Christy Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History


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Christy is a surname that was found almost exclusively in Scotland. It is a derivative of the given name Christian or Christina from the Latin “Christopherus” which translates to mean “Christ bearing”. The name is believed to have immigrated to Britain by way of France. French soldiers returning from the Crusades in the Holy Lands are thought to have imported the given names upon their return as the name was not known in the British Isle until after the Norman invasion of 1066.

The first recording of the Christy surname appears in the records of Edinburgshire as a clan name belonging to an ancient family dating back to before the year 1100. The Clan Christy was a sept or division of the Scottish Highland Clan Farquharson from Aberdeen. The last recognized head of the clan was Sir Archibald Christy, deputy-governor of Stirling Castle. He died in 1847 and the title went extinct.

Surnames in Europe prior to the late 16th century were largely unheard of. In the small settlements and villages which existed during earlier times, residents found little need for surnames as everyone in these communities new each other and a given name would usually suffice. However, with the passage of time, population growth and expansions of communities as villages gave way to towns and cities, it became necessary to add a qualifier to a people’s names to distinguish them, one from another. Therefore one person may have been identified by their given name plus their occupation while another may have been identified by their given name and one of their parent’s names. The introduction of surnames by the aristocracy seemed to be the next logical step in this evolution. There was a endless supply from which surnames could be formed, in addition to the use of patriarchal/matriarchal names or reference to the individuals occupation, there were things such as defining physical traits, a familiar geographical location or a topographical landmark found near the individuals home or birthplace, the name of the village in which the person lived, and so much more. Soon, surnames would come not just to represent an individual but whole families.

There often exists variations in spelling of many surnames, as with many given names which date back to the early centuries. The variation in spelling of both given and surnames during this time period can be attributed to a lack of continuity regarding guidelines for spelling which was compounded by the diversity of languages in use in European countries at this time. The variations in the spelling of the surname include but not limited to; Christy; Christi; McChristy; McChristie; Chrysty; Chrystie; and Christie among others.

The use of surnames aside from making the distinction between individuals with common first names also allowed for the government to have a more accurate method of record keeping for taxes, censuses, and immigration which greatly increased with the discovery of America and the addition of countries to the British Commonwealth such as; Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

One of the first recorded immigrants to America bearing the surname or any variation of the spelling was John Christy who arrived in 1672 and settled in Maryland. Alexander and Mary Christy landed and settled in New York in 1738.

There were also many immigrants to the British Commonwealth countries of Canada and Australia bearing the surname Christy. Brothers, George, Jesse, John , and Peter Christy landed in 1783 and settled in New Brunswick, Canada. Abel Christy landed in 1832 and settled in New South Wales, Australia.

Worldwide, the highest concentration of people with the surname Christy are found in New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Ireland. By state, the largest percentile of those with the surname Christy live in Maine.

There are many persons of note who bear this surname or a variation of its spelling. James Christie, born in Perth Scotland in 1730 was the founder of Christie’s auctioneers which is today known as Christie’s Auction House which is considered the world’s leading art business today. Christie’s has always been noted for the quality pieces which it presents for auction consisting primarily of art work but they do offer other high end collectibles occasionally. The first auction at Christie’s was held in 1766. The auction house was located at Pall Mall in London at that time. Today the main headquarters are located on King Street in London.

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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

Notes: (Apuldrefield, co. Kent). Motto—Sic viresco. Blazon: Or, on a saltire invecked sable between four mullets pierced azure a saltier ermine. Crest—A mount vert, thereon the stump of a holly tree sprouting between four branches of fern, all proper.