Fournier Coat of Arms
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Origin, Meaning, Family History and Fournier Coat of Arms and Family Crest
French in origin, the surname Fournier which was derived from the Latin “furnarius” translates to mean “baker” in English, therefore the name is occupational. The Americanized version of the name is Fuller. In its earliest incarnation the surname would have referred to someone who tended the oven (fourneau) fires in the kitchen of a castle, manor home, or the likes. As such, the person assigned this duty would usually be responsible for the baking of bread as well. During the progression of time, fewer and fewer households made their own bread, thus making the skills of a baker a valued commodity leading some bakers to open their own shops to meet the demand for bread and baked goods. Few occupations which have been put to use as a surname have retained their popularity throughout the ages.
In Europe the practice of using surnames was most commonly attributed to the French aristocracy. However, it was not until the middle ages that the practice took hold for the general population. Up until that era, the only people who engaged in the practice were the nobility but as communities grew and immigration became more prevalent the adoption of the practice of using surnames by the general population served several practical purposes. It gave governments a reliable way to track people for tax and census purposes and it made distinguishing one person from another easier. Those not of the noble class would often be identified by their given name plus their occupation while others may have been identified by their given name and one of their parent’s names. Others may have used surnames which derived from a defining physical trait or a familiar geographical location, a topographical landmark found near the individual’s home or birthplace, or the name of the village in which the person lived.
Literacy was an accomplishment usually found only among the nobility, government scribes, and the clergy, for this reason, most of the earliest recordings of names are found in church or government documents. However, one apparent issue with the record keeping of the time was the lack of continuity in the spelling of many names, a fact which could be attributed to a lack of spelling guidelines in use by the scribes and record keepers. This is apparent in the variations found of the name in the afore mentioned records. Variations in the spelling of the name found in older records include but are not limited to; Fournier; Fornel; Fournal; Fournil; Fourneau, Fourney; Fournex; and Fourneret among others.
After the founding of America, Canada, and other lands abroad, migration began to occur in greater volume than ever before. Some of the first immigrants to America were David Fournier who landed and settled in Pennsylvania in 1740 and Jean and Germain Fournier and their son Charles who landed and settled in South Carolina in 1755.
Some of the earliest settlers to Canada were Guillaume Fournier who arrived and settled in Quebec in 1651. Nicolas Fournier arrived in 1664, and Claude Fournier settled in Chateau-Richer, Quebec in 1681.
Worldwide, the highest concentration of people with the surname Fournier are found in France, Canada, Switzerland, the United States, and Belgium. By state, the largest percentile of those with the surname Fournier live in Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Michigan, and New Hampshire.
There are many notable people with the surname Fournier. Sergeant William G. Fournier was a member of the United States Army during World War II and recipient of the Medal of Honor, the highest decoration which can be given to a U.S. Military service member.
In January of 1943, Fournier was stationed at Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. Refusing and odder to withdraw during an attack by the Japanese, Fournier along with another soldier, Lewis Hall, continued to man their gun allowing others to escape safely. Both men were fatally wounded. They were both posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor on June 5, 1943. Fournier was buried with full military honors at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Fournier Coat of Arms Meaning
The two main devices (symbols) in the Fournier blazon are the hawk and martlet. The three main tinctures (colors) are azure, or and argent .
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 1A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Azure. 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” 2The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36.
The bright yellow colour frequently found in coats of arms is known to heralds as Or, or sometimes simply as Gold.3Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27. Along with, argent, or silver it forms the two “metals” of heraldry – one of the guidelines of heraldic design is that silver objects should not be placed upon gold fields and vice versa 4A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P85. The yellow colour is often associated with the Sun, and the zodiacal sign of Leo.5Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53.
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) 6Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 7A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11.
Birds of great variety occur throughout heraldry, at least in name 8A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P233. The falcon is a bird long associated with hunting and we need look no further than a liking for this pursuit for its presence on many early coats of arms. 9A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Falcon We also find many of the accessories used in falconry depicted on arms, and a surprising number of terms from the art of falconry have found use in modern English idioms and the interested reader is recommended to search out the origins of the phrases hoodwinked and “cadging” a lift.
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. 10A 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” 11The 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.