Blazons & Genealogy Notes
Notes: None. Blazon: Argent an eagle recursant overture sable.
Notes: None. Blazon: Argent an eagle recursant overture sable.
England, Scotland, France
The surname of Back is said to be an Anglo-Saxon surname that is of the patronymic variety. This means that the surname of Back denotes that the original bearer of this surname is the son of someone notable. In the case of the surname of Back, the surname itself means “son of Bacca,” which was a personal given name often used in the country of England up until the 12th century. Another possible meaning of the surname of Back is that it was a topographical surname. A topographical surname is used to describe someone who lived on or near a residential landmark. This landmark could be either man made or natural, and would have been easily identifiable in the area from which it hailed, thus making the people who lived near it easily distinguished. In the case of the surname of Back, this surname would have meant “in the back of,” most likely denoting one who lived in a cottage or house at the back of other houses, or at the back of the town. The final possible origin of the surname of Back is that it was 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 take 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 Back, this name would have been given to someone who lived or worked on or near a wharf or a ferry. The word itself is said to come from the Old English word of “baec,” or the Middle English word of “bakke,” both of which can be translated to mean “in the back of.” This surname was sometimes used as a nickname. It is a common element of surnames throughout Europe that many of them originally derived from nicknames, as it was a very common practice in medieval times. In the beginning, nicknames were applied to people who had distinguishing characteristics, such as moral or mental peculiarities, a similar appearance to a bird or animal, a similar disposition to a bird or animal, occupation of an individual, their habits, or their manner of dress. In the case of the surname of Back, those who were given this name often had a prominent humpback or chin.
More common variations are: Backe, Beack, Baack, Backy, Backo, Bauck, Backa, Biack, Baick, Bacuk, Boack, Bak, Backs, Backes, Bax
The United States of America became a popular destination for migrating European citizens in the 17th and 18th centuries. The United States of America, or the New World as it was then known, promised freedoms for these citizens. Among those who migrated was one John Back, who arrived in the state of Virginia in the year of 1662, the first Back in the United States.
Here is the population distribution of the last name Back: South Korea 12,419; Brazil 9,587; United States 9,529; Germany 4,741; Sweden 3,988; England 2,183; India 1,427; Vietnam 1,391; Egypt 1,328; Finland 1,305
Major-General George Irving Back (1894-1972) who served as the Chief Signal Officer within the Department of the Army from the year of 1951 to the year of 1955, and who was from the United States of America.
Kenneth Back, who was a research consultant and government official from the United States of America.
Neil Antony Back (born in 1969) who is a former International Rugby Union footballer from Britain.
Admiral Sir George Back FRS (1796-1878) who was an Arctic explorer from the country of England.
Natasja Crone Back (born in 1971) who was a television show presenter and journalist from the country of Denmark.
KJ Back, who was a bacteriologist from the country of Australia.
The main device (symbol) in the Back blazon is the eagle. The two main tinctures (colors) are sable and argent.
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 1A 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 2Boutell’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 3The 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) 4Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 5A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11.
Where the lion is undisputed king of the animals, the eagle undoubtedly plays the same role in the realm of the birds, its use in this form dating back to at least the Roman period 6A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Eagle. They tend to be illustrated in quite some detail, especially in continental European arms, and have almost as wide variety of postures and accessories as the lion, well illustrated in the reference 7A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P235-238 as well as being just the eagle’s head or eagle’s leg. The symbology of the eagle is deep and complex, Wade devotes several pages to the subject 8The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P72-74, but suffice it say that it has long been associated with Empire and those held in high honour – any armiger would be pleased to have any form of Eagle upon their arms!
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Sable|
|2.||↑||Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26|
|3.||↑||The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35|
|4.||↑||Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53|
|5.||↑||A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11|
|6.||↑||A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Eagle|
|7.||↑||A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P235-238|
|8.||↑||The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P72-74|