Christmas 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 Christmas Name
Origin of Christmas:
The old Calendar depended on the basic religious saints days to give entertainment and fun to people who followed the religion, which for the most part was a dull and boring life. The most popular and famous of these festivals was that which is known as Christmas, a time where religious importance and feasting was almost equally important. The surname of Christmas may be a descriptive surname for a person who organized the annual event or it could also refer to someone who was born on Christmas day. The first documentation would seem to be that of a citizen at a monestary, but who was not a monk himself. To add effectiveness to the claim that it was a descriptive surname for this occupation of someone who organized Christmas festivities is the early recording Gerard Christmas, who from 1619 to 1632 was the official coordinator of the King Mayor of London’s yearly event. He was a prominent wood artist, especially popular for burial monuments. Other early documentation include Ralph Christemasse, of Suffolk, in 1191, Richard Cristemes, of Cambridge, in 1308 and in 1626 Thomas Christmas married Dorothie Leesie in London.
Some common variations are: Christmass, Chistimass, Christomas, Christamas, Christemas, Cristmas, Cristmas, Cristmass, Christoms, Christmus, Khristmas.
The very first recorded spelling of the family name was shown to be that of Alan de Roger Cristemesse, dated 1185, in the “Rotuli Dominus Rolls Of Essex”. It was during the time of King Henry III who was known to be the “Builder of Churches” dated 1154 – 1189. 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.
United States of America:
Individuals with the surname Christmas settled in the United States in two different centuries respectively in 17th and 19th. Some of the people with the name Christmas who settled in the United States in the 17th century included Dictoris Christmas, who arrived in Virginia in 1635. Isobel Christmas who settled in Virginia in 1642 and Richard Christmas settled in Virginia in the year 1647.
Some of the people with the name Christmas who settled in the United States in the 19th century included H. Christmas arrived with his wife and two children in New York in 1820 during the 19th century.
Some of the people with the name Christmas who settled in Australia in the 19th century included John Christmas and Maria Christmas at the age of 16, a home servant who both arrived in South Australia aboard the ship “Punjab” in the same year in 1855. John Christmas who was a farm laborer at the age of 18 arrived in South Australia in 1857 aboard the ship “Carnatic”.
Some of the people with the name Christmas who settled in New-Zealand in the 19th century included W Christmas who landed in Kaipoia, New Zealand in 1840. Frederick Christmas at the age of 38 who was a carpenter, Elizabeth Ann Christmas, aged 38, Samuel Frederick Christmas, aged 14 and Harry Christmas, at the age of 12, all of these people arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship “Reiherstieg” in the same year 1840.
Here is the population distribution of the last name Christmas: United States 6,318; England 2,167; Philipines 451; Australia 457; Turkey 245; Canada 629; South Africa 676; New Zealand 175; Tanzania 134; Zimbabwe 132.
Art Christmas (1905–1961), was a Canadian jazz saxophonist.
Cecil Christmas (1886–1916), was an English football player.
David Christmas (born 1969), was an English player in cricket.
Dionte Christmas (born 1986), was an American professional basketball player.
Edward A. Christmas (1903–1969), was an American horse coach.
Eric Christmas (1916–2000), was a British artist and entertainer.
Ernst William Christmas (1863–1918), was an Australian painter.
George R. Christmas (born 1940), was an American Marine troops commander.
Jarred Christmas, was a New Zealand entertainer.
John Christmas (born 1969), is an American banker and author.
Julie Christmas was an American instrumental musician.
Karima Christmas (born 1989), is an American female professional basketball player.
Keith Christmas (born 1946), is an English script writer and musician.
Mary Christmas is an American magazine writer.
Christmas Coat of Arms Meaning
The two main devices (symbols) in the Christmas blazon are the hare and mar. The three main tinctures (colors) are gules, or and argent .
Red in heraldry is given the name Gules, sometimes said to be the “martyr’s colour”1The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36. The colour is also associated with Mars, the red planet, and the zodiacal sign Aries 2Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53. Later heralds of a more poetical nature would sometimes refer to the colour as ruby, after the precious stone.3A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P77.
The bright yellow colour frequently found in coats of arms is known to heralds as Or, or sometimes simply as Gold.4Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27. Along with, argent, or silver it forms the two “metals” of heraldry – one of the guidelines of heraldic design is that silver objects should not be placed upon gold fields and vice versa 5A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P85. The yellow colour is often associated with the Sun, and the zodiacal sign of Leo.6Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53.
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) 7Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 8A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11.
The coney, which is an old word for rabbit and also used for hare is intended to perhaps represent “one who enjoys a peaceable and retired life”. 9The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P67 They can be found in a variety of poses, but most often sejant or seated in a pleasing fashion. 10A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Hare
The martlett is by far the most common bird to appear in British Heraldry, perhaps only equalled by the eagle, however it is not a species ever to be found in an ornithologists handbook! The word itself is though to have come from the French word merlette, the female blackbird and itself a similar type of charge used in French Heraldry. 11A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Martlet. Over time the image has become quite stylised, without visible legs or distinctive feathers. Wade suggests that this representation arises from “the appearance of the bird of paradise to ancient travellers” 12The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P79. Other bird species may be named in coats of arms (cornish chough is a frequent example) but in actual execution their appearance is often indistinguishable from the martlet.