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Ainsworth Coat of Arms Meaning

The three main devices (symbols) in the Ainsworth blazon are the axe, man in armour and spade. The three main tinctures (colors) are gules, azure and or .

Gules, the heraldic colour red is very popular, sometimes said to represent “Military Fortitude and Magnanimity”1. It is usually abbreviated as gu and in the days before colour printing was shown in a system known as hatching by vertical lines 2. Although it may look like a French word it is normally pronounced with a hard “g” and may be derived either from the Latin gula (throat) or Arabic gule (rose).3

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 4. 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” 5.

The bright yellow colour frequently found in coats of arms is known to heralds as Or, or sometimes simply as Gold.6. 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 7. The yellow colour is often associated with the Sun, and the zodiacal sign of Leo.8.

The Axe appears in many forms in heraldic art, coming from both the martial and the craft traditions, indeed someone today would have a hard time telling their common hatchet from a turner’s axe, but it is likely that those in the middle ages were more familiar with each. 9 Obviously the axe from a craft tradition may symbolise the holder being a practitioner of that craft, but the axes from a martial background are suggested by Wade to indicate the “execution of military duty”. 10

Heraldry is a human art, by and for people and it is not surprising that people themselves are frequently depicted in arms 11. Often these are images of knights and men-at-arms, or individual limbs, such as the “three armoured right arms argent” shown in the arms of Armstrong 12. As well as the nobility however, we also see both the mundane, ploughmen, fishermen and reapers; and the exotic in the form of club wielding savages and the Moorish or Saracen gentleman with his decorative wreathed turban 13. The man in armour is a typical example of this use of the human figure.

It is important that a coat of arms be easily recognised and so everyday objects were frequently used as clearly identifiable charges – tools 14 being a common and important example of these, of which the spade is typical. Some of these tools are rather obscure to modern eyes, who of us nowadays would recognise a hemp-break 15, let alone know what to use it for! Nevertheless, for mediaeval peasant it was a clearly identifiable symbol. For its symbolism we need look little further than its intended use, as a tool of the working man.

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

Ainsworth Origin:

England

Origins of Ainsworth:

The surname of Ainsworth can be traced to the country of England and is said to be a locational surname. This means that it was often taken by the Lord or owner of the land from which the name derives. Others who may have taken a locational surname are people who have migrated out of the area to seek out work. The easiest way to identify someone who was a stranger at that time was by the name of their birthplace. In the case of the surname of Ainsworth, the place from which those who were known by this name hailed from a village in the county of Lancashire that was known by the name of Ainsworth. This place name itself hails from the Old English Pre 7th Century personal name of “Aegen,” which itself comes from the word “aegen,” which can be translated to mean “own,” plus the element of “worth,” which can be translated to mean “a homestead.” Thus the place name of Ainsworth literally can be translated to mean “the home of Aegen.”

Variations:

More common variations are: Aynsworth

History:

England:

The first recorded spelling of the surname of Ainsworth can be traced to the country of England. One person by the name of William de Aynesworth was mentioned in the document known as the Lay Subsidy Rolls of the county of Lancashire in the year of 1332. This document was ordered, decreed, and written under the reign of one King Edward III of England, who was known throughout the ages, and commonly referred to as “The Father of the Navy.” King Edward III ruled from the year of 1327 to the year of 1377. Other mentions of the surname of Ainsworth include on John de Aynesworth, who was mentioned in the document known as The History of Lancashire by Baines in the year of 1370. One person by the name of Richard Ainsworth was mentioned as being baptized in Winwick, Lancashire in the year of 1567, while one person by the name of Robert Ainsworth was mentioned as publishing a treatise on the topic of education in the year of 1698.

United States of America:

It became common for European citizens to migrate to the United States of America in the 17th and 18th centuries. These citizens, upset with the state of the government and living conditions in the countries of their birth went to the United States of America in search of a better life for them and their families. The United States of America, which at that time was known as the New World, or the Colonies, promised religious freedom, the creation of a new government that was not under the reign of England, and the ability to own land. This large movement of people was known as the European Migration. Among those who migrated to America was one Anchor Ainsworth, who arrived in the city of Boston, Massachusetts in the year of 1645, making him the first recorded person to bear the surname of Ainsworth.

Here is the population distribution of the last name NAME: United States 11,588; England 7,276; Australia 2,124; Canada 1,212; South Africa 676; Jamaica 410; Scotland 381; New Zealand 374; Germany 370; Brazil 318; France 257

Notable People:

John Edgar Ainsworth (1920-2004) who was a polymath and physicist from America, and who worked for NASA.

Alexandra Danielle “Lexi” Ainsworth (born in 1992) who is an actress from America, and who is most commonly known for her role as Kristina Davis on the hit TV series General Hospital.

Kurt Harold Ainsworth (born in 1978) who was a pitcher in Major League Baseball (MLB) who played from the year of 2001 to the year of 2004, and who was from America.

Laura Ainsworth, who served as an Alternate Delegate to the Democratic National Convention from the state of Michigan in the year of 1984, and who is a Democratic politician from America.

J. Labanan Ainsworth, who served as a Member of the New Hampshire State Senate in the 8th District after being elected in the year of 1948, and who also served as a Delegate to the New Hampshire State Constitutional Convention from Claremont in the 2nd Ward in the year of 1956, and who was a Republican politician from America.

Henry A. Ainsworth, who served as a Member of the Illinois State Senate in the 21st District in the year of 1883 to the year of 1887, and who was a politician from America.

Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) (Smithills Hall, and of Moss Bank, co. Lanc.). Motto—Spero meliora. Gu. three battleaxes ar. Crest—A man in armour holding a battleaxe ppr.
2) (formerly of Plessington, now of Showley, co. Lancashire). Az. three spades within a bordure or. Crest—A man at arms fully armed affrontee holding a battleaxe over his right shoulder all ppr.
3) (Spotland, co. Lancashire). Gu. three battleaxes ar. Crest—A man at arms in complete armour holding in his right hand arm extended a battleaxe all 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, P52
  • 3 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P154
  • 4 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Azure
  • 5 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
  • 6 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27
  • 7 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P85
  • 8 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
  • 9 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Axe
  • 10 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P100
  • 11 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P174
  • 12 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 60
  • 13 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P168
  • 14 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 69
  • 15 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P163