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Esch Coat of Arms Meaning

The four main devices (symbols) in the Esch blazon are the cross crosslet, escallop, millrind and wheel. The three main tinctures (colors) are sable, or and azure .

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 1. 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 2. Although it may seem a sombre tone, and does indeed sometimes denote grief, it is more commonly said to represent Constancy 3.

Or is the heraldic metal Gold, often shown as a bold, bright yellow colour. It is said to show “Generosity and elevation of the mind” 4. Later heralds, of a more poetic nature liked to refer to it as Topaz, after the gemstone, and, for obvious reasons associated it with the Sun 5. In drawings without colour it is usually represented by many small dots, or by the letter ‘O’ 6.

The bright, strong blue color in Heraldry is known in English as azure, and similarly in other European languages – azul in Spanish, azurro in Italian and azur in French. The word has its roots in the Arabic word lazura, also the source of the name of the precious stone lapis lazuli 7. Despite this, those heralds who liked to associate colours with jewels chose instead to describe blue as Sapphire. According to Wade, the use of this colour symbolises “Loyalty and Truth” 8.

No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross 9. 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, being symetrical both vertically and horizontally and having an additional cross bar on each arm. 10 Wade suggests that these additional crossing signify “the fourfold mystery of the Cross”. 11

The escallopoccurs often in arms, represented as the outside of the shell, sometimes “fluted” of a different colour 12. It has been part of heraldic tradition almost from the beginning of the art, Henry III of England awarded Gules, 3 escallopes argent to Herbert de CHAMBERLEYNE in the 13th century, and it is present in the heraldry of almost all countries 13. It is believed that they were adopted as badges of those going to the Holy Land and can be found in the arms of many a crusading family. Hence Wade’s suggested association of the scallop with those that “complete long journeys to far countries” 14.

The mill-rind, also known by a rather surprising number of names (fer-de-moline, inkmoline, mill-ink amongst others) is a distinctive symbol, but hard to place by modern viewers. It is a square or diamond shape with arms extending above and below and in fact represents the piece of iron that connects a circular timber axle to a mill-stone, used for grinding corn. 15 These would obviously have been more familiar to those of the middle ages than they are today.

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

Esch Origin:


Origin of Esch:

This interesting and unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a geographical name for a person who resided near an outstanding ash tree, deriving from the Olde English pre 7th Century "oesc" which means "ash," or it may be a habitational name from some small area so named. Geographical Surnames were the oldest formed, habitational surnames were introduced when old residents of an area shifted to another area, frequently in seek of work, and were recognized by the name of their mother town. The name dates back to the early 13th Century, and other early recordings such as John de le Es in the 1273 premium Rolls of Norfolk, Ralph de Asche in the 1296 premium Rolls of Sussex and Joan atte-Eshe in the 1345 Subsidy Rolls of Norfolk. Differentiation in the style of the spelling are Ash, Ashe, Aysh, Asch, Asche, Aish and Esh, Esch and Esche. Katherine Ash was married John Ryce at St. Margaret's, Westminster, London, in October 1601. Christopher Ash, a first traveler to the New World, lived in Virginia in 1622, and John Ash (1723 - 1798) was the first doctor of the General Hospital Birmingham and held different jobs in the Colleges of Physicians.


More common variations of this surname are: Oesch, Esche, Eisch, Aesch, Escho, Eusch, Iesch, Eschi, Eosch, Easch.


The surname Esch first appeared in Belgium, where the name was recorded for its many parts in the area. This uncommon surname was first listed in Brabant as a sept. Brabant is an old duchy from 1190 onward. Within the division, Brussels and Louvain are the important cities and the smaller Clabecq, Tubize and Wavre towns. Other towns contain as Vilvorde, Tirlemont, and Hal. In their previous history, the surname became a power unto themselves and was raised to the ranks of dignity as they grew into a most prominent family.

The very first recorded spelling of the family was shown to be that of Richard del Eshe, which was dated 1221, in the "Assize Court Rolls of Worcestershire.” It was during the time of King Henry III, who was known to be the “The Frenchman,” 1216 – 1272. 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.

United States of America:

Individuals with the surname Esch settled in the United States in three different centuries respectively in the 18th, 19th, and 20th. Some of the people with the name Esch who settled in the United States in the 18th century included Daniel Heinrich Esch and Danl Hendk Esch at the age of 24; both arrived in Pennsylvania in the same year in 1741. Johan Frederich Esch landed in Pennsylvania in 1743. Christoph Esch, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1749. Johan Georg Esch, who came to Pennsylvania in 1750.

Some of the people with the name Esch who settled in the United States in the 19th century included Eve Esch, who landed in New York in 1835. A. Gesina Esch settled in America in 1837. Anna Elsabein Gieske Esch, who came to America in 1842. Engelbert Esch, who arrived in Michigan in 1842. Job Gerh Esch, who landed in America in 1842.

Some of the people with the name Esch who settled in the United States in the 20th century included Johann Esch at the age of 25, arrived in America in 1901. Karl Esch, who arrived in New York, NY in 1901. Katherina Esch at the age of 24, arrived in America in 1901.

Here is the population distribution of the last name Esch: Germany 4,943; United States 3,700; Brazil 859; Netherlands 602; South Africa 420; France 343; Canada 268; Belgium 171; Luxembourg 66; England 54.

Notable People:

En Esch, a.k.a. Nicklaus Schandelmaier is a German singer and has been a representative of the bands KMFDM, Pigface, and Slick Idiot.

Eric Esch was an American fighter, famous as Butterbean.

Johann Esch (died 1523), was one of the first two Lutherans.

Marvin L. Esch (born 1927), was an American politician from Michigan

Hansjoachim von der Esch (1899–1976), was a German adventurer.

Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) Westphalie De gueules à trois coquilles d'argent acc de neuf croisettes du même Casque couronné Cimier un demi-vol aux armes de l'écu. English: Gules three escallops between nine cross-crosslets Argent. Crowned helm. Crest: a wing charged with the arms from the shield.
2) Lorraine - (An., 1596) D'or à un fer de moulin de sable cantonné de quatre chardons fleuris de sinople. English: Or a mill-rind Sable between four thistles Vert.
3) (d') Luxembourg De gueules à cinq fasces d'argent. English: Gules five bars Argent.
4) (van Den) Dordrecht Écartelé aux 1 et 4 d'argent à un frêne arraché de sinople aux 2 et 3 d'argent à trois tourteaux de gueules. English: Quarterly, 1st and 4th Argent an ash tree eradicated Vert; 2nd and 3rd Argent three torteaux.
5) (van Der) Hollande Coupé au 1 d'or à deux équerres d'azur passées en sautoir au 2 d'azur à une étoile d'or Cimier deux frênes de sinople entre un vol d'or et d'azur ou trois frênes doublement étagés de sinople. English: Per fess, the chief Or two draftsman's squares in saltire Azure, the base Azure a star [i.e., a mullet of five or possibly six points] Or. Two alternative crests: (1) Two ash trees between a pair of wings Or and Azure, or (2) Three ash trees arranged in two tiers vert.
6) (van) Hollande D'or à une roue de six rayons de sable. English: Or a wheel of six spokes Sable.
7) (van) Brabant sept. D'argent à un frêne terrassé de sinople. English: Argent upon a terrace (base, champagne) an ash tree Vert.
8) (van) Brabant sept. Écartelé au 1 d'argent à un frêne terrassé de sinople au 2 de gueules à trois fers de moulin d'argent au 3 de sable au lion d'argent au 4 de sable à deux pals d'argent. English: Quarterly, 1st Argent upon a terrace an ash tree Vert, 2nd Gules three mill-rinds Argent, 3rd Sable a lion rampant Argent, 4th Sable two pallets Argent.
9) dit Siersberg Lorraine D'azur à deux masses d'armes d'or posées en pals et accostées acc au point du chef d'une étoile du second Cimier un frêne de sinople. English: Azure two maces palewise and in chief a star Or. Crest: an ash tree Vert.
10) de Langwiesen Prov. rhénanes, Nassau, Autriche - (Barons du St.-Empire, 16 mai 1679) Coupé au 1 d'or au lion naissant de gueules mouv du coupé au 2 d'azur à douze pièces de vair d'argent 5 4 et 3 Casque couronné Cimier un vol l'aile dextre coupé de gueules sur or la senestre coupée d'argent sur azur Lambrequin conformes aux émaux des proboscides. English: Per fess, Or and Azure, in chief a demi-lion issuant Gules, in base 12 pieces of Vair Argent 5-4-3. Crowned helm. Crest a vol, the dexter wing per fess Gules and Or, the sinister per fess Argent and Azure. Mantling conforming to the tinctures of the proboscides [which makes no sense at all, there being no proboscides in the arms or crest].
11) d'Oberesch Lorraine - (M. ét.) De gueules à deux fasces d'argent ch de cinq tourteaux de sable 3 et 2 Cimier deux cornes de buffle aux armes de l'écu. English: Gules two bars Argent each charged with five pellets 3 and 2. Crest: two buffalo horns charged as the arms on the shield (i.e., each one Gules two bars each bar charged with five pellets 3 and 2).
12) consignori di Lombriasco Fasciato d'argento e d'azzurro, le fasce d'argento inferriate di rosso. English: Azure, three bars fretty Argent and Gules

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Gilbert F. Esch commented on 18-Aug-2019
My name is Gilbert Esch. My grandfather, Otto Esch came to America from Germany in the early 1940's. He has a brother, Bernhard Esch who came over some time earlier. Can you tell me which coat of arms is mine?
Gary Ash commented on 18-May-2017
My name is Gary Ash and my 6th great grandfather, Daniel Heinrich Esch was one of those who arrived in America in the 18th century. He came here from the town of Hachenburg in the Westerwaldkreis in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. At the time that Daniel was born, in 1717, that area was referred to as Hessen-Nassau. Is there any information available to indicate which of the above ESCH coats of arms might be from the above mentioned area? Thank you in advance.


  • 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 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35
  • 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, P76-77
  • 7 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Azure
  • 8 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
  • 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:Escallop
  • 13 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P299
  • 14 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P91
  • 15 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Fer-de-moline
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