Elmer Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History

Elmer Family Coat of Arms

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Elmer Coat of Arms Meaning

Elmer Name Origin & History

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Elmer Coat of Arms Meaning

The two main devices (symbols) in the Elmer blazon are the cornish chough and martlet. The three main tinctures (colors) are sable, argent and gules .

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 1A 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 2Boutell’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 3The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35.

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) 4Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 5A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11.

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.6The Siege of Carlaverock, N. Harris, Nichols & Son, London, 1828, P180. The word gules is thought to come from the Arabic gule, or “red rose” 7Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 313. Later writers associated it with the precious stone ruby and the metal iron 8Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53, perhaps because of the red glow of iron in the heat of the blacksmith’s forge.

Birds of great variety occur throughout heraldry, at least in name 9A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P233. The Cornish Chough is a member of the crow family and is often depicted as black with red or orange beak and legs. 10A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Cornish chough Wade gives it the role of “king of crows” and believes that its use denotes a “man of stratagems”. 11The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P82

The martlett is by far the most common bird to appear in British Heraldry, perhaps only equalled by the eagle, however it is not a species ever to be found in an ornithologists handbook! The word itself is though to have come from the French word merlette, the female blackbird and itself a similar type of charge used in French Heraldry. 12A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Martlet. Over time the image has become quite stylised, without visible legs or distinctive feathers. Wade suggests that this representation arises from “the appearance of the bird of paradise to ancient travellers” 13The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P79. Other bird species may be named in coats of arms (cornish chough is a frequent example) but in actual execution their appearance is often indistinguishable from the martlet.

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Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Elmer Name

There are two possible origins of this interesting name of old origin, the first being that it acquires from an Old English pre 7th Century personal name “Aethelmaer” meaning, noble, famous, and is one of the variants given names noted in the Domesday Book of 1086. More common variations are: Elimer, Ellmer, Elemer, Eylmer, Elamer, Elmera, Yelmer, Elamer, Elmery, Elmeer, Elmeri.

The surname Elmer first appeared in Essex, where they were residents in chief and Lords of the estate of Aylmer.  They gave these lands to William the Champion for their support at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 AD. The very first recording spelling of the family was shown to be that of Henry Ailmer, dated 1208,  in the “Curia Rolls of Berkshire”. It was during the reign of King John, who was known as “Lackland”, dated 1199-1216.  Surname all over the country 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.

Some of the people with the name Elmer who arrived in the United States in the 17th century included Edward Elmer, who landed in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1632. Some of the people with the surname Elmer who arrived in the United States in the 19th century included Charles Elmer, and his wife Hannah landed in America in 1836.  Charles Elmer, aged 22, who arrived in America in 1836.  Jacob Elmer, who arrived in Mississippi in 1844. Some of the individuals with the surname Elmer who landed in Australia in the 19th century included Thomas Elmer, English convict from Bedford, who moved aboard the “Agincourt” in July 1844, settling in Van Diemen’s Land, Australia.

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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) (Risby, co. Lincoln). Ar. a cross sa. betw. four Cornish choughs ppr. Crest—On a chapeau az. turned up erm. two wings expanded, out of a ducal coronet.
2) Per bend embattled ar. and gu, six martlets counterchanged.

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References   [ + ]

1. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Sable
2. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26
3. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35
4. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
5. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11
6. The Siege of Carlaverock, N. Harris, Nichols & Son, London, 1828, P180
7. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 313
8. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
9. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P233
10. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Cornish chough
11. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P82
12. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Martlet
13. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P79