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Dee Coat of Arms Meaning

The two main devices (symbols) in the Dee blazon are the lion and border indented. The two main tinctures (colors) are or and gules.

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” 1. 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 2. In drawings without colour it is usually represented by many small dots, or by the letter ‘O’ 3.

Gules, the heraldic colour red is very popular, sometimes said to represent “Military Fortitude and Magnanimity”4. It is usually abbreviated as gu and in the days before colour printing was shown in a system known as hatching by vertical lines 5. 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).6

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 7 8 9. 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 10 .The great authority on heraldic symbology, Wade, points out the high place that the lion holds in heraldry, “as the emblem of deathless courage” 11, a sentiment echoed equally today.

The border, (sometimes bordure) is a band running around the edge of the shield, following the edge contours and being differently coloured, possibly holding a series of small charges placed on top of it 12. To distinguish it from similar arms, heraldic artists developed a series of decorative edges (obviously these are applied only to the inner edge). An line drawn indented, i.e. in a saw-tooth pattern might be taken for dancettee, but in this case the individual “teeth” are much smaller. An early author, Guilllim seeks to associate this decoration with fire 13, and one can see the resemblance to flames. The visual effect is quite striking, an good example being the arms of DUNHAM (Lincolnshire), which are Azure, a chief indented or.

Origin, Meaning, Family History and Dee Coat of Arms and Family Crest

Dee Origin:

Scotland, Wales, Ireland

Origins of Dee:

The surname Dee is a popular surname and has various possible origins from three different areas. Primarily it was considered to have roots of Welsh origin that evolved from the nickname of a swarthy person of that time, the word has its formation from Welsh “du”, which stands to be the meaning of something dark or black. Also, the second assumption is believed to be of an Irish origin, that is built upon from the Gaelic O’ Deaghadh, this seems to be composed of some elements named “deagh” which is defined to be ‘good’ and “adh” which means luck or fate. Finally, the last possible origin is one which is topographical for someone. It is assumed to have a name of anyone who tends to reside in the banks of the river Dee situated in Cheshire or of the same name in Scotland. However, the origins for both of these British words is defined to mean “sacred”, the British language being used here is the ancient and extinct Celtic language that of the ancient Britons. Variations of spellings for surnames remained a necessary factor, that occurred due to mixing of Olde English and many other languages before there was a formal structure. Pronunciation stood to be a major factor, as people at that time tried to spell having depended on the way a name was pronounced, leading to multiple spelling structures in different areas. This necessity arose from the implementation of personal taxation which came to be known as the Toll Tax in England.


Most common variations are: Dewe, Deey, Deye, Deea, Dhee, Daee, Deie, Deei, Diee, Doee, Deeh, Deau, Dyee, Deeu, Deue Deeo, De, Dewey, Dewve, Dewie, Deoue, Duwee, Deowe, de He, Dawee, Deaue, D Yee, Deegh and more.


The surname had its origin in Scottish form, first recorded in the residence that was situated beside the bank of river Dee, in Aberdeenshire, a historic country that in the present day is a part of the Council Area of Aberdeen, now a Grampian region of northeastern Scotland. An early recorded version in church is of the marriage ceremony of Thomas Dee with Sarah Wels that happened in the year 1625 which took place at St. Peter’s Paul’s Wharf in London while another marriage was recorded of Humphredus Dee with Maria Trueman and took place on May 14 in the year 1693 in Heswall, situated at Cheshire. The earliest recording of the surname spelling was of a family listed as Anne Dee on Octover 17 in the year 1546 who married Chrystofer Thornton, in London at the St. Stephan’s Coleman’s street. It was during the time of King Henry VIII well known as the “Bluff King Hall”, (1509-1547).

United States:

People who settled in United States in the 17 century includes Jon Dee in the year 1635, Samuel Dee in 1659, Marjorie Dee in 1663, and William Dee in 1664. Robert Dee arrived and settled in United States in the 18 century. Later, David Dee in 1812, Thomas dee in 1834, John Dee in 1854 would arrive and settle in the new world in the 19 century.


Margaret Dee settled in Nova Scotia in 1833 and Mary Dee also settled in Nova Scotia in 1834, Peggy Dee settled in New Brunswick in 1837 arriving on the ship “Robert Watt” from Ireland.


Peter Dee who arrived in Australia sometime in between 1825 and1832, whereas Isaac Dee arrived in south Australia in the year 1851, and Thomas Dee in 1851.

New Zealand:

Henry Dee arrived in Wellington in 1888 and S. Catherine Dee arrived in 1888.

Here is the population distribution of the last name Dee: Philippines 26,809; India 11,439; United States 10,594; England 4,845; Nigeria 4,585; Kenya 3,139; Ghana 2,796; Malaysia 2,226; South Africa 2,173; Uganda 1,867.

Notable people:

Arthur Dee, (1579-1651), was a famous physician and alchemist.

Billy Dee, id popular film actor of America and Africa.

Bob Dee, was a successful footballer.

Jack Dee, was a famous British comedian.

Kiki Dee (1947), was a famous singer, noted for having a remarkable singing tone.

Daisy Dee (1970), is a multi-talented woman who sang, acted, and has hosted television shows.

Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) (Mortlake, co. Surrey; the creat granted 3 July, 1576, to Dr. John Dee, thye astrologer, by Cooke, Clarenceux.) Motto—Hic labor, and resting the sinister gamb on a pyramid ar. thereon a label with thia Motto—Hoc opus. Gu. a lion ramp. or, within a bordure indented of the second. Crest—A lion sejant guard, or, holding in the dexter gamb a cross formee fitchee az. on the croas a label with this
2) Or, a lion ramp. and bordure engr. gu.

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  • 1 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35
  • 2 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
  • 3 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P76-77
  • 4 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
  • 5 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P52
  • 6 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P154
  • 7 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P172
  • 8 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 63
  • 9 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P140
  • 10 A Treatise on Heraldry, J. Woodward, W & A.K Johnston, Edinburgh & London, 1896, P45
  • 11 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P60
  • 12 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Bordure
  • 13 A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P39
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