Crum Coat of Arms
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Origin, Meaning, Family History and Crum Coat of Arms and Family Crest
Crum is both an English and Scottish surname. It has two different and distinct meanings. The medieval English name means crooked or bent. The Scots Gaelic Ghille Chruim, means crippled or servant and or crippled servant. The English surname is thought to have applied to someone who makes fasteners and hooks. During most of the medieval period, people in order to keep their possessions safe from vermin or from contamination used hooks to suspend their important items off the floor. Eventually this occupational name led the forebears of the name into becoming craftsmen of iron products like nails. Nails or iron spikes at one time in the 1300’s were used in trade, in lieu of actual money. (True nails and spikes were very expensive to make.) The most common Scottish version found was MacChruim. “Mac” meaning simply Son of.
Because it was an occupational name, Crum was popular throughout England, Wales and Southern Scotland. Because of its ancient nature, the surname or what would later become a surname which spread widely. Surnames in Britain prior to the Norman conquest 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 Norman aristocracy after the invasion seemed to be the next logical step in this evolution. There was a boundless 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 historically have been recorded as Crum, Crumb, Crom, Croom and Cromett, which is thought to be a diminutive equaling “Small Crom” or small hook.
The earliest record of any variation of this surname is that of Croom which appears in the Worcestershire tax rolls from 1275 AD. These rolls, were a series of census and tax records
kept by the English Treasury by order of King Edward I, with the oldest dating back to the 12th century. They hold the distinction of being the oldest consecutive set of records detailing English governance in the United Kingdom. These records span a period of over seven centuries and have proven invaluable to researches over the years.
The Crum surname appears in Northern Ireland, after the Cromwellian invasion of 1649. English, and Scottish merchant and skilled trade families were encouraged to immigrate to Ireland to help establish English culture in Ireland. Specifically Ulster, Donegal, and Antrim are the most popular historical homes of the Crum family, who in the early portion of the 18th century began immigrating into the Americas.
The Crum family was also instrumental in the founding of a town called originally Thornlybanks, now spelled Thornliebank. There is no listing for the town prior to the 19th Century. Earliest records show it came into being in 1799/1800. The Crum family were printers and print makers who eventually turned their occupation into printing patterns onto fabric. The original craft in the area had been hand spinning wool into yarn. The elder Crum, one Walter Crum had been a member of the Fellows of the Royal Society and a chemist. He brought fabric printing, (primarily calico) to the region. His son, Alexander Crum became a member of Parliament in 1880.
Crum Coat of Arms Meaning
The three main devices (symbols) in the Crum blazon are the cross botonnee, oak tree and lion. The four main tinctures (colors) are vert, or, argent and gules.
The deep green colour that is so often observed in heraldry is more properly known as vert. According to Wade, the use of this colour signifies “Hope and Joy”, but may also represent, rather delightfully, “Loyalty in Love” 1The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36. It has other names also, the French call it sinople, perhaps after a town in Asia Minor from where the best green die materials could be found 2A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Vert. More fanciful heralds liked to associate it with the planet venus and the precious stone emerald 3Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27. More strangely, there is some evidence that the term prasin was anciently used, being the Greek for the vegetable we call the Leek!
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.
Gules, the heraldic colour red is very popular, sometimes said to represent “Military Fortitude and Magnanimity”9The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36. It is usually abbreviated as gu and in the days before colour printing was shown in a system known as hatching by vertical lines 10Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P52. Although it may look like a French word it is normally pronounced with a hard “g” and may be derived either from the Latin gula (throat) or Arabic gule (rose).11A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P154
No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross 12Boutell’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 13Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P67, or fanciful, decorative endings to the arms of the cross 14A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P128. The cross botonnee has all four, even length arms ending in three bulges.
Amongst the natural objects depicted on a coat of arms, trees feature frequently, either in whole or as individual branches and leaves. 15A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P94, 262, 407. Although sometimes described simply as a tree most often the specific species was named, and the oak tree or oak leaf is a typical example that frequently is depicted in arms, sometimes fructed with acorns of a different colour. 16A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Oak For good reason, Wade assigns the meaning of “antiquity and strength” to this symbol. 17The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P126
The art of heraldry would be significantly poorer if we were without the lion in all its forms. Most general works on Heraldry devote at least one chapter solely to this magnificent creature and its multifarious depictions 18A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P172 19Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 63 20Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P140. Some of the earliest known examples of heraldry, dating right back to the knighting of Geoffrey of Anjou in 1127, where he is shown with six such beasts upon his shield 21A Treatise on Heraldry, J. Woodward, W & A.K Johnston, Edinburgh & London, 1896, P45 .The great authority on heraldic symbology, Wade, points out the high place that the lion holds in heraldry, “as the emblem of deathless courage” 22The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P60, a sentiment echoed equally today.