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Bardwell Coat of Arms Meaning

The three main devices (symbols) in the Bardwell blazon are the goat, hart and bar gemmel. The two main tinctures (colors) are argent and sable.

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) 1. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 2.

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 3. 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 4. Although it may seem a sombre tone, and does indeed sometimes denote grief, it is more commonly said to represent Constancy 5.

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? Nevertheless, real animals 6 are perhaps one of the most common sights on coats of arms, especially animals of European origin. The goat Is a typical example of these. Guillim, writing in the 17th century suggested that it may represent a “martial man who wins victory by…policy [rather] than valour”, a diplomat by any other name. 7

Many different forms of the deer, hart, roe-buck and other appear in rolls of arms, though often of similar appearance. The precise choice of animal possibly being a reference to the family name. 8 If there is any symbology intended it is probably that of enjoyment of the hunt, deer in all its form being a popular prey. 9

The bar is a thin, horizontal stripe across the centre of the shield, usually in groups of two or three (any more and there would be confusion with barry, a treatment of horizontal lines of alternating colours). It is also possible to place decorative edges along bars, typically these are smaller than those found on the major ordinaries like the fess and pale, but have the same design and share the same meanings. Gemel simply means “doubled” 10, so whatever it is applied to appears twice, slightly reduced in size to occupy a similar amount of space to the original. This is different from having “two” of something, and indeed it is possible to have, for example two bars gemel, in which there are two, clearly separated pairs of bars.

Origin, Meaning, Family History and Bardwell Coat of Arms and Family Crest

Bardwell Origin:


Origins of Bardwell:

This old geographical surname is listed with spellings as Bardwell, Bearwell, and Beardwell. It acquires from the hamlet of Bardwell in Suffolk or may be from Barwell in Leicestershire. Both have a similar meaning, ultimately. It is from the Olde English 'barre' which means barrier or gate, and 'waella'- which means a lake or flowing pond. Apparently, the water source was fenced to avoid the area being damaged by animals, especially important if this was the only clear water source in the area. This was around the 16th century where the real hamlet was 'cleared' by the land owners, and the residents were driven off. The surname spread widely during that time. A Royal symbol given to the name ancestors has the blazon of a silver field embellished with a hart, attired in gold. According to old documentation one Nicholas Beardwell of Somerset was recorded in the year 1273, while John Bardwell, moved from London, England, on the ship 'Constant Warwick', in March 1678, obligated for 'Virginia, New England.' He was one of the earliest travelers to the new American colonies.


More common variations are: Beardwell, Boardwell, Bardowell, Bardawell, Bardewell, Bardell, Bardwel, Bardwll, Bardiwelli, Bardwelljo.


The origins of the surname Bardwell was found in Suffolk where people held a family seat from early times. Some say before the success of Normans and the entrance of Duke William at Hastings1066 A.D.

The very first recorded spelling of the family was shown to be that of Tedricus de Berdewaella, dated about 1190, in the "pipe rolls of the division of Norfolk." It was during the time of King Richard I, who was known to be the “The Lionheart," dated 1189-1199. The origin of surnames during this period became a necessity with the introduction of personal taxation.


Many of the people with surname Bardwell had moved to Ireland during the 17th century.

United States of America:

Some of the people with the surname Bardwell who settled in the United States in the 17th century included William Bardwell, who landed in Massachusetts in 1638. Robert Bardwell, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1670.


Some of the people with the surname Bardwell who settled in Canada in the 19th century included G. S. Bardwell who arrived in Ontario in 1837.

Here is the population distribution of the last name Bardwell: United States 3,515; England 602; Australia 275; Canada 171; South Africa 128; New Zealand 45; Singapore 18; France 3; Wales 2; Scotland 2.

Notable People:

Martin Louis Amis was born is August 1949. He is a British novel writer. His famous novels are Money (1984) and London Fields (1989). He received the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for his biography Experience and had received the Booker Prize twice to date (shortlisted in 1991 for Time's Arrow and longlisted in 2003 for Yellow Dog).

Sherman Bardwell (August 1828 – October 1900) was an American businessperson and leader. He was born in Allegany Division, New York, Bardwell shifted to Wisconsin and settled in Plainfield, Wisconsin.

Tennyson Bardwell is an American movie and TV commercial manager and composer.

Thomas Bardwell (1704 - September 1767) was an English portrait and figure artist, art copyist, and author.

Elisabeth Miller Bardwell was born in December 1831 in Colrain, Massachusetts and died in May 1899 in Greefield, Massachusetts. She was an American astronomer. She graduated from Mount Holyoke College in 1866, she continued there as an advisor until her death.

Keith Bardwell was a Louisiana judge.

Leland Bardwell (1922–2016), was an Irish poet, novel writer and composer.

Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) (Norfolk). Gu. a goat salient (or pass.) ar. attired or.
2) Ar. a hart sa. attired or.
3) (or Bardwellyn) Gu. three bars gemelles or, a quarter ar.

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  • 1 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
  • 2 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11
  • 3 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Sable
  • 4 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26
  • 5 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35
  • 6 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P191
  • 7 A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P119
  • 8 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Deer
  • 9 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P30
  • 10 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Gemel