Blazons & Genealogy Notes
Ar. three bars az. in chief three torteaux.
Ar. three bars az. in chief three torteaux.
This interesting name, noted as Alkin, Alkins and Allkins, is of early English origin, and is the patronymic form of the surname Alkin, the “s” being a shortened form of “son of”. Alkin is one of the diminutive surnames produced from the old given name “Al”, itself a short form of a particular male name, usually Alan or Alexander. The earlier is a Celtic given name of great antiquity, considered to acquire principally from the Gaelic “ailin”, a diminutive form of “ail”, rock, while Alexander is of old Greek origin, from “Alexandros”, usually derived to mean “defender of men”, from the Greek “alexein”, to defend, with “aner, andros”, man. One Alkin the Jonge (younger) noted in the Assize Court Rolls of Cheshire in 1296. Examples of the surname from English Parish Records contain as the wedding of Thomas Alkyns and Mary Newman at St. Dunstan’s, Stepney, London, in July 1617 and the christening of Judith, daughter of William and Lora Alkins, at St. Petrox, Dartmouth, in Devonshire, in August 1641. The Royal symbol given to an Alkins family represents three bars azure in chief three torteaux on a silver shield.
More common variations are: Allkins, Ailkings, Alkinso, Whalkins, Elkins, Ulkins, Alkons, Alkens, Alknis, IIkins.
The surname Alkins first appeared in Kent at Hawkinge or Hackynge, a church in the union of Elham, Hundred of Folkestone which dates back to at least 1204 when it noted as Hauekinge and literally meant “place frequented by hawks” or “place of a man called Hafoc”, acquired from the Old English particular name “hafac” and ing. The present town and local church is almost 1 mile (1.3km) east of the original hamlet and is best known as the home of RAF Hawkinge, the closest operational airfield to France and used extensively during the Battle of Britain in World War II. “Part of the lands and taxes [of East Wickham, Kent] given by the famous admiral, Sir John Hawkins, in the period of Elizabeth, to the hospital for distressed sailors founded by him at Chatham, to which they still belong.” “The Hawkinses of The Gaer, co. Monmouth, and those of Cantlowes, co. Middlesex, demand a local origin from the Church of Hawking, near Folkestone, in Kent, of which Osbert de Hawking was master temp. Henry II. The family transported to Nash Court in the church of Boughtonunder-Bleane in the same division, and there remained until the year 1800. ”
The very first recording spelling of the family was shown to be that of John Alkyn, dated about 1307, in the “Parliamentary Writs”, Herefordshire. 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.
Many of the people with surname Alkins had moved to Ireland during the 17th century.
People with the name Alkins moved to America in many centuries like Thomas Hawkins, who settled in New England in 1630. Job Hawkins, who settled in Boston in 1630. Richard Hawkins who settled in New England in 1635. Robert and Mary Hawkins, who came to the America aboard the Elizabeth and Ann in 1635, and settled in Charlestown.
Here is the population distribution of the last name Alkins: United States 386; Canada 137; Barbados 101; England 65; Trinidad and Tobago 53; Indonesia 51; Guyana 27; Australia 20; Belgium 2; Scotland 1.
The two main devices (symbols) in the Alkins blazon are the torteaux and bar. The two main tinctures (colors) are azure and argent.
Azure is the heraldic colour blue, usually quite a deep, dark shade of the colour (there is a lighter blue that sometimes occurs, known as celestial azure). If colour printing is not available then it can be represented by closely spaced horizontal lines in a scheme known as “hatching” 1Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26. The word is thought to originate from the Arabic lazura and it represents the colour of the eastern sky. It is also said to be the colour associated by the Catholic Church with the Virgin Mary and hence of particular significance 2The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P150.
Argent is the heraldic metal Silver and is usually shown as very pure white. It is also known more poetically as pearl, moon (or luna) 3Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 4A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11.
For easy recognition of the items on a coat of arms, and hence the quick identification of the owner, bold simple shapes are best. Hence, simple geometric shapes are often used for this purpose 5A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P146 One of the simplest such shapes is the plain circle, known to heralds as the roundle. 6A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Roundle So popular is this charge that a shorthand has arisen for roundles of a particular colour and torteau is a roundle gules, or red. (We must be careful however not to confuse this with the word in French heraldry, in which torteau means roundle and must have the colour specified.) Most authorities agree that the English usage signifies the “Manchet cake” or communion wafer and thus is a symbol of religious allegiance.
The bar is a thin, horizontal stripe across the centre of the shield 7A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Bar, usually in groups of two or three (any more and there would be confusion with barry, a treatment of horizontal lines of alternating colours). Bars can be a distinctive and easily recognised device, early examples include those awarded by Henry III of England to the family MAUDYT Argent, two bars gules.
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26|
|2.||↑||The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P150|
|3.||↑||Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53|
|4.||↑||A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11|
|5.||↑||A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P146|
|6.||↑||A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Roundle|
|7.||↑||A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Bar|