Biel Coat of Arms

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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

First notation: 1527 W polu czerwonym rogacina rozdarta, przekrzyżowana, srebrna. klejnot pięć strusich piór.

Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Biel Name

The Biel surname finds its roots with the Low German word “bil,” meaning “hatchet.”  More common variations are: Biell, Bella, Bi El, Biyel, Buiel, Bielh, Bielu, Bieyl, Biael, Biehl. The surname Biel was first found in the duchy of Brunswick, where the family emerged in mediaeval times as one of the notable families of the region. From the 13th century the surname was identified with the great social and economic evolution which made this territory a landmark contributor to the development of the nation. Some of the people with the name Biel who arrived in the United States in the 17th century included Johannes Ludwig Biel, who settled in Philadelphia in 1750.  Jacob Biel, who arrived in Pennsylvania in the year 1765. Some of the people with the surname Biel who arrived in the United States in the 19th century included P C Biel, who landed in San Francisco, California in the year 1850.  Carl Biel, who settled in Texas in the year 1851.  Carl Biel, who landed in Galveston, Tex in the year 1851.

Biel Coat of Arms Meaning

The main device (symbol) in the Biel blazon is the arrow. The two main tinctures (colors) are gules and argent.

The bold red colour on a heraldic shield is known as gules. It has a long history within heraldry, it is known that one of those who besieged the scottish castle of Carlaverock in 1300 was the French knight Euremions de la Brette who had as his arms a simple red shield.1The Siege of Carlaverock, N. Harris, Nichols & Son, London, 1828, P180. The word gules is thought to come from the Arabic gule, or “red rose” 2Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 313. Later writers associated it with the precious stone ruby and the metal iron 3Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53, perhaps because of the red glow of iron in the heat of the blacksmith’s forge.

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.

Given the martial nature of the origins of Heraldry, in the identification of knights and men-at-arms it can come as no surprise that mediaeval weaponry of all types are frequently to be found in a coat of arms 6Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 89. The regular prescence of the arrow, both singly and in groups is evidence of this. In British heraldry a lone arrow normally points downward, but in the French tradition it points upwards. 7A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Arrow. The presence of an arrow in a coat of arms is reckoned to indicate “martial readiness” by Wade. 8The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P111

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References   [ + ]

1. The Siege of Carlaverock, N. Harris, Nichols & Son, London, 1828, P180
2. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 313
3. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
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. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 89
7. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Arrow
8. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P111