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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

Gu. in the dexter chief point an escutcheon ar. charged with a lion ramp. sa. Crest—A swan collared and lined ppr.

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

Surname Name Meaning, Origin, and Etymology
There are three origin theories to this Anglo-Saxon surname. First, is a baptismal surname meaning “the son of Estmund”, mund being a corruption of the word man, or “the son of Eastmund”. It derives from the words east (meaning grace) and mund (meanding protection). The personal (first) name Estmund was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 AD, which was a survey of England and Wales ordered by William the Conqueror. It is an Old English form of the masculine given named EsmondSecond, it is a locational surname referring to a person who came from “the East”, although Charles Wareing Bardsley, in his book A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames, states this theory has no evidence. Third, Mark Antony Lower, in his book Patronymica Britannica, states the name is synomous with the surname Easterling,  a surname given to a person who was a naïve of the Hanse Town or of East of Germany. In medieval writings, merchants from such areas were called Mercatores Estrenses. One source asserts the family was first found in Suffolk, England, where they held lands and title in early times.

Spelling Variations
Common spelling variants or names with similar etymologies include Eastmann, Eastmond, Easeman, Eastmin, Eastmen, Eestman, Eastmyn, Estman, Yeastman, Esmund, and Eastmunt.

Popularity & Geographic Distribution
The last name Eastman ranks 2,042nd in popularity in terms in the United Status as of the 2000 Census. The name ranks particularly high in the following ten states: Vermont, South Dakota, Wyoming, Iowa, Utah, Maine, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Washington. The surname Eastman frequency/commonness ranks as follows in the British Isles: England (5,004th), Scotland (18,457th), Wales (4,622nd), Ireland (8,504th) and Northern Ireland (8,430th). In England, it ranks highest in counties Hampshire and Devon. The name is also present throughout the remainder English speaking world:  Canada (2,532nd), New Zealand (9,649th), Australia (3,880th), and South Africa (11,162nd).

Early Bearers of the Surname
The earliest known bearer of this surname was Ricardus filius (son of) Estmund was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Essex in 1195 AD. Stephen Estmund was recorded in the Assize Court Rolls of Buckinghamshire in 1227 AD. The Hundred Rolls of 1273 AD, a census of Wales and England, known in Latin as Rotuli Hundredorum lists four bearers of this surname, all in Cambridgeshire:  Geoffrey Estmond, Cecil Estmond, Hugh Estmund, and John Estmond. A one John Estmond was documented in county Somerset in Kirby’s Quest during the reign of King Edward III of England (1327-1377). The History of Norfolk lists one John Estmond of Gressenhall. Early marriages involving this last name include Sarah Easeman to Rowland Porter at St. James Clerkenwell in 1692, Daniel Eastmond to Hannah Overton at St. George’s Hanover Square, and Elizabeth Eastman to John Tinson at St. George’s Hanover. An early baptism involving this surname was Alexander Eastman at St. Katherine’s by the Tower, London in 1686.

History, Genealogy, and Ancestry
Roger Eastman was born in England around 1511 AD and he had a son named John. This John Eastman or Estman was born in Downton, Wiltshire, around 1536 AD. He had two issue: William and Roger. His son Roger was born in the same town around 1561. He had three sons: John, William, and Roger. His son John was born in England in 1579. He married Anne Barbara Rooke and they had issue including Arthur, Roger, John, Elizabeth, and Margaret. His son Roger was born in Romsey, Southampton in 1610. He went to the United States and married Sarah Smith in 1639 in Salisbury, Massachusetts. They had the following issue: John, Nathaniel, Thomas, Timothy, Joseph, Benjamin, Sarah (French), Samuel, and Ruth. His son John was born in the same town in 164. He married twice: Hannah Healy in 1665 and Mary Boynton in 1670 and had the following issue: Hannah, John, Zachariah, Roger, Elizabeth (Brown), Thomas, and Joseph. His son John was born in the same town in 1675 and he married Huldah Kingsbury. They had the following issue: Hannah (George), Mary (Hoyt), John, Samuel, Rodger, Elizabeth Kingsbury (Flanders), Hulda (Folsom), Mehitable, David, and Tabitha. His son Rodger or Roger Eastman was born in Salisbury, MA in 1707. He married Jerusha Fitts and had four children with her: Ezekial, Daniel, Sarah, and Abigail (Webster). John Eastman’s other son was David Eastman who was born in 1720. In 1742, David married Susannah Flanders and they had the following issue: John, Huldah, Susannah, John, Kingsbury, and Sarah.

Justin Maxhaur Eastman was born in East Dorset, Vermont in 1777. He married Azuba Maxim and had the following issue with her: Phoebe, David Ciprian, Asa Maxham, William Snow, Ellis Maxim, and James Justin.

Early American and New World Settlers
The book Genealogical Guide to the Early Settlers, mentions one person bearing this surname:
roger eastman, colonial settler1) Roger Eastman, an original proprietor, ancestor of all in the name in the land, died in 1694 at the age of 83. His widow died four years later. They had numerous children together: John (1640), Nathaniel (1643), Philip (1644), Thomas (1646), Timothy (1648), Joseph (1651), Benjamin (1653), Sarah (1655), Samuel (1657), and Ruth (1662). He likely became from Southampton, England in 1638 aboard the Confidence and came to Salisbury. Other settlers in colonial America bearing this last name include Mary Eastman (Maryland 1671), John Eastman (Massachusetts 1691), Edward Eastman (Virginia 1771), and Abel Eastman (Mississippi 1788).

One of the earliest bearers in Canada was Benjamin Eastman who came to Cornwall, Ontario in 1784, as a United Empire Loyalist, a person from the American colonies who remained loyal to the British crown during the American Revolution. One of the first settlers in Australia bearing the name was John Eastman, a convict from Devon, England who came in 1831 aboard the Argyle and settled in Van Diemen’s Land (a penal colony that became Tasmania). In New Zealand, one of the earliest settlers bearing the surname was T. Eastman, who came to the city of Auckland in 1876 aboard the La Escocesa.

I have not been able to identify a motto for the Eastman family.

We have one coats of arms for the Eastman surname depicted here. These 8 blazons are from Bernard Burke’s book The General Armory of England, Ireland, and Scotland, which was published in 1848. The bottom of this page contains the blazons, and in many instances contains some historical, geographical, and genealogical about where coat of arms was found and who bore it.

There are hundreds of notable people with the Eastman surname. This page will mention a handful. Famous people with this last name include: 1) George Eastman (1854-1932) who was an American entrepreneur who founded Eastman Kodak, known for popularizing roll film and mainstreaming the art of photography, 2) Kevin Brooks Eastman (1962) who was a comic book artist from Portland, Maine who was a co-creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, 3) Edward “Monk” Eastman (1875-1920) who was a gangster from New York City, 4) Rebecca Lane Hooper Eastman (1877-1037) who was an American suffragette from Walpole, New Hampshire who was an author of short stories, and 5) John H. Eastman (1861-1938) who was a businessman who served as the mayor of Shreveport, Louisiana from 1910-1914.

Eastman Coat of Arms Meaning

The three main devices (symbols) in the Eastman blazon are the lion, escutcheon and swan. The two main tinctures (colors) are argent and gules.

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) 1. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 2.

The bold red colour on a heraldic shield is known as gules. It has a long history within heraldry, it is known that one of those who besieged the scottish castle of Carlaverock in 1300 was the French knight Euremions de la Brette who had as his arms a simple red shield.3. The word gules is thought to come from the Arabic gule, or “red rose” 4. Later writers associated it with the precious stone ruby and the metal iron 5, perhaps because of the red glow of iron in the heat of the blacksmith’s forge.

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 6 7 8. 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 9 .The great authority on heraldic symbology, Wade, points out the high place that the lion holds in heraldry, “as the emblem of deathless courage” 10, a sentiment echoed equally today.

The escutcheon simply represents smaller shield shapes included within the shield, and its close relative, the inescutcheon is just a larger version occupying most of the field. 11 There is no particular significance that can accorded to the escutcheon itself, but attention should be paid to the colour and devices that are borne upon it. The escutcheon may also be added to an existing coat of arms either as recognition of some additional honour (an escutcheon of augmentation”) or in the case where arms that are already quartered are to be combined an escutcheon with the new arms may be placed overall (an ”escutcheon of pretence”). 12

Wade suggests that the appearance of a swan in a coat of arms is perhaps an indication of a musical person, or a “ lover of poetry and harmony”. 13 It is generally shown in a lifelike aspect and colouring, although it may be leaked and legged with other colours. 14. It is a popular charge, both on the shield itself and impress, sometimes sitting and sometimes rising as if about to take off in flight. 15

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  • 1 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
  • 2 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11
  • 3 The Siege of Carlaverock, N. Harris, Nichols & Son, London, 1828, P180
  • 4 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 313
  • 5 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
  • 6 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P172
  • 7 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 63
  • 8 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P140
  • 9 A Treatise on Heraldry, J. Woodward, W & A.K Johnston, Edinburgh & London, 1896, P45
  • 10 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P60
  • 11 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Escutcheon
  • 12 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 126 & 141
  • 13 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P78
  • 14 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Swan
  • 15 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P245