Cambridge Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History

Cambridge Family Coat of Arms

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Cambridge Coat of Arms Meaning

Cambridge Name Origin & History

We have several coat of arms design(s) for the name Cambridge. Click on the thumbnails to view each design.

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Cambridge Coat of Arms Meaning

The four main devices (symbols) in the Cambridge blazon are the cross pattee, swan, pile and cross formee. The three main tinctures (colors) are azure, argent and gules .

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” 1Boutell’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 2The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P150.

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) 3Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 4A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11.

Gules, the heraldic colour red is very popular, sometimes said to represent “Military Fortitude and Magnanimity”5The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36. It is usually abbreviated as gu and in the days before colour printing was shown in a system known as hatching by vertical lines 6Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P52. Although it may look like a French word it is normally pronounced with a hard “g” and may be derived either from the Latin gula (throat) or Arabic gule (rose).7A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P154

No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross 8Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 47. 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. Since no two arms could be identical there arose many variants of the cross, typically involving patterning along the edges 9Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P67, or fanciful, decorative endings to the arms of the cross 10A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P128. The cross pattee is typical of these, pattee meaning “spreading”, and so the ends of the arms of the cross curve gently outwards to rather pleasing effect. 11A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Cross Pattée

Wade suggests that the appearance of a swan in a coat of arms is perhaps an indication of a musical person, or a “ lover of poetry and harmony”. 12The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P78 It is generally shown in a lifelike aspect and colouring, although it may be leaked and legged with other colours. 13A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Swan. It is a popular charge, both on the shield itself and impress, sometimes sitting and sometimes rising as if about to take off in flight. 14A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P245

The pile was originally quite a simple shape, being a triangle reaching from the top of the shield down to a point near the lower centre 15A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Pile. A clear example being that of CHANDOS awarded in 1337, Or a pile gules. There is some argument as to the origin, Wade suggests some similarity with the meaning of “pile” in construction (a foundation) and hence that the shape could be adopted by those who have demonstrated some ability in the building trade 16The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P48. An earlier writer, Guillim, perhaps more plausibly suggested that the shape echoes those of a pennant or triangular flag 17A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P52 The shape is quite distinctive however and became popular, leading to many embellishments to distinguish it from its close fellows, with multiple piles meeting at various points, starting from various edges and with additional decoration, leading to potentially quite complex descriptions!

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Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Cambridge Name

Cambridge Origin:

England

Origins of Cambridge:

This popular geographical surname was uncommonly originally listed in its original place of Cambridge in Cambridgeshire. It was common to call an unknown person by the name of the place from whence they arrived, that is if they were not already so-called by the value of their holding either the rank of ‘King of the Castle’, or possibly a holy post. There are many surnames which acquire from the two Cambridges, and these probably were Cammidge, Gammage, and Cammage following idiom and dialect. In Roman times the then reinforced town of Cambridge in Cambridgeshire was called ‘Granchester ‘The fort on the Granta river,’ and is so listed by the Grand Bede in the year 730 a.d. The Agreement of the borough of Cambridge in 1125 was spelled as ‘Cantebruge, ‘ and when Chaucer was established a hundred years later it had advanced into ‘Cambrugge.’ As late as 1400 the county was called ‘Cambruggeshire.’ The Gloucester Hamlet is first listed as ‘Cambrigga’ in the year 1200 and looks to have quickly created surnames. First examples from both places contain Richard de Cambrige in the pipe rolls of Stafford for the year 1182, while Alan de Cambrigge also of Stafford, noted in the Assize Rolls of 1227, and Stephen de Caumbrigge listed in Cambridge (Cambridgeshire) in 1348. Next examples contain as Thomas Camage who buried at St James Church, Clerkenwell in 1607, and Abraham Cambridge who married Millicant Tidman at St Antholins parish, London, in 1729.

Variations:

More common variations are: Caimbridge, Campbridge, Camobridge, Camebridge, Cambrdge, Combridge, Gambridge, Cumbridge, Kambridge, Coombridge.

England:

The origins of the surname Cambridge appeared in Yorkshire where people held a family seat from early times. Someone say better before the invasion of Normans and the entrance of Duke William at Hastings 1066 A.D.

The very first recording spelling of the family was shown to be that of Picot de Grantebridge, dated about 1086, in the “Domesday Book of Cambridgeshire,” It was during the time of King William I, who was known to be the “The Conquerer,” dated 1066-1087. The origin of surnames during this period became a necessity with the introduction of personal taxation. It came to be known as Poll Tax in England.

Ireland:

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

United States of America:

Individuals with the surname Cambridge landed in the United States in three different centuries respectively in the 17th, 18th, and 19th. Some of the people with the name Cambridge who arrived in the United States in the 17th century included Nicholas Cambridge settled in New England in 1664. Moll Cambridge who settled in Jamaica and Barbados in 1694.

People with the surname Cambridge who landed in the United States in the 18th century included Francis Cambridge, who landed in Virginia in 1711.

The following century saw more Cambridge surnames arrive. Some of the people with the surname Cambridge who arrived in the United States in the 19th century included Capt. Cambridge and Mr. Cambridge, both landed in San Francisco, California in the same year 1851.

Canada:

People with the surname Cambridge who settled in Canada in the 18th century included Mr. John Cambridge U.E. who arrived at Port Roseway [Shelburne], Nova Scotia in December 1783 was traveler no. 460 aboard the ship HMS Clinton”, selected up in November 1783 at East River, New York.

Australia:

Some of the individuals with the surname Cambridge who landed in Australia in the 19th century included Owen Cambridge arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship “Gipsy Queen” in 1850.

Here is the population distribution of the last name Cambridge: England 2,113; United States 2,017; Canada 448; Australia 447; Guyana 289; Trinidad and Tobago 279; South Africa 256; The Bahamas 244; New Zealand 163; Mexico 157.

Notable People:

Asuka Antonio “Aska” Cambridge is a Japanese track and field runner.

Cambridge Family Gift Ideas

Browse Cambridge 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) (London). Az. a cross pattee betw. four swans ar.
2) Ar. on a pile gu. betw. six crosses formee sa. a cross patonce of the field.
3) Az. a cross patonce betw. four ducks ar.
4) Sa. two bars humettee ar.
5) (quartered by Skelington, of Skelington, co. Leicester. Visit. Leicester, 1619). Sa. three garbs or.
6) Per pale ar. and sa. a, saltire engr. counterchanged. Crest—A lion pass. guard. ppr.
7) (Pickard-Cambridge). (Bloxworth House, co. Dorset). Motto—Esse quam videri. Quarterly, 1st and 4th, or, on a pile gu. betw. six trefoils slipped sa. a cross crosslet of the field, for Cambridge; 2nd and 3rd, gyronny of eight az. and ar. within a bordure erm. on a canton gu. a fleur-de-lis or, for Pickard. Crests —1st, Cambridge: A griffin’s head erased sa. semee of trefoils, in the mouth a cross botony fitchee, all or; 2nd, Pickard: A lion sejant ar. charged on the shoulder with an erm. spot, and gorged with a collar gemelles sa., supporting with the dexter fore paw an escutcheon gu. charged with a fleur-de-lis within a bordure or.
8) Per pale sa. and barry of six, ar. and of the first.

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References   [ + ]

1. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26
2. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P150
3. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
4. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11
5. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
6. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P52
7. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P154
8. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 47
9. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P67
10. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P128
11. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Cross Pattée
12. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P78
13. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Swan
14. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P245
15. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Pile
16. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P48
17. A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P52