Breton Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History

Breton Family Coat of Arms

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Breton Coat of Arms Meaning

The four main devices (symbols) in the Breton blazon are the label, chevron, bar and mullet. The three main tinctures (colors) are sable, azure and or .

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.

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” 4Boutell’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 5The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P150.

Or is the heraldic metal Gold, often shown as a bold, bright yellow colour. It is said to show “Generosity and elevation of the mind” 6The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35. Later heralds, of a more poetic nature liked to refer to it as Topaz, after the gemstone, and, for obvious reasons associated it with the Sun 7Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53. In drawings without colour it is usually represented by many small dots, or by the letter ‘O’ 8A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P76-77.

The label holds a special place in heraldry, originlly being a temporary mark, used by the oldest son while his father was still alive. In appearance it is a horizontal bar near the top of the shield from which descend 3 or 5 “points” or small rectangles descending from the bar. 9A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Label In more recent use it has come to used as charge in its own right 10A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P154 and may have additional charges on each point, which can create a pleasing visual effect.

The chevron is one the major shapes used upon a shield, known as ordinaries. The inverted ‘V’ of the chevron is perhaps thought to have originated to represent a military scarf folded on the shield 11A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, (various), or additional cross-pieces used to strengthen the shield and painted a different colour.12The Pursuivant of Arms, J. R. Planche, Hardwicke, London 1859. It has also acquired the meaning of “Protection… granted… to one who has achieved some notable enterprise” 13The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P45, possibly becuase of its resemblance to the roof truss of a house.

The bar is a thin, horizontal stripe across the centre of the shield 14A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Bar, usually in groups of two or three (any more and there would be confusion with barry, a treatment of horizontal lines of alternating colours). Bars can be a distinctive and easily recognised device, early examples include those awarded by Henry III of England to the family MAUDYT Argent, two bars gules.

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Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Breton Name

Breton Origin:

France, England

Origin of Breton:

The origin of this interesting surname originally evolved from French and is a traditional name for a Breton. The Bretons were originally Celts forced from South West England to North West France in the 6th Century from the invasion of Anglo-Saxons. Some came back with the army of William the Conqueror in the war of 1066, and many of those then arrived in East Anglia where the English surname Brett is now spread widely. Sometimes, the name acquires from the Celtic-speaking people of Strathclyde, Scotland, who were famous as Byrttas and Brettas until the 13th Century. In the new phrase, the variation consists of Britt, Breton, Bretton and De Brett of Breton. Amid the previous documentations in London is the wedding of William Brett and Johanna Hayward in the year 1559, and in Norfolk, of Richard Brett and Elizabeth Leive in September 1552 at St. George’s, Colegate, Norwich. Diana De Brett married Henry Johnson in October 1802 at St. Mary’s, St. Marylebone, London.

Variations:

More common variations of this surname are: Bretton, Brueton, Breeton, Bereton, Breaton, Brewton, Breyton, Breuton, Bureton, Bretone,

England:

The name Breton first appeared in Essex where they were given estates by Lord William for their service at the Campaign of Hasting in 1066. The name existed several times all over the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 as John de Brytaygn in Cambridgeshire, Giffard le Bretun in Buckinghamshire, Hugo le Bretun in Suffolk and more. The Yorkshire census Tax Rolls of 1379 recorded as Alicia de Britten, Elias de Britton; and Ricardus Britton. Previous lists of Warwickshire organized the family in the village of Marston. “The area, anciently known as Breton’s Mannour, guarded by Guido Breton in the time of Henry IV, the castle has since gone with that of Wolston.

The very first recording spelling of the family was shown to be that of Edward Brit, which was dated 1066, in the Domesday Book of Devon. It was during the time of King William I, who was known to be the “The Conqueror,” 1066 – 1087.

Ireland:

Individuals with the surname Breton had left for Ireland during the 17th century.

United States of America:

People with the surname Breton settled in the United States in two different centuries respectively in the 18th and 19th. Some of the people with the name Breton who settled in the United States in the 18th century included Widow Breton at the age of 53, who arrived with her son Jean Pierre Breton, at the age of 17, in Charles Town in 1732. Mrs. Breton, at the age of 53, settled in South Carolina in 1732.

Some of the people with the name Breton who settled in the United States in the 19th century included J. Breton, at the age of 32, settled in New Orleans in 1820. Elizabeth Breton at the age of 28, who came in New York in 1820. James Breton, at the of 60, arrived in New Orleans in 1820. Rodrigo Breton, who arrived in Cartagena in 1834. Anton Breton came in New Spain in 1835.

Canada:

Individuals with the surname Breton settled in Canada in two different centuries respectively in the 17th and 18th. Some of the people with the name Breton who settled in the United States in the 17th century included Le Petit Breton, who arrived in Montreal in 1660.

Some of the people with the name Breton who settled in the United States in the 18th century included Samuel Breton, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1761.

Here is the population distribution of the last name Breton: United States 4,671; England 489; Canada 9,964; Dominican Republic 5,335; Spain 1,568, Colombia 1,188; Argentina 627; Morocco 470; Mexico 13,846; France 22,459.

Notable People:

André Breton (1896–1966), was a French writer and surrealist.

André Breton (1934-1992), was a singer, musician, and entertainer.

Didier Breton was a famous trade manager and merchant.

Joel Breton (born 1971), was a game designer, businessman.

Jules Adolphe Aime Louis Breton (1827–1906), was a famous French painter.

Malan Breton (born 1973), is an American fashionista.

Nicholas Breton was a poet of the 16th-century.

Thierry Breton (born 1955), is a chairman and administrator of Atos S.A.

Tomás Bretón (1850–1923), was a Spanish singer and songwriter.

Breton Family Gift Ideas

Browse Breton 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) (Cambridgeshire). Ar. two bars sa. a label of three points gu.
2) (Essex). Az. two chev. or.
3) (Essex). Same Arms, a mullet sa. for diff. Crest—On a lion’s gamb az. a chev. or, charged with a mullet sa.
4) (Haxstead, co. Essex). Same Arms, with in chief as many mullets of the second.
5) (Leicestershire, London, Island of Jersey, and Staffordshire). (Long ltchington and Tamworth, co. Warwick, represented by C. D. Breton, Esq., of Fillongley, co. Warwick, Capt. John Breton, was M.P. for Tamworth, 1585). Az. a bend betw. six mullets pierced or. Crest—A lion's gamb erased az. charged with a chev. or, betw. three billets ar.
6) (Lincolnshire). Same Arms, the mullets pierced gu.
7) (Winchingham, co. Norfolk). Quarterly, per fesse indented ar. and gu. a mullet for diff. Crest—A demi talbot gu. eared, collared, and lined or, holding in his feet the line coiled up.
8) (Essex and Suffolk). Quarterly or and gu. a bordure
9) (Northamptonshire). Ar. a fesse dancettee gu. in chief three boars’ heads couped sa. armed or. Crest—On a mural coronet gu. a boar’s head couped sa.
10) Az. a tun in fesse ar. over it a scroll of the second inscribed BRE.
11) Ar. two talbots pass. (another, statant) gu.
12) Or, fretty sa. a chief of the second.
13) Quarterly, sa. and ar. on the first a lion pass. guard. or.
14) Quarterly, ar. and sa. two lions and as many mullets counterchanged. Crest—A wolf paly of eight or and az.
15) Quarterly, ar. and sa. on the 1st a lion ramp. of the second.
16) Quarterly, or and gu. a bordure engr. az.
17) Ar. a lion pass. sa.
18) Az. a bend or, betw. six escallops ar.
19) Az. a bend betw. six martlets or.
20) Az. a bend ar. fretty gu. betw. six mullets or (another, the mullets of six points).
21) Ar. a chev. betw. three door staples gu.
22) Or, a cross crosslet az.
23) Lozengy or and sa. a chief of the second.
24) Ar. a bend betw. six mullets gu.
25) Ar. a chev. betw. three escallops gu.

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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. 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 P150
6. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35
7. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
8. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P76-77
9. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Label
10. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P154
11. A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, (various)
12. The Pursuivant of Arms, J. R. Planche, Hardwicke, London 1859
13. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P45
14. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Bar