Blazons & Genealogy Notes
1) (co. Nottingham). Or, a hart’s head cabossed gu.
1) (co. Nottingham). Or, a hart’s head cabossed gu.
This long-established surname has two possible origins, each with its own origin and source. The first origin may be of Anglo-Saxon, from a nickname for a cheerful or sporty person, acquired from the Middle English “gamme,” which means entertainment, amusement, from the Olde English pre 7th Century “gamen.” The second origin of Gammon may be of French (a shortened form of Gambe), acquired from the Anglo-Norman French “gambon”, which means ham, itself from a nickname for a person with some characteristic of the legs or walk, from the Norman-Picard and Provencal form of the Old French “jambe” (Late Latin “gamba”, from the Greek “kampe”, which means bend, joint, knee). The first documentation is from this source, and the first documentation of the name from the Anglo-Saxon source is that of Richard Gamen, in the 1251 Feet of Fines of Essex. A sizeable group of early European surnames slightly formed from the continual use of nicknames. These were given relating to the profession, or to a type of properties, such as physical characteristics or singularities, or mental and moral qualities. An interesting name ancestor, noted in the “Dictionary of National Biography,” was James Gammon (FL. 1660 – 1670), an artist of portraits now valued for their irregularity.
More common variations are: Gammon, Gaymon, Gamion, Gamoon, Gaimon, Gamoun, Gaumon, Gameon, Gaamon, Gamone.
The surname Gamon first appeared in Picardy (French: Picardie) in northern France, where this royal family held a family seat from old times.
The very first recording spelling of the family was shown to be that of Roger Gambun, dated about 1209, in the “Pipe Rolls of Warwickshire.” It was during the time of King John who was known to be the “Lackland,” dated 1199 – 1216. 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 variations of the original one.
Many of the people with surname Gamon had moved to Ireland during the 17th century.
Individuals with the surname Gamon landed in the United States in two different centuries respectively in the 17th and 19th. Some of the people with the name Gamon who arrived in the United States in the 17th century included Anne Gamon, who landed in Virginia in 1653.
The following century saw more Gamon surnames come. Some of the people with the name Gamon who arrived in the United States in the 19th century included Rafael Gamon, who landed in Puerto Rico in 1849. Juan De Gamon, who came to Peru in 1877.
Here is the population distribution of the last name Gamon: Mexico 1,047; Spain 721; United States 683; Paraguay 680; France 649; Poland 573; Philippines 516; Argentina 373; Bolivia 292; Germany 269
Hannibal Gamon or Gammon (c.1582-c.1651) was an English Proper divine. He, descended from a family originally from Padstow in Cornwall, was the eldest son of Hannibal Gamon, who married Frances Galis of Windsor, and settled as a goldsmith in London. He did matric from Broadgates Hall, Oxford, in October 1599, at the age 17, where he was considered the son of a gentleman; and he took the degrees of B.A. in May 1603 and M.A. in February 1607.
John A. Gamon is an American scientist currently working in Canada. He discovered the use of the relationship between leaf xanthophyll cycle, pigment content, and phantom reflectance to improve satellite monitoring of photosynthesis. Gamon’s seminal work resulted in the development of the Photochemical Reflectance Index (PRI).
Captain John Gamon DSC (July 1898 –December 1976) was an English World War I flying expert attributed with seven flying victories
The main device (symbol) in the Gamon blazon is the hart’s head. The two main tinctures (colors) are gules and or.
Gules, the heraldic colour red is very popular, sometimes said to represent “Military Fortitude and Magnanimity”1The 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 2Understanding 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).3A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P154
The bright yellow colour frequently found in coats of arms is known to heralds as Or, or sometimes simply as Gold.4Boutell’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 5A 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.6Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53.
Many different forms of the deer, hart, roe-buck and other appear in rolls of arms, though often of similar appearance. The precise choice of animal possibly being a reference to the family name. 7A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Deer If there is any symbology intended it is probably that of enjoyment of the hunt, deer in all its form being a popular prey. 8The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P30
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36|
|2.||↑||Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P52|
|3.||↑||A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P154|
|4.||↑||Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27|
|5.||↑||A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P85|
|6.||↑||Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53|
|7.||↑||A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Deer|
|8.||↑||The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P30|