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.
Origin, Meaning, Family History and Christy Coat of Arms and Family Crest
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.
Christy Coat of Arms Meaning
The three main devices (symbols) in the Christy blazon are the mullet, saltire and fern. The three main tinctures (colors) are ermine, azure and or .
Ermine is a very ancient pattern, and distinctive to observe. It was borne alone by John de Monfort, the Earl of Richmond and Duke of Brittany in the late 14th century It has a long association with royalty and the nobility in general and hence represents “Dignity” wherever it is found . The ermine pattern is white with, typically, a three dots and a dart grouping representing the tail of the furred creature.. The ermine spot is sometimes found alone as a special charge on the shield.
The bright, strong blue color in Heraldry is known in English as azure, and similarly in other European languages – azul in Spanish, azurro in Italian and azur in French. The word has its roots in the Arabic word lazura, also the source of the name of the precious stone lapis lazuli . Despite this, those heralds who liked to associate colours with jewels chose instead to describe blue as Sapphire. According to Wade, the use of this colour symbolises “Loyalty and Truth” .
Or is the heraldic metal Gold, often shown as a bold, bright yellow colour. It is said to show “Generosity and elevation of the mind” . Later heralds, of a more poetic nature liked to refer to it as Topaz, after the gemstone, and, for obvious reasons associated it with the Sun . In drawings without colour it is usually represented by many small dots, or by the letter ‘O’ .
The heraldic mullet, not to be confused with the fish of that name, is shown as a regular, five pointed star. This was originally, not an astronomical object, but represented the spur on a horseman’s boot, especially when peirced, with a small circular hole in the centre it represents a type of spur known as a “rowel” . A clear example can be found in the arms of Harpendene, argent, a mullet pierced gules. The ancient writer Guillim associated such spurs in gold as belonging to the Knight, and the silver to their esquires . In later years, Wade linked this five pointed star with the true celestial object, the estoile and termed it a “falling star”, symbolising a “divine quality bestowed from above” .
The saltire is one the major ordinaries, large charges that occupy the whole of the field . Arguably one of the best uses of this device is that of the St. Andrews Cross, a white saltire on a blue background found on the Scottish flag. The saltire is obviously closely related to the Cross, and Wade in his work on Heraldic Symbology suggests additionally that it alludes to “Resolution”, whilst Guillim, an even more ancient writer, somewhat fancifully argues that it is awarded to those who have succesfully scaled the walls of towns!
Many items found in the natural world occur in coats of arms, including many plants that people of the middle ages would be familiar with. Several varities of bush and small plants frequently found in the hedgerows beside fields can be observed , in addition to the famous thistle of Scotland . The fern is a an example of such a plant, instantly recognisable to those in the mediaeval period and still a proud symbol today.