Cheshire Coat of Arms
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Which coat of arms or "family crest" is mine?
Choose the design you like best, just your ancestors did when they painted these symbols on the shields they carried into battle and displayed in their homes. These coats of arms are real, historical works of art/culture dating back as far as 1100AD. Most of these designs were compiled and documented by genealogists and heraldists in large books published in the nineteenth century. These arms were owned by individuals who bore your surname, and were passed down through the generations from father to son, earning the monicker "family crest".
Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Cheshire Name
Origins of Cheshire:
This interesting and unusual name is of an old English origin and is habitational from the division in North West England. It was first listed in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles of 980 as “Legecaesterscir”, and after that in the Domesday Book of 1086 as “Cestrescire”, which is a combination of the name of the district town Chester and the Old English pre 7th Century word “scir”, which means county or division, with the previous first component “lege”, which means under Roman atmosphere, from the Latin word “legionum”, fighters, soldiers. So, the whole meanings of the name mean an army town. In the new style, the derivations contain as Chesshire, Chesshyre, Cheshir, Chesher, Chesser and Chessor. Habitational names were often developed by old residents as a source of recognition. Recorded in the National Biography is an important name heritor, John Cheshire (1695-1762), a doctor who released treaties on rheumatism and gout.
More common variations are: Cheshirre, Cheschire, Cheshir, Cheshure, Cheshira, Cheshare, Chesheir, Cheshrie, Cheshrre, Cheshyre.
The origins of the surname Essex were found in Cheshire where people held a family seat from early times. Someone say better before the success of Normans and the entrance of Duke William at Hastings1066 A.D.
The very first recorded spelling of the family was shown to be that of Richard de Cestesir, dated about 1219, in the “Yorkshire Assize Court.” It was during the time of King Henry III who was known to be the “The Frenchman,” dated 1216 – 1272. 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.
Many of the people with surname Cheshire had moved to Ireland during the 17th century.
United States of America:
Individuals with the surname Cheshire settled in the United States in three different centuries respectively in the 17th, 18th, and 19th. Some of the people with the name Cheshire who settled in the United States in the 17th century included William Cheshire, who arrived in Maryland in 1664.
Some of the people with the surname Cheshire who settled in the United States in the 18th century included Thomas Cheshire settled in New England in 1700. John Cheshire arrived in Maryland in 1731.
The following century saw many more Cheshire Surnames come. Some of the people with the surname Cheshire who settled in the United States in the 19th century included Samuel Cheshire in New York, NY in the year 1811. Sarah Cheshire, Andrew Cheshire and Andrew Cheshire who arrived from Ireland in New York in the same year 1816 during the 19th century.
Some of the people with the surname Cheshire who settled in Canada in the 18th century included George Cheshire, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749-1752. James Cheshire and William Cheshire, both landed in Nova Scotia in the same year 1749. Geo Cheshire and Mary Cheshire, both landed in Nova Scotia in the same year 1750.
Some of the people with the surname Cheshire who settled in Australia in the 19th century included Joseph Cheshire and William Cheshire, both are English prisoner from Staffordshire, who shifted aboard the “Anna Maria” in March 1848, settling in Van Diemen’s Land, Australia.
Some of the people with the surname Cheshire who settled in New Zealand in the 19th century included George Cheshire, who was a worker, at the age of 21 arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship “Alma” in the year 1857.
Here is the population distribution of the last name Cheshire: United States 3,850; England 3,694; Australia 655; South Africa 329; Wales 305; Canada 268; Germany 202; Scotland 184; New Zealand 99; Northern Ireland 60.
Stuart Cheshire is an outstanding Engineer, Scientist and an expert in Technology (DEST) at Apple. He was selected as a manager at Zeroconf networking while working at Apple. Zeroconf was originally published by Apple as Rendezvous, but after sometimes renamed Bonjour. Originally, he rewrote the book Zero Configuration Networking: The Definitive Guide, announced by O’Reilly, with Daniel H Steinberg. He is also the writer of Bolo, a networked tank game, ultimately composed for the BBC Micro and after sometime ported to the Apple Macintosh.
Cheshire Coat of Arms Meaning
The four main devices (symbols) in the Cheshire blazon are the bend, arrow, fusil and leopard’s head. The three main tinctures (colors) are azure, gules and argent .
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.
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.3The Siege of Carlaverock, N. Harris, Nichols & Son, London, 1828, P180. The word gules is thought to come from the Arabic gule, or “red rose” 4Boutell’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 5Understanding 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) 6Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 7A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11.
The bend is a distinctive part of the shield, frequently occuring and clearly visible from a distance – it is a broad band running from top left to bottom right 8Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 39-40. Indeed, so important is the bend that it was the subject of one of the earliest cases before the English Court of Chivalry; the famous case of 1390, Scrope vs Grosvenor had to decide which family were the rightful owners of Azure, a bend or (A blue shield, with yellow bend). 9A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P22. The bend is held in high honour and may signify “defence or protection” and often borne by those of high military rank 10The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P49.
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 11Boutell’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. 12A 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. 13The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P111
The fusil is a shape rather like a lozenge but taller and narrower, hence fusily refers to a field of similar shapes arranged in a regulat pattern. 14A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Fusil It is though that the shape originally derived from that of a spindle of yarn. Wade believes that the symbol is of very great age and quotes an earlier writer, Morgan who ascribes it the meaning of “Negotiation”. 15The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P117