Alexander Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History

Alexander Family Coat of Arms

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Alexander Coat of Arms Meaning

The four main devices (symbols) in the Alexander blazon are the chevron, crescent, harp and writing pen. The three main tinctures (colors) are or, sable and argent .

The bright yellow colour frequently found in coats of arms is known to heralds as Or, or sometimes simply as Gold.1Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27. 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 2A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P85. The yellow colour is often associated with the Sun, and the zodiacal sign of Leo.3Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53.

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 4A 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 5Boutell’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 6The 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) 7Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 8A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11.

The chevron is one the major shapes used upon a shield, known as ordinaries. The inverted ‘V’ of the chevron is perhaps thought to have originated to represent a military scarf folded on the shield 9A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, (various), or additional cross-pieces used to strengthen the shield and painted a different colour.10The Pursuivant of Arms, J. R. Planche, Hardwicke, London 1859. It has also acquired the meaning of “Protection… granted… to one who has achieved some notable enterprise” 11The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P45, possibly becuase of its resemblance to the roof truss of a house.

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 12A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P146xz`, and the crescent Is a typical example of this, and can appear in any of the main heraldic tinctures. Some common is this device that there are special names for its appearance in various orientations – whilst it lies normally with points upward, the decrescent points to the sinister side, and the increscent to the dexter 13A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Moon. The allusion, obviously is to the shape of the moon in the sky (indeed, the French have a version “figuré” which includes a face!) and has been said to signify both “honour by the sovereign” and “hope of greater glory” 14The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P106.

Although often associated with the country of Ireland, the harp also appears in the coat of arms of some families. It is usually depicted in a lifelike fashion and can be stringed of a different colour for a more pleasing effect. 15A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Harp Guillim suggests that the harp represents one of a ”well-composed and tempered judgement”. 16A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P243

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Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Alexander Name

Alexander Origin:

Greece

Origins of Name:

The surname of Alexander hails from the country of Greece. The Greek word “Alexandros” is a personal given name from which this surname derives. The personal given name of Alexandros is made up of the components of “alexin: which can be translated to mean “to defend” and “andros” which is a form of the word “aner” which can be translated to mean “a man.” Thus, the personal given name of Alexandros from which the surname of Alexander derives is said to mean “a defender of men.” This surname is a patronymic form of the personal given name of Alexandros, which means that it was given to the son of Alexandros. This surname of Alexandros became popular among the Macedonian Kings, beginning with King Priam of Troy, who was named Paris, who was given this name for saving his father’s herdsmen from a gang of cattle rustlers. From then on, the name Alexandros became hereditary, but was synonymous with notoriety, as it was given to Alexander the Great (who took over the lands from Greece to the Punjab), King Alexander who was the son of Queen Margaret of Scotland, and many other kings. The personal given name became popular because people often honored their nobility by naming their children as such, and thus the surname became popular, since it is a patronymic form of the personal given name, and many young men were named Alexandros or Alexander.

Variations:

More common variations are: Allexander, Sander, Saunder, Xander, Alexandera, Aleaxander, Alexandeer, Alexanderr, Alexandere, Aalexander, Alecandero, Alexandero, Alexaander, Alexxander

History:

Scotland:

The first recorded spelling of the surname of Alexander was found in the country of Scotland. One person who was named as William Alexander was mentioned in the Records of the Accounts of the City of Edinburgh in the year 1435. This document was ordered, decreed, and written under the reign of King James I of Scotland. King James I of Scotland was known throughout history as “The Prince and the Steward of Scotland.” King James I of Scotland ruled from the year of 1406 to the year 1437, but was held in captivity by the English government for some of that time. Other mentions of the surname of Alexander in the country of Scotland include one King Alexander, who ruled from the year 1107 to the year 1124, Sir William Alexander, who was the Earl of Stirling, who was a tutor to Prince Henry, and who was the Secretary of State for Scotland from the year 1626 until his death in the year 1640. Those who carry the surname of Alexander in the country of Scotland can be found in the counties of Lanarkshire, Midlothian, Ayrshire, and in Renfrewshire in large concentrations.

England:

Those who bear the surname of Alexander within the country of England can be found throughout the entire country. The areas with large concentrations of people who are known by the surname of Alexander are within the areas of Yorkshire, Northumberland, and Lancashire counties. There are many people who are carrying the surname of Alexander within the areas in and around the city of London as well.

United States of America:

Within the United States of America, there are many who bear the surname of Alexander. The first person to carry this surname to the United States was one Jon Alexander, who arrived late in the European Migration in the state of Virginia in the year of 1653.

Here is the population distribution of the last name Alexander: United States 222,494; South Africa 26,903; England 26,543; Nigeria 23,537; Canada 14,943; Australia 13,133; Tanzania 12,915; Trinidad and Tobago 7,591; India 6,709; Scotland 5,526

Notable People:

Tyler Alexander (1941-2016) who was a race car engineer from America, and who was the co-founder of McLaren Racing Limited, which was a British Formula One Team

Van Alexander (1915-2015) who was born with the name Alecander Van Vliet Feldman, and who was a bandleader, arranger, and composer from America, and who notably lived to be 100 years of age

Claudia J. Alexander (1959-2015) who was a Canadian-born research scientist who specialized in both geophysics and planetary science for the United States Geological Survey and for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, which is better known today by the acronym of NASA

Gwen Wentz Cheeseman Alexander (born in 1951) who was awarded the bronze medal in fieldhockey in the 1984 Summer Olympics, and who played the position of goalkeeper on her team

John White Alexander (1856-1915) who was a painter from America

Jack Alexander (1935-2013) who was an entertainer and comedian from Scotland, and who was half of the folk music duo group The Alexander Brothers

Robery McNeill “Neill” Alexander CBE FRS (1934-2016) who was a zoologist from Britain, and who served as a Fellow of the Royal Society

Alexander Origin:

Greece

Origins of Name:

The surname of Alexander hails from the country of Greece. The Greek word “Alexandros” is a personal given name from which this surname derives. The personal given name of Alexandros is made up of the components of “alexin: which can be translated to mean “to defend” and “andros” which is a form of the word “aner” which can be translated to mean “a man.” Thus, the personal given name of Alexandros from which the surname of Alexander derives is said to mean “a defender of men.” This surname is a patronymic form of the personal given name of Alexandros, which means that it was given to the son of Alexandros. This surname of Alexandros became popular among the Macedonian Kings, beginning with King Priam of Troy, who was named Paris, who was given this name for saving his father’s herdsmen from a gang of cattle rustlers. From then on, the name Alexandros became hereditary, but was synonymous with notoriety, as it was given to Alexander the Great (who took over the lands from Greece to the Punjab), King Alexander who was the son of Queen Margaret of Scotland, and many other kings. The personal given name became popular because people often honored their nobility by naming their children as such, and thus the surname became popular, since it is a patronymic form of the personal given name, and many young men were named Alexandros or Alexander.

Variations:

More common variations are: Allexander, Sander, Saunder, Xander, Alexandera, Aleaxander, Alexandeer, Alexanderr, Alexandere, Aalexander, Alecandero, Alexandero, Alexaander, Alexxander

History:

Scotland:

The first recorded spelling of the surname of Alexander was found in the country of Scotland. One person who was named as William Alexander was mentioned in the Records of the Accounts of the City of Edinburgh in the year 1435. This document was ordered, decreed, and written under the reign of King James I of Scotland. King James I of Scotland was known throughout history as “The Prince and the Steward of Scotland.” King James I of Scotland ruled from the year of 1406 to the year 1437, but was held in captivity by the English government for some of that time. Other mentions of the surname of Alexander in the country of Scotland include one King Alexander, who ruled from the year 1107 to the year 1124, Sir William Alexander, who was the Earl of Stirling, who was a tutor to Prince Henry, and who was the Secretary of State for Scotland from the year 1626 until his death in the year 1640. Those who carry the surname of Alexander in the country of Scotland can be found in the counties of Lanarkshire, Midlothian, Ayrshire, and in Renfrewshire in large concentrations.

England:

Those who bear the surname of Alexander within the country of England can be found throughout the entire country. The areas with large concentrations of people who are known by the surname of Alexander are within the areas of Yorkshire, Northumberland, and Lancashire counties. There are many people who are carrying the surname of Alexander within the areas in and around the city of London as well.

United States of America:

Within the United States of America, there are many who bear the surname of Alexander. The first person to carry this surname to the United States was one Jon Alexander, who arrived late in the European Migration in the state of Virginia in the year of 1653.

Here is the population distribution of the last name Alexander: United States 222,494; South Africa 26,903; England 26,543; Nigeria 23,537; Canada 14,943; Australia 13,133; Tanzania 12,915; Trinidad and Tobago 7,591; India 6,709; Scotland 5,526

Notable People:

Tyler Alexander (1941-2016) who was a race car engineer from America, and who was the co-founder of McLaren Racing Limited, which was a British Formula One Team

Van Alexander (1915-2015) who was born with the name Alecander Van Vliet Feldman, and who was a bandleader, arranger, and composer from America, and who notably lived to be 100 years of age

Claudia J. Alexander (1959-2015) who was a Canadian-born research scientist who specialized in both geophysics and planetary science for the United States Geological Survey and for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, which is better known today by the acronym of NASA

Gwen Wentz Cheeseman Alexander (born in 1951) who was awarded the bronze medal in fieldhockey in the 1984 Summer Olympics, and who played the position of goalkeeper on her team

John White Alexander (1856-1915) who was a painter from America

Jack Alexander (1935-2013) who was an entertainer and comedian from Scotland, and who was half of the folk music duo group The Alexander Brothers

Robery McNeill “Neill” Alexander CBE FRS (1934-2016) who was a zoologist from Britain, and who served as a Fellow of the Royal Society

Alexander Family Gift Ideas

Browse Alexander family gift ideas and products below. If there are multiple coats of arms for this surname, you will see them at the top of this page and can click on the various coat of arms designs to apply them to the gift ideas below.

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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) (of Menstrie, Earls of Stirling). Motto—Per mare per terras. Quarterly, 1st and 4th, per pale ar. and sa. a chev. and in base a crescent, all counterchanged; 2nd and 3rd, or, a lymphad sa. sails furled and flags flying betw. three crosses crosslet fitchee gu. for Mac Donald. Crest—A bear sejant, erect, ppr. Suporters—Dexter, an Indian with long hair, and a dart in his right hand all ppr. having a circle of gold on his head with a plume of seven feathers or and az. and round his waist a like circle of feathers; sinister, a mermaid with a comb and mirror all ppr.
2) (Earl of Caledon). Motto—Per mare per terras. Per pale ar. and sa. a chev. and in base a crescent counterchanged on a canton az. a harp or, stringed of the first. Crest—An arm in armour embowed ppr. holding a sword of the last hilt and pommel or. Supporters— Dexter, a mermaid holding a mirror ppr.; sinister, an elephant ar.
3) (confirmed, with ten. quarterings, to Henry Alexander, Esq. of Forkhill, co. Armagh, D.L., fourth son of Nathaniel Alexander, Bishop of Meath (nephew of the first Earl of Caledon), by Anne, his wife, dau. and, in her issue, heiress of the Right Hon. Richard Jackson, of Coleraine)(confirmed, with ten. quarterings, to Henry Alexander, Esq. of Forkhill, co. Armagh, D.L., fourth son of Nathaniel Alexander, Bishop of Meath (nephew of the first Earl of Caledon), by Anne, his wife, dau. and, in her issue, heiress of the Right Hon. Richard Jackson, of Coleraine) Motto—Per mare per terras. Per pale ar. and sa. a chev. betw. in chief an annulet and in base a crescent all counterchanged. Crest—An arm in armour embowed the hand grasping a sword all ppr. on the elbow an annulet sa.
4) (Frowick House, Essex, and Ahilly, co. Donegal). Motto—Per mare per terras. Per pale ar. and sa. a chev. and in base a crescent, all counerchanged. Crest—An arm in armour embowed ppr. holding a sword of the last hilt and pommel or.
5) (Newtownlimavady, and Londonderry). Per pale ar. and ga. a chev., and in base a Crest counterchanged, on a canton az. a harp or, stringed of the first.
6) (City of Dublin, Bart.). Motto—Per mare, per terras. Per pale ar. and sa. a chev. and in base a crescent counterchanged, on a canton az. a harp or, stringed of the first, in the sinister chief point a mullet of the last. Crest—A dexter arm embowed, holding a dagger, all ppr. charged on the wrist with a mullet or.
7) (Dover, Kent). Barry of ten (another fourteen) ar. and az. (another gu.) a lion ramp. gu. holding a battle-axe or.
8) (Scotland). Gu. a chev. betw, three talbots’ heads erased or. Crest—A talbot ar. collared gu.
9) (Francis Alexander, D.D., prebendary of Winchester, son of John Alexander, of Hampshire, by Mary, his wife, sister of Thomas Belsonn, Bishop of Winchester). Az. a chev. betw. three talbots’ heads erased ar. collared gu. Crest—A talbot's head erased ar. collared gu.
10) (Auchmull, co. Aberdeen). Motto—Quod tibi ne alteri. Per pale ar. and sa. a chev. betw. two mullets in chief, and a crescent in base, all counterchanged. Crest—A hand sustaining a pair of balances of equal scales ppr.
11) (Kinglassie, Scotland). Motto—Ducitur non trahitur. Quarterly: 1st and 4th, per pale ar. and sa. a chev. bruised at the top, and in base a, crescent counterchanged; 2nd and 3rd, ar. on a cross engr. betw. four roses gu. a mullet of the field, for Aytoun. Crest—A horse’s head couped gu. bridled ar.
12) (Pitkelly, co. Perth). Motto—Ora et labora. Per pale engr. ar. and sa. a chev. and in base a crescent all counterchanged. Crest—Two hands conjoined in fess ppr.
13) (Knockhill, Scotland). Per pale ar. and sa. a chevron and in base a crescent all counterchanged, a mullet for the difference.
14) (Boghall, co. Edinburgh). Motto—Fidem servo. Per pale ar. and sa. a chev. betw. a writing pen fesseways in chief and a crescent in base all counterchanged. Crest—A hand holding a quill ppr.
15) (Boyd, 3rd son of Claud Alexander, of Boghall, 1784). As the last within a bordure per pale gu. and or. Same Crest and Motto.
16) (Ballochmyle, 1788). Motto—Per mare per terras. Per pale ar. and sa. a chev. betw. a fleur-de-lis in chief and a crescent in base all counterchanged, a bordure per pale gu. and or. Crest—An elephant pass. ppr.
17) (Haughton, Scotland, M.D, 1772). Motto: "Ingenium vires superat". Per pale sa. and or, a chev. And chief of the last charged with three cushions all counterchanged. Crest: A crested serpent gliding ppr.
18) (Glasgow, 1861). Motto: Per mare per terras. Per pale ar. and sa. a chev. and in base a crescent all counterchanged, in dexter chief a cross crosslet fitchee gu., in sinister chief a galley sails furled or. Crest: On a mount very on otter pass. ppr.
19) Gu. a lion sejant on a chair, and holding in the paws a battle-axe ar.
20) Paly of six ar. and az. on a bend gu. three mullets of the first.
21) Az. on a mount ppr. a faclon with wings expanded looking at an etoile at.
22) Per pale ar. and sa. a chev. betw. two mullets in chief and a crescent in base all counterchanged.
23) (Durham). Paly of six ar. and az. on a bend sa. a sword or.

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References   [ + ]

1. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27
2. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P85
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, 1894, Entry:Sable
5. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26
6. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35
7. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
8. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11
9. A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, (various)
10. The Pursuivant of Arms, J. R. Planche, Hardwicke, London 1859
11. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P45
12. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P146
13. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Moon
14. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P106
15. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Harp
16. A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P243