Chatham Coat of Arms

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chatham coat of arms, chatham family crest
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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

Notes: (Lancashire) Blazon: Sable a cross flory agent.

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

The Anglo-Saxon name Chatham acquires from when the family resided in Cheetham, in the division of Lancashire.  It is from the place-name Cheetham that the family name is derived. Before English spelling standardised a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence.  Components of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. More common variations are: Cheatham, Chaitham, Chaotham, Chautham, Chatam, Chaeatham, Chetham, Chitham, Chattam, Chutham.

The surname Chatham first found in Lancashire at Cheetham, a township, in the church and union of Manchester, hundred of Salford.  Now part of Greater Manchester, Cheetham dates back to the late 12th century and meant homestead or hamlet by the wood called Chet,” from the Celtic word “ced” meaning “forest” and the Old English word ham.”

Some of the people with the name Chatham who arrived in the United States in the 17th century included John Chatham, who arrived in Maryland in 1658. People with the surname Chatham who landed in the United States in the 19th century included R F Chatham, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850.  Anne Chatham, aged 23, who emigrated to America from England, in 1892.  John G. Chatham, aged 27, who emigrated to the United States from Lincoln, in 1892.  Mrs Chatham, aged 25, who landed in America from Lincoln, in 1892.  Margt. Chatham, aged 27, who landed in America, in 1894. Some of the people with the surname Chatham who arrived in the United States in the 20th century included James Chatham, aged 47, who landed in America from Edinburgh, in 1903.  Wilfred Chatham, aged 6, who settled in America from Gateshead, England, in 1904.  Some of the people with the surname Chatham who arrived in the Canada in the 20th century included Maud E. Chatham, aged 42, who settled in Edmonton, Canada, in 1914.

Chatham Coat of Arms Meaning

The main device (symbol) in the Chatham blazon is the cross flory. The two main tinctures (colors) are sable and argent.

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.

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.

No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross 6Boutell’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 7Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P67, or fanciful, decorative endings to the arms of the cross 8A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P128. The cross flory is typical of these, having each arm end in something very similar to the fleur-de-lys.

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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. 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 47
7. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P67
8. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P128