Armstrong Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History

Armstrong Family Coat of Arms

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Armstrong Coat of Arms Meaning

Armstrong Name Origin & History

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Armstrong Coat of Arms Meaning

The two main devices (symbols) in the Armstrong blazon are the arm in armour and paly. The three main tinctures (colors) are azure, or and gules .

Azure is the heraldic colour blue, usually quite a deep, dark shade of the colour (there is a lighter blue that sometimes occurs, known as celestial azure). If colour printing is not available then it can be represented by closely spaced horizontal lines in a scheme known as “hatching” 1Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26. The word is thought to originate from the Arabic lazura and it represents the colour of the eastern sky. It is also said to be the colour associated by the Catholic Church with the Virgin Mary and hence of particular significance 2The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P150.

The bright yellow colour frequently found in coats of arms is known to heralds as Or, or sometimes simply as Gold.3Boutell’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 4A 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.5Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53.

Gules, the heraldic colour red is very popular, sometimes said to represent “Military Fortitude and Magnanimity”6The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36. It is usually abbreviated as gu and in the days before colour printing was shown in a system known as hatching by vertical lines 7Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P52. 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).8A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P154

The Arm appears frequently in the crest of a coat of arms, often armoured and described in some detail as to its appearance and attitude. 9A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:arm It can also appear on the shield itself as a charge. The arm itself is said to signify a “laboorious and industrious person” 10The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P92, whilst the arm in armour may denote “one fitted for performance of high enterprise” 11A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P184

Play is what is known as a treatment, a regular patterning, usually over the whole background of the shield. The word comes from the pale, the major vertical stripe that appears on some shields, paly is obvious its little cousin, consisting of, typically, 6 or more vertical stripes, alternately coloured 12A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Paly. The stripes can be any combination of the heraldic tinctures, an early example is that of GURNEY, being simply paly of six, or and argent. Paly can be combined with other effects, such as decorative edges on each stripe, or overlaid with other treatments such as bendy, and these can be very effective and pleasing to the eye 13A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P121.

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Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Armstrong Name

Armstrong Origin:

England, Scotland

Origins of Armstrong:

The surname of Armstrong can be traced back to the Norman Conquest of 1066. However, this surname itself came from a rare surname known as “Forten Bras” which can be translated to literally mean “strong in the arm.” The Forten Bras were given land grants following the Conquest of 1066. It is said that the Armstrong people were a clan who hailed from Scotland, and were constantly at war for either the English or the Scottish. These people were largely regarded as being strong.

Variations:

More common variations are: Aramstrong, Armestrong, Armstorong, Armstrong, Armistrong, Armsstrong, Armastrong, Armostrong, Armstrrong, Armstrong

History:

Scotland:

The first recorded spelling of the surname of Armstrong was found in the country of Scotland. One person, who was documented as being named as Adam Armstrong, was named as a murderer in the year of 1235. Within the area of Carlisle, Adam Armstrong was put in prison, but later pardoned for his crime. This false accusation was created and pardoned under the reign of one King Alexander II of Scotland, who ruled from the year 1214 to the year 1249. Other mentions of the surname of Armstrong in the country of Scotland include another criminal, one Sir Thomas Armstrong, who was a monarchist that had fallen foul of Judge Jefferys, and was thus executed in the year of 1684, and Kinmont Willie Armstrong who was a pirate, and seized by the Scottish government, and whose fate was deemed unknown. The surname of Armstrong was found throughout the country of Scotland, and can be found in high concentrations throughout the country.

England:

In the country of England, the surname of Armstrong was also popular. It was said that the Armstrong’s of Scotland and the Armstrong’s of England were always at war. The first recorded spelling of the surname of Armstrong within the country of England was in the year of 1342. It is recorded that one Richard Harmestrang made a loan to King David of Scotland, who ruled from the year 1329 to the year 1371. Other mentions of the surname of Armstrong within the country of England include one William Armstrong, who served as the steward of the King, and the ambassador to England in 1363. Those who bear the surname of Armstrong in the country of England can be found in the areas of England that border the country of Scotland. Two of these areas that boast a large population of people who bear the surname of Armstrong include the counties of Northumberland and Cumberland.

United States of America:

During the 1600’s, it became common for European citizens to migrate to the United States of America in search of a better life. This migration of people was referred to as the European Migration, also referred to as The Great Migration. The first person to land in the United States of America who bore the surname of Armstrong was one Katherin Armstrong, who arrived in the United States of America in the year of 1635. Those who bear the surname of Armstrong in the United States can be found in the states of New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Michigan, Texas, and in California.

Here is the population distribution of the last name Armstrong: United States 151,242; England 33,147; Canada 25,899; Australia 19.418; South Africa 10,794; Nigeria 8,100; Northern Ireland 4,602; Scotland 4,522; New Zealand 3,588; Ghana 3,195

Notable People:

William “Bill” Lester Armstrong (1937-2016) who was a politician and a business man from America who also severed as a United States Senator from the state of Colorado from the year 1979 to the year 1991

Theodore Robert “Bob” Armstrong (1933-2016) who was a basketball player from America whose career was active from the year 1956 to the year 1957 and who played for the Philadelphia Warriors

Robert “Bob” Landis Armstrong (1932-2015) who was a politician from America and who was also an environmental activist and also served as the 24th Commissioner of the General Office from the year 1971 to the year 1983 as well as serving as a Member of the Texas state House of Representatives from the year 1963 to the year 1971

David Armstrong (1954-2014) who was a photographer from America who did most of his work in New York

James Isbell Armstrong (1919-2013) who was an academic from America who served as the president of Middlebury College from the year 1963 to the year 1975

Robert Golden Armstrong Jr. (1917-2012) who was a playwright and actor from America

Armstrong Family Gift Ideas

Browse Armstrong 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) (Parknowe, Scotland). Motto—Invicta labore. Az. a fesse or, betw. two arms armed couped at the shoulder ar. Crest—An arm issuing out of a cloud holding a club ppr.
2) (Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire). Gu. three dexter arms vambraced ar. hands ppr. Crest—A dexter arm vambraced in armour, the hand ppr.
3) (Sir Richard Armstrong, knt. of Lincoln, col. in the army, and C.B.). Arms, &c. as preceding, the hand of the crest holding a leg in armour couped at the thigh ppr.
4) Sa. three dexter arms conjoined at the shoulders and flexed in triangle or, turned up (or cuffed) ar. the hands clenched ppr.
5) Ar. three torteaux.
6) (Bart, of Gallen Priory, King’s Co.). Motto—Invictus manco. Quarterly, 1st and 4th, ar. issuing from the sinister side a dexter arm habited gu. the hand grasping the trunk of an oak tree eradicated and broken at the top ppr.; 2nd and 3rd, ar. three pallets az. Crest—An armed arm embowed, the hand grasping the broken trunk of an oak tree eradicated all ppr.
7) (Willow Bank, co. Clare). Motto—In Deo robur meus. (Rev. Benjamin John Armstrong, M.A., vicar of East Dereham, co. Norfolk). Motto—Vi et armis. (Ballycumber, Clara, Ireland). (Hemsworth, co. York). Motto—Vi et armis. Gu. three arms in armour vambraced hands ppr. Crest—An arm vambraced. ppr.
8) (Ballyard, King’s Co.). Gu. three dexter arms vambraced ppr. the fists closed. Crest—An armed arm holding a broken tilting spear ppr.
9) (Termonfechan, co. Louth). Motto—Invictus maneo. Per pale, gu. and vert three dexter armed arms couped at the shoulders and embowed the hands clenched ppr. Crest—Out of a mural coronet or, an armed arm embowed the hand grasping an oak tree eradicated ppr.
10) (Mangerton, co. Roxburgh). Ar. three pallets az. Crest—An arm from the shoulder armed ppr.
11) (Whittoch, co. Roxburgh). Motto—Invictus maneo. Ar. three pallets sa. Crest—An arm from the shoulder gu.

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References   [ + ]

1. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26
2. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P150
3. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27
4. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P85
5. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
6. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
7. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P52
8. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P154
9. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:arm
10. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P92
11. A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P184
12. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Paly
13. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P121