Abry first appeared in Lincolnshire, where they held a family seat from old times.
The very first recording spelling of the family was shown to be that of Robert Aubrey, dated about 1273, in the “Hundred Rolls of Berkshire.” It was during the time of King Edward I who was known to be the “The Hammer of the Scots,” dated 1272 – 1307. The origin of surnames during this period became a necessity with the introduction of personal taxation. It came to be known as Poll Tax in England. Surnames all over the country began to develop, with unique and shocking spelling variations of the original one.
Many of the people with surname Abry had moved to Ireland during the 17th century.
Some of the people with the name Abry who arrived in the United States in the 17th century included John Abry, who came to Virginia in 1638.
Here is the population distribution of the last name Abry: France 980; Oman 217; United States 192; Germany 134; Brazil 79; Belgium 37; Norway 26; England 16; Canada 12; Russia 4
Léon-Eugène-Auguste Abry (1857, Antwerp – 1905, Antwerp) was a Belgian artist who specialized in military scenes.
Jonas Abry was born in May 1975 in New York City, New York, USA as Jonas Pate Abry. He is an actor, known for Running on Empty (1988) and Slaves of New York (1989). He was the son of a General in the Belgian Army. The family frequently moved, from post to post. His father passed away when he was fourteen, and he had some difficulty adjusting from military life to normal middleclass society.
The two main devices (symbols) in the Abry blazon are the chevron and griffin. 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.
The chevron is one the major shapes used upon a shield, known as ordinaries. The inverted ‘V’ of the chevron is perhaps thought to have originated to represent a military scarf folded on the shield 6A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, (various), or additional cross-pieces used to strengthen the shield and painted a different colour.7The Pursuivant of Arms, J. R. Planche, Hardwicke, London 1859. It has also acquired the meaning of “Protection… granted… to one who has achieved some notable enterprise” 8The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P45, possibly becuase of its resemblance to the roof truss of a house.
In the mediaeval period there was no real percieved difference between real and mythical animals, after all, much of the world remained unknown and who was to say what strange and magical creatures existed in distant lands? As heraldry developed a whole menagerie of imagined creatures 9Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P164 came into being, and their various representations became more or less standardised in form and appearance. The griffin is perhaps the most common of these creatures, being a chimera with the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle. 10A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Griffin. It is most often in the pose known as rampant segreant, on its hind legs with claws and wings extended. Vinycomb has much to say on the subject of the griffin, perhaps summarised in his belief that it represents “strength and vigilance”.]11Fictitious & Symbolic Creatures…in British Heraldry, J. Vinycomb, Chapman & Hall, London, 1906, P150
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.||↑||A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, (various)|
|7.||↑||The Pursuivant of Arms, J. R. Planche, Hardwicke, London 1859|
|8.||↑||The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P45|
|9.||↑||Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P164|
|10.||↑||A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Griffin|
|11.||↑||Fictitious & Symbolic Creatures…in British Heraldry, J. Vinycomb, Chapman & Hall, London, 1906, P150|