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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

(Shrewsbury, co. Salop). Sable three preeds or small lampreys haurient in fess argent.

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

This interesting and long-established surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin and belongs to that sizeable group of early European surnames that gradually formed from the habitual use of nicknames. These nicknames were originally given concerning a variety of personal characteristics, such as physical qualities or peculiarities, and mental and moral characteristics. More common variations are: Pridie, Pridey, Priede, Paride, Peride, Priode, Pridue, Praide, Poride, Preide.

The surname Pride first found in Lanarkshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Lannraig) an old division in the central Strathclyde region of Scotland, now divided into the Cabinet Areas of North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire, and the City of Glasgow, where they held a family seat. The very first recording spelling of the family was shown to be that of John le Pride, dated 1208, in the “Pipe Rolls of Devonshire”. It was during the reign of King John, who was known as “Lackland”, dated 1199-1216.  Surname all over the country 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 varieties of the original one.

Some of the people with the name Pride who arrived in the United States in the 17th century included John Pride, who arrived in Salem, Massachusetts in 1637.  Benjamin Pride, who landed in Virginia in 1657.  Andrew Pride who settled in North America in 1660.  Margaret Pride, who settled in Barbados in 1670. People with the surname Pride who landed in the United States in the 18th century included David Pride, who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1775.  David Pride, aged 18, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1775.

Pride Coat of Arms Meaning

The main device (symbol) in the Pride blazon is the lamprey. The two main tinctures (colors) are sable and argent.

Sable, the deep black so often found in Heraldry is believed to named from an animal of the marten family know in the middle ages as a Sabellinœ and noted for its very black fur 1A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Sable. In engravings, when colors cannot be shown it is represented as closely spaced horizontal and vertical lines, and appropriately is thus the darkest form of hatching, as this method is known 2Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26. Although it may seem a sombre tone, and does indeed sometimes denote grief, it is more commonly said to represent Constancy 3The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35.

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) 4Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 5A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11.

Fish in great variety abound in Heraldry, many different species inhabit coats of arms 6Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P150, although truth be told many of the actual images are sometimes indistinguishable, being shown as a stylised, and easily recognised “trout” shape 7A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P137 that a child might draw. The actual name used in the coat of arms may be some play-on-words or allusion to the family name, as in the famous arms of the de Lucy family, being “Gules, three lucies or”, 8Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 79 this being an ancient name for the fish we call today a “pike”. It is possible that the lamprey has been used in this fashion, or it may simply relate to some fishing activity in the history of the family.

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References   [ + ]

1. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Sable
2. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26
3. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35
4. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
5. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11
6. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P150
7. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P137
8. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 79