Abernethy Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History

Abernethy Family Coat of Arms

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Abernethy Coat of Arms Meaning

Abernethy Name Origin & History

We have several coat of arms design(s) for the name Abernethy. Click on the thumbnails to view each design.

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Abernethy Coat of Arms Meaning

The three main devices (symbols) in the Abernethy blazon are the lion, pile and ribbon. The two main tinctures (colors) are gules and or.

Red in heraldry is given the name Gules, sometimes said to be the “martyr’s colour”1The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36. The colour is also associated with Mars, the red planet, and the zodiacal sign Aries 2Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53. Later heralds of a more poetical nature would sometimes refer to the colour as ruby, after the precious stone.3A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P77.

Or is the heraldic metal Gold, often shown as a bold, bright yellow colour. It is said to show “Generosity and elevation of the mind” 4The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35. Later heralds, of a more poetic nature liked to refer to it as Topaz, after the gemstone, and, for obvious reasons associated it with the Sun 5Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53. In drawings without colour it is usually represented by many small dots, or by the letter ‘O’ 6A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P76-77.

The art of heraldry would be significantly poorer if we were without the lion in all its forms. Most general works on Heraldry devote at least one chapter solely to this magnificent creature and its multifarious depictions 7A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P172 8Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 63 9Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P140. Some of the earliest known examples of heraldry, dating right back to the knighting of Geoffrey of Anjou in 1127, where he is shown with six such beasts upon his shield 10A Treatise on Heraldry, J. Woodward, W & A.K Johnston, Edinburgh & London, 1896, P45 .The great authority on heraldic symbology, Wade, points out the high place that the lion holds in heraldry, “as the emblem of deathless courage” 11The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P60, a sentiment echoed equally today.

The pile was originally quite a simple shape, being a triangle reaching from the top of the shield down to a point near the lower centre 12A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Pile. A clear example being that of CHANDOS awarded in 1337, Or a pile gules. There is some argument as to the origin, Wade suggests some similarity with the meaning of “pile” in construction (a foundation) and hence that the shape could be adopted by those who have demonstrated some ability in the building trade 13The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P48. An earlier writer, Guillim, perhaps more plausibly suggested that the shape echoes those of a pennant or triangular flag 14A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P52 The shape is quite distinctive however and became popular, leading to many embellishments to distinguish it from its close fellows, with multiple piles meeting at various points, starting from various edges and with additional decoration, leading to potentially quite complex descriptions!

The ribbon is not the household object that we are familiar with, but a term very occaisionally used to indicate a very narrow bend, being a diagonal line across the whole of the shield. 15A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Riband

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Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Abernethy Name

Abernethy Origin:

Scotland

Origins of Abernethy:

This popular Scottish tribe surname has an unclear etymology. It would seem that the name is geographical from the Monastery of Abernethy in Strathearn. However, it was considered that the source might be professional. In old times families would give status for maintaining and improving parish lands and property. It was a form of over-occupation known in Gaelic areas as the ‘Erenagh,’ which means a lay King, in the situation in Abernethy, a monk, whose family held the office from generation to generation. What is known is that the first named ancestor, was the monk of Abernethy, and he became famous by his son called ‘Orm.’ Whether this was a derived name for a monk is open to debate as ‘Orm’ converts at ‘The Serpent.’ Nevertheless, he listed as Orm de Abernethy, a style which is pointed out as the land owning position. Originally, Orm de Abernethy was held in high regard, on one occasion at least he supported a document between the King of Scotland, William the Lyon, near the year 1167. A subsequent offspring was Sir Hugh de Abernethy who swore loyalty to the ‘republican’ government of Scotland in 1296. It was known as ‘The Interregnum,’ and conquered by Robert the Bruce in 1306.

Variations:

More common variations are: Aberneathy, Abernethay, Abernethey, Abrnethy, Abernaethy, Abernthy, Aberneth, Abernathy, Aberenthy, Aberanthy.

Scotland:

The surname Abernethy first appeared in Perthshire, an ancient division in the new Conference Area of Perth and Kinross, existed in central Scotland at Abernethy, a Church that ” acquires its name from Aber, important in Gaelic, combined with Nethy, the ‘end of Nethy’ which is detailed of the situation of the church, near the entrance of that river into the Spey.”

The very first recording spelling of the family was shown to be that of Hugh Abernethy, dated about 1150, in the “Abbot of Culdee Monastery of Abernethy.” It was during the time of King Malcolm IV of Scotland, dated 1153-1165.

Ireland:

Many of the people with surname Abernethy had moved to Ireland during the 17th century.

United States of America:

Individuals with the surname Abernethy settled in the United States in two different centuries respectively in the 18th, and 19th. Some of the individuals with the name Abernethy who landed in the United States in the 18th century included William Abernethy arrived in Connecticut in 1718.

The following century saw much more Abernethy surnames come. Some of the population with the name Abernethy who arrived in the United States in the 19th century included William Abernethy landed in America in 1804. William Abernethy came to America in 1804. William Abernethy arrived in New York in 1812. Abel Abernethy landed in New York in 1812. William Abernethy landed in New York in 1818.

Australia:

People with the surname Abernethy who settled in Australia in the 19th century included Elizabeth Abernethy arrived in South Australia in 1858 aboard the ship “Melbourne.”

Here is the population distribution of the last name Abernethy: United States 3,420; England 903; Canada 714; New Zealand 667; Australia 546; Scotland 387; Northern Ireland 334; South Africa 292; Ireland 44; United Arab Emirates 38

Notable People:

Bob Abernethy (born 1927), is an American television scholar.

Bruce Abernethy (born 1962), is an Australian rules footballer.

Charles Laban Abernethy (1872–1955), was an American leader.

George Abernethy (1807–1877), was an American leader.

Glen Abernethy (born 1971), is an American leader.

James Abernethy (1814–1896), was a British civil engineer.

Jim Abernethy (born 1902), was an Australian rules football player.

Moira Abernethy (born 1939), was a South African swimmer.

Robert Abernethy (born 1971), is an Australian swimmer and artist.

Rod Abernethy was an American video game music composer and musician.

Roy Abernethy (1906–1977), was an American businessperson.

Thomas Abernethy (1903–1998), was an American leader.

John Cameron, Lord Abernethy (born 1938), was a politician of the College of Justice of Scotland.

Abernethy Family Gift Ideas

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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) (of that Ilk, co. Fife; Alexander Abernethy, dominus de eodem, temp. Robert I. left three daus, his coheirs: Margaret, wife of John Stewart, Earl of Angus; Helen, m. to Norman Lindsay, of Crawford; and Mary, m. to Andrew Lesly, of Rothes). Or, a lion ramp. gu. surmounted of a ribbon sa.
2) (Auchindoich). Motto—In Christo salus. Quarterly, as Lord Saltoun, within a bordure engr. az. Crest—A parrot ppr.

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References   [ + ]

1. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
2. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
3. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P77
4. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35
5. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
6. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P76-77
7. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P172
8. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 63
9. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P140
10. A Treatise on Heraldry, J. Woodward, W & A.K Johnston, Edinburgh & London, 1896, P45
11. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P60
12. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Pile
13. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P48
14. A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P52
15. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Riband