Erskine Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History

Erskine Family Coat of Arms

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Erskine Coat of Arms Meaning

Erskine Name Origin & History

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erskine coat of arms

Erskine Coat of Arms Meaning

The two main devices (symbols) in the Erskine blazon are the pale and cross crosslet fitchee. The two main tinctures (colors) are sable and argent.

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 Pale is one of the major, so called ordinaries, significant objects that extend across the entire field of the shield. The pale being a broad vertical band up the centre of the shield 6A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Pale. In origin, the word probably has its roots in the same place as palisade, a defensive wall made of closely space upright timbers. Indeed, it is possible that the original “pales” arose where a wooden shield was constructed of vertical planks painted in different hues 7A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, Chapter 1. This is perhaps why Wade, a writer on Heraldic Symbology suggested that denotes “military strength and fortitude” 8The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P47.

No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross 9Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 47. Mediaeval Europe was a deeply religious and Christian and many of the nobility wanted to show their devotion by adopting the symbol of the cross as part of the arms. Since no two arms could be identical there arose many variants of the cross. The cross crosslet is one of these, having an additional cross bar on each arm. 10A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Cross Crosslet Wade suggests that these additional crossing signify “the fourfold mystery of the Cross”. 11The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P103 The final addition fitchee simply means pointed, and indicates that the lower end is pointed, as if it is to be struck into the ground. 12A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Fitché

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Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Erskine Name

Erskine Origin

Scotland

Origin of Erskine:

It is a unique surname of Scottish origin and is a locational name from an area of the Clyde outside Glasgow, called Erskyn. The etymology of the name is unclear. It can be from Celtic components consisting of the Welsh word “ir” which means “green” and “esgyn” which means “to climb.” Beginning in the 13th century, there were notable variations of the name, notably Erskine (1225), Yrskin (1227), Ireskin (1262), Harskin, Irschen (1300). Church registration contains one Robert, son of David and Margaret Erskine who was named in September 1697 at St. Dunstan, Stepney. One John Erskine at the age of 30 who was a hunger migrator, moved from Liverpool aboard the Spartan, destined for New York in June 1847.

VARIATIONS:

More common variations are: Eriskine, Ereskine, Earskine, Erskinee, Erskione, Ersekine, Erskin, Irskine, Erskene, Eroskin.

Scotland:

The surname first originated at Erskine in Renfrewshire, a historical Division of Scotland, today including the council regions of Renfrew, East Renfrewshire, and Inverclyde, in the Strathclyde area of southwestern Scotland. In the year 1225, King Alexander II gifted Henry de Erskine, who guarded the baroncy of Erskine, estates in Renfrewshire. Sir John Ireskin declared an oath of faithfulness to King Edward I of England in 1296. Members of the Erskine family arise in several forms and registers from the 13th century and later on. Some of the very important lists describe that Henry de Erskine bore official assistance to the commander of Lennox’s donation of a church to the ministry of Paisley and that in 1491, Robert Erschin held the office of Canon of Glasgow.

The very first recorded spelling of the family was shown to be that of Henry de Erskyn, witnesses to a document, which was dated 1225, by the minister of Paisley, it was during the time of King Alexander II of Scotland, 1214-1249. 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.

Ireland:

People of Erskine moved to Ireland during the 17th century.

United States:

People of Erskine settled in the United States in two different centuries respectively in 18th and 19th. Some of the population of Erskine family who settled in the United States in the 18th century included George Erskine, who arrived in Jamaica in 1711. Christopher Erskine, who came to Massachusetts in 1725, Henry Erskine, who landed in Maryland in 1750 and Thomas Erskine who settled in New England in 1773.

People of Erskine family who settled in the United States in the 19th century included John Erskine, who landed in America in 1803 and William Erskine who landed in Washington Division, Pennsylvania 1810. John, Richard and William Erskine, arrived in Philadelphia in 1876. Alexander Erskine in Westmoreland Division, Pennsylvania in the year 1872. A Erskine arrived in San Francisco, California in 1872.

Canada:

People of Erskine family who settled in Canada included Robert Erskine who landed and Thomas Erskine who arrived in Nova Scotia in the same year in 1750 during the 19th century.

Australia:

Some of the Erskine people who settled ultimately in Australia in the 19th century included Margaret Erskine, Scottish prisoner from Edinburgh, who was placed aboard the “Anna Maria” in October 1851, settling in Van Diemen’s Land, Australia

New-Zealand:

The settlement of Erskine family also observed in the 19th century in places in New-Zealand. Thomas Erskine, Louisa Erskine, Jessie Erskine and Ellen Erskine, all these people are arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship “Ernestina” in the same year in 1865. Allan Erskine arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship “Winterthur”.

Here is the population distribution of the last name Erskine: United States 6,579; England 2,441; Australia 1,083; Canada 1,126; South Africa 1,169; Ghana 3,035; Scotland 1,155; Zambia 903; Kenya 471; Northern Ireland 346.

Notable People:

Albert Russel Erskine (1871–1933), was an American businessman who served as head officer of the Studebaker Corporation from 1915 to 1933.

Carl Erskine (born 1926), was a Major League Baseball player who played for the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers from the year 1948 to 1959.

Chris Erskine (born 1987), was a Scottish football player.

Ebenezer Erskine (1680–1754), was Scottish who activity led to the formation of the Secession Church.

Erskine Family Gift Ideas

Browse Erskine family gift ideas and products below. If there are multiple coats of arms for this surname, you will see them at the top of this page and can click on the various coat of arms designs to apply them to the gift ideas below.

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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) (Earl of Mar). Motto—Je pense plus. Quarterly, 1st and 4th, az. a bend betw. six cross crosslets fitchee or, for Mar; 2nd and 3rd, ar. a pale sa., for Erskine. Crest—A dexter hand holding a cutlass ar. hilted and pommelled or. Supporters—Two griffins gu. winged, beaked, and armed or.
2) (Earl of Mar and Kellie). Motto—Decori decus addit avito. Quarterly, 1st and 4th, Mar; 2nd, Erskine, as above; 3rd, gu. an imperial crown within a double tressure flory counterflory ar., for the earldom of Kellie. Additional Crest—A demi lion guard, gu. Same Supporters.
3) (James Erskine, second son of John, Earl of Mar, Earl of Buchan by marriage, 1627, with Mary Douglas, the Countess). Motto—Judge nought. Quarterly, 1st, az. three garbs or, for the earldom of Buchan; 2nd, or, a fess chequy az. and ar., for Stewart; 3rd, or, a fess chequy az. and ar. within a bordure gu. charged with eight buckles of the field, for Stewart, of Darnley; 4th, ar. three piles gu. on a chief of the last two stars of the first, for Douglas; on an escutcheon of pretence, quarterly, Mar and Erskine. Crest—A dexter hand holding a baton ppr. Supporters—Two ostriches ppr.
4) (Lord Cardross; first lord, the third son of John, Earl of Mar; the fourth lord s. to the earldom of Buchan). Motto—Fortitudine. Quarterly, 1st and 4th grand quarters, gu. an eagle displ. or, armed and membered az. looking towards the sun in his splendour in dexter chief, for Cardross; 2nd grand quarter, counterquartered, Mar and Erskine, as above; 3rd grand quarter, counterquartered for Stewart, of Kirkhill, 1st and 4th, or, a fess chequy az. and ar., 2nd and 3rd, az. three garbs or. Crest—A dexter hand holding up a boar's head erased on the point of a skene thrust through the same ppr. Supporters—Dexter, a horse ar.; sinister, a griffin per fess ar. and sa. armed and membered gu.
5) (Earl of Buchan, of the Cardross line). Motto—Judge nought. Quarterly, 1st, az. three garbs or, the feudal arms of the earldom of Buchan; 2nd, quarterly, 1st and 4th, az. a bend betw. six crosses crosslet fitchee or, for Mar, 2nd and 3rd, ar. a pale sa., for Erskine; 3rd, for Stewart, of Kirkhill, quarterly, 1st and 4th, or, a fesse chequy az. and ar., 2nd and 3rd, az. three garbs or; 4th, ar. three bars gemelles gu. surmounted of a lion ramp. sa. armed and membered az., for Fairfax; over all, on an inescutcheon gu. an eagle displ. or, looking towards the sun in its splendour, placed towards the dexter chief point, being a coat of augmentation for the lordship of Cardross. Crest—A dexter arm holding a club or baton raguled ppr. Supporters—Two ostriches ppr.
6) (Baron Erskine). Motto—Trial by jury. Quarterly, 1st, ar. a pale sa., for Erskine; 2nd; az. a bend betw. six cross crosslets fitchee or, for Mar; 3rd, or, a fess chequy az. and ar., for Stewart; 4th, ar. three bars gemelles gu. surmounted of a lion ramp. sa. armed and membered az., for Fairfax. Crest—A dexter arm embowed, couped below the elbow, the hand grasping a club all ppr. Supporters—Dexter, a stork holding in the beak a snake all ppr.; sinister, a griffin gu. charged on the breast with a mullet or.
7) (Torry, co. Fife). Ar. on a pale sa. three cross crosslets fitchee or, a bordure az. charged with six stars of the third. Crest—A dexter hand and arm erected, holding a dagger in pale ppr.
8) (Carnock, co. Fife, and Cardross, co. Stirling). Motto—Fortitudine. Quarterly, 1st and 4th, gu. an eagle displ. or, armed and membered az. looking towards the sun in his splendour in dexter chief, for Cardross; 2nd and 3rd, quarterly, Mar and Erskine: all within a bordure per pale or and ar. Crest—A sword erect, bearing on the point a boar’s head ppr.
9) (Linlathen, co. Forfar). As the last, the bordure engr. for diff. Same Crest and Motto.
10) (Charles Erskine, fourth son of second Lord Cardross, 1678). Motto—Fortitudine. Quarterly, as Carnock and Cardross, within a bordure tripartite or, ar. and gu. Crest—A boar’s head erased and erected ppr.
11) (Alva, co. Stirling, bart., 1666). Motto—Je pense plus. Quarterly, 1st and 4th, Mar; 2nd and 3rd, Erskine: a bordure quarterly, or and vert. Crest—A dexter arm from the shoulder gauntleted, grasping a sword ppr.
12) Tinwald, co. Dumfries). Mottoes—Above the crest: Je pense plus; below the arms: Perspicax audax. (Quarterly, 1st, az. a fess betw. six cross crosslets fitchee or, for Mar; 2nd and 3rd, ar. a pale sa. a lion’s head erased gu. in dexter chief, for Erskine; 4th, gu. on a fess betw. three cushions ar. a mullet of the first, for Grierson. Crest—A dexter hand ppr. holding a skene in pale ar. hilted and pommelled or, within a garland of olive leaves ppr.
13) (Earl of Kellie, descended from Sir Alexander Erskine, of Gogar, younger son of the fourth Lord Erskine, and brother of John, Earl of Mar; on the extinction of this branch the title reverted to the Earl of Mar). Motto—Decori decus addit avito. Quarterly, 1st and 4th, gu. an imperial crown within a double tressure flory counterflory or, a coat of augmentation, 2nd and 3rd, ar. a pale sa., for Erskine. Crest—A demi lion ramp. guard. gu. Supporters—Two griffins armed and winged or.
14) (Cambo, co. Fife, bart., 1666; the first bart. was brother of the second Earl of Kellie, both first and second barts. were Lyon King of Arms, and the sixth bart. s. to the earldom of Kellie). Motto—Excutit inde canit. Quarterly, as the last, with a crescent ar. in the centre of the quarters. Crest—A garb or, banded az. lying on its side, and thereon a cock in a crowing posture ppr. Supporters—Two sportsmen vested ppr., he on the dexter holding a bended bow and arrow, he on the sinister a golf club.
15) (Cambo. co. Fife, bart., 1821). Motto—Veillant et vaillant. Quarterly, 1st and 4th gu. a regal crown within a double tressure flory counterflory or; 2nd and 3rd, ar. a pale sa. all within a bordure wavy erm. Crest—A garb fesseways or, banded az. thereon a cock ppr. wings expanded, charged with a baton wavy sinister of the second.
16) (Sheefield, co. Roxburgh). Motto—Think well. Ar. on a pale sa. a cross crosslet fitchee or, a bordure az. Crest—A dexter arm from the elbow ppr. holding a cross crosslet as in the arms.
17) (Bolgonie, co. Fife). Quarterly, 1st and 4th, az. a bend betw. six cross crosslets fitchee or, for Mar; 2nd and 3rd, ar. a pale within a bordure sa.
18) (Dun, co. Forfar: the heiress m. the first Marquis of Ailsa, and Erskine of Balhill became heir of line). Quarterly, 1st and 4th, ar. a pale sa., for Erskine; 2nd and 3rd, gu. a sword in pale ar. hilted and pommelled or. Crest—A griffin’s head erased ppr. holding in his mouth a sword in bend ppr. and on the blade the Motto—In Domino confido. Supporters —Two griffins gu. winged and armed or.
19) (Kirkbuddo, co. Forfar, a cadet of Dun). Motto—Ausim et confido. Quarterly, as the last, within a bordure embattled az. Crest—A demi griffin holding in his dexter talon a sword ppr.
20) (Pittodrie, co. Aberdeen, now Knight-Erskine). Mottoes—Above the crest: Je pense plus; below the shield: Fisus et fidus et regia duxit. Quarterly, 1st, ar. on a pale sa. three fleurs-de-lis or, for Erskine; 2nd, or, three pales in point gu., for Brechin; 3rd, ar. three pallets gu. on a canton az. a spur, the rowel downwards or, for Knight; 4th, ar. three negroes’ heads couped ppr. banded of the field, for Moir. Crest—A demi lion ramp. gu. holding in his dexter paw a thistle ppr., and in his sinister a fleur-de-lis az.
21) (Dublin; Fun. Ent. of Sir James Erskine, created K.B. at the coronation of James I., buried in St. Michael's Church, Dublin. March, 1636). Ar. a pale sa. a mullet on a crescent for diff.
22) (West-Erskine; exemplified 1872, to William Alexander Erskine West, Esq., M.A., late of Delgany, co. Wicklow, now of Lake Alexandrina, South Australia, eldest son of Rev. William James West, Rector of Delgany, by Elmina, his wife, dau. and co-heiress of Alexander Erskine, Esq., of the ancient Scottish family of Erskine, of Dun, N.B., on his taking, by royal licence, the additional surname of Erskine). Mottoes—Jour de ma vie; and over the crests: In Domino confido. Quarterly, 1st and 4th, quarterly, 1st and 4th, ar. a pale sa., 2nd and 3rd, gu. a sword in pale ar. pommel and hilt or, for Erskine; 2nd and 3rd quarters, ar. a fess dancettee sa. betw. a crescent in chief gu. and a trefoil slipped in base vert, for West. Crest—1st, Erskine: A griffin's head erased gu. charged with a mullet erm., holding in the beak a sword bendwise, point upwards ppr.; 2nd, West: Out of a mural crown ppr. a griffin’s head az. charged with a trefoil slipped or.

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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. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Pale
7. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, Chapter 1
8. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P47
9. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 47
10. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Cross Crosslet
11. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P103
12. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Fitché