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Edward Coat of Arms Meaning

The two main devices (symbols) in the Edward blazon are the pillar and tortoise. The two main tinctures (colors) are gules and sable.

Gules, the heraldic colour red is very popular, sometimes said to represent “Military Fortitude and Magnanimity”1. It is usually abbreviated as gu and in the days before colour printing was shown in a system known as hatching by vertical lines 2. 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).3

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 4. 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 5. Although it may seem a sombre tone, and does indeed sometimes denote grief, it is more commonly said to represent Constancy 6.

The Pillar, according to Wade symbolises “fortitude and constancy”. 7 Typically the pillar is a plain column with simple cushion capitals but architecture fans will be pleased to know that other orders (doric, ionic etc.) can be specified! 8

In the mediaeval period there was no real percieved difference between real and mythical animals, after all, much of the world remained unknown and who was to say what strange and magical creatures existed in distant lands? Nevertheless, real animals 9 are perhaps one of the most common sights on coats of arms, especially animals of European origin. The tortoise Is a typical example of these.

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

Edward Origin:


Origins of Edward:

It is an old personal English name, from "Eadward", which means "fortune protector" from the components "ead" for fortune, possession and "W(e)ard" which means guard. The name developed from England to the continent of Europe, perhaps determined by the dignity of the two blessed kings of England, Edward the Martyr (962 - 979) and Edward the priest (1004 - 1066), and certainly, this influence was related to the reputation of the name in England. It was first set down in writing in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle as "Eadweard" about 800 AD. "Edwards" (plural) meaning either "son of Edward or sometimes slave of Edward." The early recordings of Edward as a surname is William Edward in the Suffolk Pipe Rolls in the year 1219.


More common variations are: Edwardo, Edwardi, Edwardh, Edwardy, Edwarda, Edwarde, Eduward, Edoward, Edwardd, Eddward.


The origins of the surname Edward were in Denbighshire, an old times division, developed in the year 1536 at the act of the Union with England, and presented in Northeast Wales, where people there held a family seat from early times. And there declined from Einon Efell, King of Cynlleth, living in 1182, son of Madoc, who built a Palace in the year 1148.

The very first recorded spelling of the family was shown to be that of Edunardus, dated 1086, in the Domesday document of London. It was during the time of King William I, who was known to be the Conqueror, 1066 – 1087. 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. Surnames all over the country began to develop, with unique and shocking spelling varieties of the original one.


Many of the Edward had moved to Ireland during the 17th century.

United States of America:

People with the Edward surname also settled in the United States in three different centuries respectively in the 17th and 18th and 19th. Individuals who settled in the 17th Century included Old Edward, Walter Edward and Seath Edward arrived in Virginia respectively in the years 1607, 1648 and 1661. John Edward in America in the year 1654-1679. Richard Edward settled in St. Christopher in the year 1633.

People with the surname Edward, who came in the 18th century included Edward Edward, Catherine Edward, Arthur Edward and Richard Edward arrived in Pennsylvania respectively in the years 1703, 1709 and 1710.

People with the Edward surname who arrived in the 19th century included many people like William Henry Edward, James Edward, and Magdalena Allardice Edward arrived in New York in the year 1842. Thomas Edward landed in Allegany Divison, Pennsylvania in 1830 and Daniel Edward in New York in 1812.


People with the Edward surname who settled in Canada in the 19th century included Rose, Jane and Mary Edward at the age of 20, 18 and 23 in Saint John, New Brunswick in the same year 1833 aboard the same ships “Sarah” from Belfast, Ireland.


People with the Edward surname settled in Australia in the 19th century. Some included King Miller Edward arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship “Hindoo” in the year 1848. George Edward, at the age of 18, arrived in South Australia in the year 1856 aboard the ship “Lord Hungerford.”


The settlement of Edward family also occurred in places in New-Zealand. Henry W. Edward and George Edward who was a laborer at the age of 23 years settled in Auckland, New Zealand respectively in the years 1864 and 1874 aboard the ships “Portland” and “Oxford.” Charles Edward, aged 22 who was a laborer and Margaret Edward at the age of 22 arrived in Wellington, New-Zealand aboard the same ships “Conflict” in the same years 1874.

Here is the population distribution of the last name Edward: United States 9,616; Nigeria 45,698; Ghana 5,112; Sri Lanka 3,456; Malaysia 4,857; Kenya 3,610; Sudan 10,309; Egypt 31,154; Tanzania 91,512; Uganda 18,671

Notable People:

Luke Edwards (1980) was an American politics man and lawmaker.

Aaron Edwards (1984), was an Australian rules football player.

Alex Edwards (1975), was an English cricket player.

Alex Edwards (1946), was a Scottish football player.

Alexander Edwards (1885–1918), was a Scottish soldier and participant of the Victoria Cross.

Amelia Edwards (1831–1892), was an English novel writer and journalist.

Amy Edwards was an Australian artist and musician.

Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) (Longcroft, co. Linlithgow). Motto—Nec flatu, nec fluctu. Az. a fesse ar. surmounted of a marble pillar gu. issuing out of a base wavy of the field. Crest—A tortoise ppr.
2) (Balruddery, co. Forfar, 1867). Motto—Nec flatu, nec fluctu. Or, a fess wavy gu. surmounted of a pillar sa. issuing out of a mount in base vert. Crest—A tortoise or.
3) (Farington Hall, co. Forfar). The same Arm, within a bordure gu. Same Crest and Motto.
4) Az. a chev. ar. betw. two mullets in chief or, and in base a buck’s head cabossed of the second, attired gold. Crest—A buck’s head couped or.

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  • 1 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
  • 2 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P52
  • 3 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P154
  • 4 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Sable
  • 5 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26
  • 6 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35
  • 7 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P101
  • 8 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Pillars
  • 9 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P191