Blazons & Genealogy Notes1) (Ditton). Ar. three bears sa.
2) (Ditton, co. Lancaster. Visit. 1567). Az. three pine-apples or, stalked gu.
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".
This very unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin and is locational from a village so called near Widnes, Lancashire. The placename acquires from the Olde English pre 7th Century “dic,” which means a ditch or dyke (usually formed for purposes of explanation rather than waste), and “feld,” meadow or open country. So, “defensive earthwork on cleared land.” Locational surnames, like this, were usually derived by a local landholder, or by the lord of the estate, and particularly by those old residents of a place who had moved to another area, and best distinguished by the name of their mother town. The surname from this source was first noted in the early half of the 14th Century. One William Ditchfield of Ditton shows in the Wills Recordings at Chester in 1567, and in January 1581, Ann Ditchfield and Richard Wally married in Prescot, Lancashire. One John Ditchfield, aged 22 yrs., was an early traveler to the New World Colonies, departing from London on the “William and John,” bound for the Church of St. Christopher, in the Barbadoes, in September 1635.
More common variations are: Ditchfild, Deitchfield, Titchfield, Dutchfield, Tischfield, Dashfield, Tishfield, Tischfeld.
The surname Ditchfield first appeared in Lancashire where they held a family seat from very ancient times. Some say well before the Norman Invasion and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 AD.
The very first recorded spelling of the family was shown to be that of John de Dychefeld, dated about 1332, in the “Lay Subsidy Rolls of Lancashire.” It was during the time of King Edward III who was known to be the “The Father of the Navy,” dated 1327 – 1377. 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.
Many of the people with surname Ditchfield had moved to Ireland during the 17th century.
Individuals with the surname Ditchfield landed in the United States in two different centuries respectively in the 17th and 20th. Some of the people with the name Ditchfield who arrived in the United States in the 17th century included Joe Ditchfield settled in St. Christopher in 1635. Jo Ditchfield, aged 22, arrived in St Christopher in 1635.
The following century saw more Ditchfield surnames arrive. Some of the people with the surname Ditchfield who arrived in the United States in the 20th century included James Ditchfield, aged 30, arrived in New York in 1919 aboard the ship “Vernonia” from London, England. Horace Leonard Ditchfield originally from Ilford, England, arrived in New York in 1920 aboard the ship Mauretania” from Southampton, England.
Here is the population distribution of the last name Ditchfield: England 1,027; South Africa 438; Australia 316; United States 237; Canada 224; France 49; New Zealand 47; Scotland 46; Spain 17; Wales 3
Andy Ditchfield was the founder of English rock band DeeExpus.
Jimmy Ditchfield was a 19th-century football player for Burslem Port Vale F.C.
The two main devices (symbols) in the Ditchfield blazon are the bear and pineapple. The two main tinctures (colors) are azure and sable.
Azure is the heraldic colour blue, usually quite a deep, dark shade of the colour (there is a lighter blue that sometimes occurs, known as celestial azure). If colour printing is not available then it can be represented by closely spaced horizontal lines in a scheme known as “hatching” 1Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26. The word is thought to originate from the Arabic lazura and it represents the colour of the eastern sky. It is also said to be the colour associated by the Catholic Church with the Virgin Mary and hence of particular significance 2The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P150.
Sable, the deep black so often found in Heraldry is believed to named from an animal of the marten family know in the middle ages as a Sabellinœ and noted for its very black fur 3A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Sable. In engravings, when colors cannot be shown it is represented as closely spaced horizontal and vertical lines, and appropriately is thus the darkest form of hatching, as this method is known 4Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26. Although it may seem a sombre tone, and does indeed sometimes denote grief, it is more commonly said to represent Constancy 5The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35.
The bear is more common in the arms of continental Europe than in British arms (possibly due to the lack of bears native to that country!), although the county of Warwickshire famously includes a bear in its arms. 6A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Bear Wade tells us that the bear is the “emblem of ferocity and the protection of kindred”. 7The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P63
The pineapple is not the tropical fruit (virtually unknown in mediaeval Europe) but litterally the “apple” found on a fir tree, otherwise known as a fir cone or pine cone. 8A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P276 Wade suggests that it symbolises “life”, perhaps due to the promise of new birth from the seeds contained with the cone. 9The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P130
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26|
|2.||↑||The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P150|
|3.||↑||A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Sable|
|4.||↑||Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26|
|5.||↑||The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35|
|6.||↑||A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Bear|
|7.||↑||The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P63|
|8.||↑||A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P276|
|9.||↑||The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P130|