Blazons & Genealogy Notes
(Kingsclere, co. Hants, by grant, 1772). Ar. a bordure az. bezantee on a dexter canton gu. three swords barways in pale of the first, hilt and pommels or, the points to the dexter side. Crest—A phoenix in flames ppr. on the breast and each wing a bezant.
Origin, Meaning, Family History and Aldridge Coat of Arms and Family Crest
The name Aldridge is of Anglo-Saxon origin. It is one of the names of the original ethnic groups of Britain predating the Norman conquest led by William the Conqueror. In its earliest incarnation, prior to the Norman conquest, the spelling of the name was either “Aelfric”, “Aethelric” or “Aethelred”. The meaning behind the Anglo-Saxon “Ael” is elf and “Aethel” is noble, “ric” or “red” means ruler or council. Several kings of Britain prior to the Norman conquest bore the name Aethelred. Aethelred the Unready and Aethelred II reigning respectively from the mid 9th century to the early 10th century.
After the Norman conquest, the spelling of the name evolved into the more modern forms we are familiar with today; Aldridge, Aldrich, Aldrick, Elderidge, Elrick, Eldrege, Eldred and Eldridge. In these various adaptations, the names are an indicator of the person’s birthplace as the names were derivative of a location such as Aldridge in Staffordshire or Aldridge Grove in Buckinghamshire. Certain variations of the name could also be translated to indicate a particular geographic feature or landmark located in the area from which the person originated.
One of the earliest listing of an individual bearing a derivative of the name Aeflic, is found within the Doomsday Book, it can also be found in official records in Suffolk from 1095 which have a listing for Hugo Aeflic. The first record of a variant of the modern spelling, Roger Elrich, is found in the Ecclesiastical Records of Barnwell in Cambridgeshire dated from 1279
John Eldred of Buckingham, Norfolk( another derivative of Aldridge) is listed as having arms granted to him in 1592 in the Grantee of Arms in Docquets and Patents to the end of the seventeenth century. A William Eldred immigrated to Massachusetts in 1645, settling in the Yarmouth area. It is thought he was a carpenter or wood worker from Norfolk, England.
William Eldridge arrived in the Crown Colony of the Dominion of Virginia in 1714. His brother Thomas landed on the same day. William Eldridge moved to King and Queen county, where he established a substantially large holding of five hundred acres. His brother Thomas settled in York, Virginia, and married one Martha Boling. Boling is a thought to be a descendant of Pocahontas and John Rolfe. Through the female line.*-This is claim is still being investigated by historians and genealogical societies in Virginia.
One of the more interesting and obscure references to the name Aldridge, occurred in Canada during the British arctic exploration of the 1850’s. During the Beecher expedition, HMS Resolute was trapped in an arctic ice flow, which had become bonded to the ship’s hull. She was eventually abandoned in place after being sealed and locked down. A full year later, the HMS Resolute was found adrift by American whalers still encapsulated in ice, the ship was brought to American shores, restored and given as a gift to Queen Victoria. During the expedition, the master of the ship G. F. MacDoughall, asked Eldridge Bay be named after a close friend and confidant. *Timbers from the HMS Resolute were used to make three desks. One was give as a gift to The President of the United States , one remained as a lady’s writing desk for Queen Victoria and the third, was given as a small woman’s desk to the widow of Henry Grinell. The Resolute Desk is now currently in the Oval Office of the President of the United States.
Over the years there have been many influential and notable persons with the surname Aldridge. George Sydney Aldridge President of the Adelaide Stock Exchange, Kitty Aldridge actress and playwright, Le Marcus Aldridge Sports star San Antonio Spurs, and with the related surname of Eldridge soldier and pilot heroes, George Eldridge and John Eldridge, Jr.
John Eldridge Jr, was a pilot in the US Navy who died during the Solomon Island campaign in WWII. The USS Eldridge a destroyer escort was named after him. * It is also interesting to note this was the ship which was supposedly involved in the Philadelphia Experiments. Although famous in popular science fiction and with conspiracy theorists, there is no evidence any such experiments occurred or were conducted by the US Navy.
The secondary spelling of Aldrick or Aldrich is also associated with Aldridge. Admiral Pelham Aldrich, (1844 to 1930) was a Royal Naval officer; who spent the majority of his career in exploration. The most norther geographic location in North America is named after Admiral Aldrich, as well as Mount Aldrich in Antarctica. An honor given to him for his assistance in helping Robert Scott with preparing his expedition to the South Pole.
laces associated with Eldridge:
Buckingham, Buckinghamshire, Barnwell, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Eldrige Bay, Canada. Mount Aldrich Antarctica
Aldridge Coat of Arms Meaning
The four main devices (symbols) in the Aldridge blazon are the sword, bezant, phoenix and wings. The three main tinctures (colors) are argent, azure and gules .
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) . In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper .
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 . 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” .
The bold red colour on a heraldic shield is known as gules. It has a long history within heraldry, it is known that one of those who besieged the scottish castle of Carlaverock in 1300 was the French knight Euremions de la Brette who had as his arms a simple red shield.. The word gules is thought to come from the Arabic gule, or “red rose” . Later writers associated it with the precious stone ruby and the metal iron , perhaps because of the red glow of iron in the heat of the blacksmith’s forge.
Given the martial nature of the origins of Heraldry, in the identification of knights and men-at-arms it can come as no surprise that mediaeval weaponry of all types are frequently to be found in a coat of arms . Indeed, the sheer variety of different swords can be bewildering and expaining the difference between a scimitar and a falchion is perhaps best left to the expert! If a charge is described just as a simple sword then it will have a straight blade and cross handle, that may be of a different colour, and, unless specified, points upwards. Wade, quoting the earlier writer Guillim, signifies the use of the sword as representing “Government and Justice”.
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 xz`, and the bezant Is a typical example of this, and in British Heraldry always takes the tincture or. It shares the same root as the name Byzantium, being associated with the gold coin of that city and indeed, in some heraldic traditions is represented as a coin-like disk in perspective. Wade suggests that the use of this device refers to ” one who had been found worthy of trust and treasure.”
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 came into being, and their various representations became more or less standardised in form and appearance. The phoenix Is a typical example of a mythical creature, as real to a person of the middle ages as dogs, cats and elephants are to us today.