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Charleston Coat of Arms Meaning

The two main devices (symbols) in the Charleston blazon are the chevron and eagle. The two main tinctures (colors) are vert and argent.

The deep green colour that is so often observed in heraldry is more properly known as vert. According to Wade, the use of this colour signifies “Hope and Joy”, but may also represent, rather delightfully, “Loyalty in Love” 1. It has other names also, the French call it sinople, perhaps after a town in Asia Minor from where the best green die materials could be found 2. More fanciful heralds liked to associate it with the planet venus and the precious stone emerald 3. More strangely, there is some evidence that the term prasin was anciently used, being the Greek for the vegetable we call the Leek!

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) 4. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 5.

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 6, or additional cross-pieces used to strengthen the shield and painted a different colour.7. It has also acquired the meaning of “Protection… granted… to one who has achieved some notable enterprise” 8, possibly becuase of its resemblance to the roof truss of a house.

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 9. 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 10 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 11, 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!

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

Charleston Origin:

England, Germany

Origins of Charleston:

It is not a geographical surname from any of the different regions called Charleston or Charlestown. It is much older surname and acquires from the particular name Charles and specifically, in the style of different nicknames such as Carlson, Charlson, Charlesson, Charleston, and Charlestone. Although observed as English, it has pre 5th-century Germanic sources from the name Karl or Carl. It converts as "man," and after that in the early times was Latinized to Carolus and Charles. The particular name was brought into England by the Norman-French after the conquest of 1066, but never famous until the Stuart time in the 16th century. All the regions named are after this date, and also many centuries after the invention of surnames. In France, the name was famous from an old date due to the popularity of King Charlemagne, (Charles the Great), King of the Franks (742-814). In a few situations, the surname may be of the 8th century English origin, from the word "ceorl," which means a farmer or worker. The particular name "Carolus" was first listed in the document known as the "Curia Rolls" of the division of Suffolk in the year 1208. According to the first surname recordings which contain Frethesant Cherl in the records of the division of Cambridgeshire, England, in 1221, while in Germany Rudolf Karle was listed as a Klosterdiener (monastery worker) in the records of the town of St Bastien, in the year 1275. One of the first travelers in the Virgina Colony of New England was Dorothie Charleson, who arrived thereon the ship "Transport of London" in 1635.


More common variations are: Charlston, Charlestone, Charlestown, Chaerleston, Charlesaton, Sharleston, Charlestin, Charelston, Charliston, Charlseton.


The surname Charleston first appeared in Suffolk where they held a family seat as Kings of the castle. The name Charleston itself comes originally from the Germanic name Carl, which was Latinized as 'Carolus.' Early forms of the name in Britain are after the Norman conquest, but some heritors of this name certainly come from Norman stock. The addition of component 'son' or 'ston' mentions a nickname created from the name of a father or male fellow. The Saxon effect on English history declined after the war of Hastings in 1066, but some Saxon surnames remained the same. The first register of an ancestor to this family name first introduced in the year 1208 when Carolus held lands in that division.

The very first recorded spelling of the family was shown to be that of Osbert Cherle, dated about the year 1193, in the "Pipe Rolls of the division of Warwickshire." 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. It came to be known as Poll Tax in England. Surnames all over the country began to develop, with unique and shocking spelling varieties of the original one.


Many of the people with name Charleston had moved to Ireland during the 17th century.

United States of America:

Individuals with the surname Charleston settled in the United States in three different centuries respectively in the 17th, and 19th. Some of the people with the name Charleston who settled in the United States in the 17th century included Ann Charleston and Ann Charleston; both arrived in Maryland in the same year 1666.

The following century saw many more Charleston surnames come. Some of the people with the surname Charleston who settled in the United States in the 19th century included R. Charleston, recorded in Beaver County, Pennsylvania in 1851

Here is the population distribution of the last name Charleston: United States 3,476; Haiti 2,594; Australia 401; England 339; Mexico 314; Brazil 270; Philippines 258; Germany 134; South Africa 128; Scotland 92

Notable People:

David Morley Charleston was born in St Erth, Cornwall in May 1848 and died in June 1934. He was also an Australian leader.

Oscar McKinley Charleston (October 1896 – October 1954) was an American player and trainer in baseball's Negro leagues from the year 1915 to 1945.

Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) Notes: (Barham, co. Sussex). Blazon: Ar. on a chev. vert three eagles displ. or.
2) Notes: None. Blazon: Ar. a chev. betw. three eagles displ. vert.

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  • 1 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
  • 2 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Vert
  • 3 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27
  • 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 Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, (various)
  • 7 The Pursuivant of Arms, J. R. Planche, Hardwicke, London 1859
  • 8 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P45
  • 9 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Eagle
  • 10 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P235-238
  • 11 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P72-74