Essex Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History

Essex Family Coat of Arms

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Essex Coat of Arms Meaning

Essex Name Origin & History

We have several coat of arms design(s) for the name Essex. Click on the thumbnails to view each design.

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Essex Coat of Arms Meaning

The four main devices (symbols) in the Essex blazon are the cross patonce, eagle, chevron and chessrook. The three main tinctures (colors) are or, argent and gules .

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” 1The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35. 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 2Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53. In drawings without colour it is usually represented by many small dots, or by the letter ‘O’ 3A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P76-77.

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.

Gules, the heraldic colour red is very popular, sometimes said to represent “Military Fortitude and Magnanimity”6The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36. It is usually abbreviated as gu and in the days before colour printing was shown in a system known as hatching by vertical lines 7Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P52. 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).8A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P154

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, typically involving patterning along the edges 10Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P67, or fanciful, decorative endings to the arms of the cross 11A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P128. The cross patonce is typical of these, whereby each arm of the cross expands and ends in a bud-like projection. These cross variations are probably largely for decorative effect, and to differentiate the arms from similar ones and hence their significance is that of the Christian cross itself.

Where the lion is undisputed king of the animals, the eagle undoubtedly plays the same role in the realm of the birds, its use in this form dating back to at least the Roman period 12A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Eagle. They tend to be illustrated in quite some detail, especially in continental European arms, and have almost as wide variety of postures and accessories as the lion, well illustrated in the reference 13A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P235-238 as well as being just the eagle’s head or eagle’s leg. The symbology of the eagle is deep and complex, Wade devotes several pages to the subject 14The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P72-74, but suffice it say that it has long been associated with Empire and those held in high honour – any armiger would be pleased to have any form of Eagle upon their arms!

The chevron is one the major shapes used upon a shield, known as ordinaries. The inverted ‘V’ of the chevron is perhaps thought to have originated to represent a military scarf folded on the shield 15A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, (various), or additional cross-pieces used to strengthen the shield and painted a different colour.16The Pursuivant of Arms, J. R. Planche, Hardwicke, London 1859. It has also acquired the meaning of “Protection… granted… to one who has achieved some notable enterprise” 17The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P45, possibly becuase of its resemblance to the roof truss of a house.

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Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Essex Name

Essex Origin:

England

Origin of Essex:

The origin of this interesting and unique surname originally evolved from Anglo-Saxon and is a locational name for a person who arrived from the division of Essex. Like many English division names, “Essex” shows the name of the clan that developed in the region. The name acquires from the old English pre 7th Century word “east,” which means east, with “Seaxe,” which means Saxons, so the whole meanings of the name are “area of the East Saxons.” The division names Sussex, Middlesex, and the ancient name Wessex are, properly, the “South Saxons,” “Middle Saxons” and “West Saxons.” The division name Essex is listed in the “Anglo-Saxon Chronicles” as “East Seaxe” and in the Domesday Book of 1086 it appears as in the Warwickshire Feet of Fines for 1246, and surprisingly, the new name now appears mainly in that division. According to the early documentations of the name, in London there appeared the wedding of John Essex and Katherin Barber in January 1554, at St. Mary Woolnoth.

Variations:

More common variations of this surname are: Essiex, Eessex, Esex, Essx, Ussex, Essix, Ossex, Assex, Osseux, Esseks.

England:

The surname Essex first organized in Middlesex where they held a family seat as Kings of Castle. However, French was the language of courts for next three centuries, and the Norman atmosphere overcame all of England. But Saxon surnames remained the same and the family name was first mentioned in the 13th century when they held lands in that shire.

The very first recorded spelling of the family was shown to be that of Suein de Essexa, which was dated 1114 – 1116, in the Documents of Ancient Rolls, London. It was during the time of King Henry I, who was known to be the “The Lion of Justice,” dated 1100 – 1135. 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.

United States of America:

Individuals with the surname Essex settled in the United States in four different centuries respectively in 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th. Some of the people with the name Essex who settled in the United States in the 17th century included John Essex, who came to Virginia in 1636. Mary Essex who settled in Virginia in 1663.

Some of the people with the name Essex who settled in the United States in the 18th century included Tho Essex, who arrived in Virginia in 1703. Thomas Essex, who landed in Virginia in 1714.

Some of the people with the name Essex who settled in the United States in the 19th century included William Essex at the age of 20, landed in Kentucky in 1812.

Some of the people with the name Essex who settled in the United States in the 20th century included Annie Mariah Essex, who came to Arkansas in 1903.

Australia:

Some of the people with the name Essex who settled in Australia in the 19th century included Enoch Essex and Harriett Essex both arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship “Duke of Roxburghe” in the same year in 1838.

Here is the population distribution of the last name Essex: United States 4,701; England 2,829; Cameroon 793; Mexico 105; Australia 564; Scotland 59; Canada 354; South Africa 256; France 73; New Zealand 59.

Notable People:

David Essex, OBE was born David Albert Cook in July 1947. He is an English singer, composer, and actor. Since 1970, he gained 19 Top 40 singles in the UK (containing two number ones) and 16 Top 40 albums. He has also worked as an actor.

Frankie Essex was a famous TV personality in the reality show “The Only Way is Essex.”

Joey Don Essex was born in July 1990. He is an English television actor. He became famous in 2011 after performing in the ITV2 television series “The Only Way Is Essex” with many of his family and friends, notably Frankie Essex.

Karen Essex is an American historical novel writer, a scripter, and scholar.

Mark James Robert Essex (August 1949 – January 1973) was an American mass murderer who murdered nine people, five police officers, and injured 13 others in New Orleans in December 1972, and January 1973.

Essex Family Gift Ideas

Browse Essex 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) (cos. Bedford, Buckingham, and Essex). Quarterly, or and gu. a cross patonce in saltire counterchanged.
2) (Bewcot, co. Berks, bart., extinct temp. Charles I.). Gu. an orle ar. (another, of the same place, ar. an orle gu.).
3) (Lamborne, co. Berks). Quarterly, 1st and 4th, ar. an orle gu.; 2nd and 3rd, az. a chev. engr. erm. betw. three eagles displ. of the first. Crest—An eagle's head or, in the mouth a hawk’s leg erased at the thigh gu.
4) (co. Berks). Az. a chev. erm. fimbriated or, betw. three eagles displ. ar.
5) (London). Az. a chev. embattled erm. betw. three eagles displ. ar. Crest—Out of a mural coronet erm. a, griffin’s head or.
6) (Fun. Ent. of Sir Edward Essex, knighted at Dublin, 5 Aug. 1599, buried in Christ's Church Cathedral, 2 Sept. following). Az. a chev. erm. betw. three eagles displ. or.
7) Ar. a chev. chequy erm. and gu. betw. three cronels sa. on a chief az. a rose betw. a leopard’s head and a buck's head or.
8) Quarterly, or and gu. a saltire fretty all counterchanged.
9) Gu. a cross and bordure engr. or.
10) Ar. a fesse dancettee gu.
11) Sa. a chev. erm. betw. two crosses crosslet engr. or.
12) (co. Middlesex). Az. a chev. erm. fimbriated and engr. betw. three eagles displ. or. Crest—An eagle’s head or, gorged with a ducal coronet per pale az. and sa.

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References   [ + ]

1. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35
2. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
3. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P76-77
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 Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
7. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P52
8. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P154
9. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 47
10. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P67
11. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P128
12. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Eagle
13. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P235-238
14. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P72-74
15. A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, (various)
16. The Pursuivant of Arms, J. R. Planche, Hardwicke, London 1859
17. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P45