Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Averell Name
The name Averell was brought to England in the great wave of migration following the Norman Invasion of 1066. The Averell family lived the Old French word Avril which meaning April. The name would have initially given to a child born in the month of April. Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person often related to by different spellings in different documents. More common variations are: Averella, Averello, Averrell, Averiell, Averll, Averel, Avrell, Aveerella, Averello, Averill.
The surname Averell first found in Gloucestershire where they gave lands to William the Champion for their assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. They conjecturally descended from a Norman noble, Avril, who landed with William the Champion.
Some of the people with the surname Averell who arrived in the United States in the 19th century included Alexander Averell, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the year 1866. Arthur Averell, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the year 1878.
Averell Coat of Arms Meaning
The two main devices (symbols) in the Averell blazon are the cross and buck’s head. The two main tinctures (colors) are gules and ermine.
Red in heraldry is given the name Gules, sometimes said to be the “martyr’s colour”. The colour is also associated with Mars, the red planet, and the zodiacal sign Aries . Later heralds of a more poetical nature would sometimes refer to the colour as ruby, after the precious stone..
Ermine is a very ancient pattern, and distinctive to observe. It was borne alone by John de Monfort, the Earl of Richmond and Duke of Brittany in the late 14th century It has a long association with royalty and the nobility in general and hence represents “Dignity” wherever it is found . The ermine pattern is white with, typically, a three dots and a dart grouping representing the tail of the furred creature.. The ermine spot is sometimes found alone as a special charge on the shield.
No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross . Mediaeval Europe was a deeply religious and Christian and many of the nobility wanted to show their devotion by adopting the symbol of the cross as part of the arms. In its basic form, the cross is created from two broad bands of colour at right angles covering the whole extent of the shield. It has been subject to all manner of embellishment, and the interested reader is referred to the references, especially Parker’s Heraldic dictionary for many examples of these. Suffice it to say that any armiger would be proud to have such an important device as part of their arms.
The chief is an area across the top of the field . It appears in many different forms and can itself be charged with other charges and ordinaries, , being treated almost as if it were a completely separate area. In its simplest form it can be clearly identified. Early examples include the award by Henry III of England to the knight Robert de MORTEYN BRETON of Ermine, a chief gules.