Gerlach Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History

Gerlach Family Coat of Arms

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Gerlach Coat of Arms Meaning

Gerlach Name Origin & History

Variations of this name are: Gerlace, Gerlacher.

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Gerlach Coat of Arms Meaning

The three main devices (symbols) in the Gerlach blazon are the horse, stag and lion rampant. The three main tinctures (colors) are sable, or and gules .

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.

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.

The bold red colour on a heraldic shield is known as gules. It has a long history within heraldry, it is known that one of those who besieged the scottish castle of Carlaverock in 1300 was the French knight Euremions de la Brette who had as his arms a simple red shield.7The Siege of Carlaverock, N. Harris, Nichols & Son, London, 1828, P180. The word gules is thought to come from the Arabic gule, or “red rose” 8Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 313. Later writers associated it with the precious stone ruby and the metal iron 9Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53, perhaps because of the red glow of iron in the heat of the blacksmith’s forge.

In the mediaeval period there was no real percieved difference between real and mythical animals, after all, much of the world remained unknown and who was to say what strange and magical creatures existed in distant lands? Nevertheless, real animals 10A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P191 are perhaps one of the most common sights on coats of arms, especially animals of European origin. The horse Is a typical example of these.

We should be surprised to find the stag or buck, noble quarry of many a mediaeval hunt, being illustrated in many a coat of arms. 11Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 69. It shares many of the poses to be found with the lion, but also one almost unique to the deer, grazing, as if the animal is still unaware of the hunter’s approach. 12A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Deer. In common with all symbols related to the hunt we probably need look further for their intended meaning than the pleasure taken by the holder in such pursuits! 13The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P30

There can be no animal more clearly associated with Heraldry than the lion, majestic King of the Beasts. Originally it appeared only in one pose, erect, on one paw, with the others raised 14Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 64 but such was the popularity of this figure, and the need to distinguish arms from each other, that it soon came to be shown in an enormous range of forms 15Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P136-141. The lion rampant is an example of these modified form, and any family would be proud to have such a noble creature displayed on their arms. Rampant is the default attitude of the lion, raised on its hind legs, facing to the dexter and with front paws extended in a fearsome and powerful pose.

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Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Gerlach Name

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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) Stuttgart - (Conc. d'arm., 21 nov. 1602) D'argent à un cerf rampant et contourné au naturel soutenu d'un tertre de trois coupeaux de sinople et tenant entre ses pattes une roue de moulin d'or percée d'un crampon d'argent posé en barre Cimier le cerf issant et contourné mouv d'un tertre de trois coupeaux de sinople et tenant la roue et le crampon entre deux proboscides de sable Lambrequin d'or et de sable. English: Argent a stag rampant and reversed proper standing on a hillock of three peaks vert and holding between its feet a mill wheel or pierced by a cramp [see http://karlwilcox.com/parker/c/Cramp] argent bendwise sinister Crest: the stag issuant and reversed coming from a hillock of three peaks vert and holding the wheel and the cramp between two proboscides sable Mantling: or and sable.
2) Silésie Coupé au 1 de sable à une sirène au naturel les bras étendus aux 2 et 3 échiqueté de gueules et d'argent Cimier la sirène entre un vol coupé alternativement d'argent et de sable. English: Per fess 1st sable a mermaid proper the arms extended 2nd & 3rd checky gules and argent Crest: the mermaid between a pair of wings per fess alternately argent and sable. [Not sure why a per fess has 3 sections, but I have checked the source and this is the correct translation...]
3) Poméranie - (Nob. du st.-Empire, 10 août 1433) De sable à un cheval naissant d'argent mouv de flammes au naturel en pointe Casque couronné Cimier les meubles de l'écu Lambrequin d'argent et de sable (Rec de nob 2 sept 1735) Les mêmes armes l'écu bordé de gueules Lambrequin à dextre d'or et d'azur à senestre d'argent et de sable. English: Sable a horse naissant argent coming from flames proper in base Crowned with a helmet Crest: the charges of the shield. Mantling: argent and sable (alternatively) the same arms with the shield having a bordure gules Mantling: to the dexter or and azure to the sinister argent and sable.
4) Wurtemberg Une bande ch d'une masse d'armes et acc de deux pommes de grenade Cimier un pèlerin issant revêtu d'un manteau et coiffé d'un chapeau tenant de sa main senestre une croix. English: [No tinctures available] A bend charged with a mace and surrounded by two pomegranates Crest: a pilgrim issuant wearing a coat [cloak?] and a hat holding in his sinister hand a cross.
5) Wetzlar D'argent à la fasce de gueules ch de trois roses du champ Cimier trois roses entre deux proboscides. English: Argent a fess gules charged with three roses of the field Crest: three roses between proboscides.
6) Vienne - (Conc. d'arm., 2 juin 1558) De sable au chevron alésé d'or la cime touchant au bord supérieur de l'écu le chevron acc de trois fleurs-de-lis d'or Cimier une fleur-de-lis d'or entre un vol coupé alternativement d'or et de sable. English: Sa a chevron couped or the peak touching the upper edge of the shield, the chevron accompanied by three fleur-de-lys or Crest: a fleur-de-lys or between a pair of wings per fess alternately or and sable.
7) Nördlingen, Halle De sable au lion naissant d'or tenant une branche de rosier de sinople fleurie de trois pièces de gueules à la champagne d'azur ch de trois grenades d'or la queue en bas posées 2 et 1 Cimier le lion issant de l'écu. English: Sable a lion naissant or holding a rose branch vert flowered with three pieces gules, a base azure charged with three pomegranates[?] or the tails[?] downwards 2, 1 Crest: the lion issuant of the shield. [possibly the lion comes from the base? - naissant means we see about 2/3rds of it so it may be...]
8) Copenhague D'or à la fasce d'argent ch de deux trèfles de sinople Cimier un trèfle de sinople entre un vol. English: Or a fess argent charged with three trefoils vert between a pair of wings [no tincture given, checked in original and not there either, so maybe vert (same as trefoils) or sable (common for wings?)]
9) Cologne - (An., 15 oct. 1840) D'argent à un cheval naissant de sable mouv d'une eau au naturel en pointe Casque couronné Cimier une épée d'argent garnie d'or enfilant une couronne du même entre deux plumes d'autruche d'argent et de sable Lambrequin d'argent et de sable. English: Argent a horse nassaint de sable coming from water proper in base Crowned with a helmet Crest: a sword argent hilt and pommell or encircled by a crown of the same between two ostrich feathers argent and sable Mantling: argent and sable.
10) Bâle Taillé au 1 de gueules à une coquille renversée d'argent posée en barre au 2 de sinople à un sautoir d'argent formé d'un pal et d'une barre Casque couronné Cimier un vol coupé à dextre de gueules sur argent à senestre d'argent sur sinople Lambrequin conformes aux émaux du vol. English: Per bend sinister 1st gules a cockerel reversed argent placed bendwise 2nd vert a saltire argent formed from a pale and a bend sinister Crowned with a helmet Crest: a pair of wings per fess to the dexter gules over argent to the sinister argent over vert Mantling: same colours as the wings.
11) Heusden De gueules à un cheval naissant d'argent mouv d'un pont d'or formé d'une traverse soutenue de trois poutres posées en bandes Cimier le cheval issant entre deux proboscides de gueules. English: Gules a horse naissant argent coming from a bridge or formed by a roadway supported by three beams bendwise Crest: the horse issuant between two proboscides gules.
12) Grand-duché de Hesse - (Barons, 15 mars 1838) Gironné de gueules et d'azur de douze pièces au lion d'argent armé et lampassé d'or brochant sur le tout Casque couronné Cimier le lion rampant entre un vol de gueules et d'azur Lambrequin à dextre d'argent et de gueules à senestre d'argent et d'azur. English: Gyronny of 12 gules and azure a lion argent armed and langued or covering over all Crowned with a helmet Crest: the lion rampant between a pair of wings gules and azure Mantling: to the dexter argent and gules to the sinister argent an azure.
13) Görlitz - (Conc. d'arm., 10 août 1433) De sable à un cheval naissant d'argent mouv de flammes au naturel en pointe Casque couronné Cimier le cheval issant Lambrequin d'argent et de sable (Ren de nob 1742) Mêmes armes à la bordure de gueules. English: Sable a horse naissant argent coming from flames proper in base Crowned with a helmet Crest: the horse issuant Mantling: argent and sable (alternatively) same arms with a bordure gules.
14) de Gerlachhein - Hongrie - (An., 13 sept. 1871) De gueules au lion d'or soutenu d'un tertre de trois coupeaux de sinople et tenant de ses pattes une hallebarde d'argent le fût rayé d'or et de sable Casque couronné Cimier un vol coupé alternativement de gueules et d'or Lambrequin d'or et de gueules. English: Gules a lion or standing on a hillock of three peaks and holding in its paws a halberd argent the shaft striped or and sable Crowned with a helmet Crest: a pair of wings per fess alternately gules and or Mantling: or and gules.
15) Luxembourg - (An., 30 déc. 1751; rec. de nob. et titre de baron, 26 août 1843 et 14 mai 1856) Parti au 1 d'argent à un arbre de sinople sur une terrasse isolée du même au 2 d'argent à l'aigle de sable languée becquée et membrée de gueules les pieds soutenus d'une trangle alésée du même Casque couronné Cimier un lion issant de gueules tenant une épée de sable Lambrequin d'argent de sinople et de sable Supports deux lions de gueules Devise LE ROI ME NOMME DE GERLACHE. English: Per pale 1st argent a tree vert on a mount couped [not touching edges] of the same 2nd argent an eagle sable langued, beaked and legged gules the feet supported by a trangle [small bar] couped of the same Crowned with a helmet Crest: a lion issuant gules holding a sword sable Mantling: argent and vert and sable Supporters: two lions gules.
16) Luxembourg - (An., 30 déc. 1751) Parti au 1 d'argent à un arbre de sinople sur une terrasse isolée du même au 2 d'argent à l'aigle de sable languée becquée et membrée de gueules les pieds soutenus d'une trangle alésée du même Casque couronné Cimier un lion issant de gueules tenant une épée de sable Lambrequin d'argent de sinople et de sable. English: Per pale 1st argent a tree vert on a mount couped [not touching edges] of the same 2nd argent an eagle sable langued, beaked and legged gules the feet supported by a trangle [small bar] couped of the same Crowned with a helmet Crest: the lion issuant gules holding a sword sable Mantling: argent, vert and sable.
17) (de)(Barons) - Namur - (Obtention du titre de baron, le 20 avril 1885) (Colonel de Patoul) (Deuxième branche) Parti d'argent à l'arbre de sinople terrassé du même et d'argent à l'aigle de sable posée sur un bâton de gueules languée et membrée du même Heaume couronné A partir du degré Il Le lion naissant de gueules du cimier tient de la patte dextre un glaive de sable Pour le titulaire du titre couronne de baron Supports deux lions de gueules armés et lampassés d'or tenant à dextre une bannière aux armes de la première partition et à senestre une bannière aux armes de la seconde partition de l'écu. English: [I don't really understand this one! I can't find it in Reitstap either, so I'm not sure where it came from. Sorry about that] Per pale [1st] argent a tree vert on a mount of the same and [2nd] argent an eagle sable placed on a baton gules langued and legged of the same Helmet crowned, parted of the 2nd degree[?] 2 the lion naissant gules crest held in the dexter paw a double-edged sword sable For the title holder of the title crowned as a baron Supporters: two lions gules armed and langued or holding to the dexter a flag with the arms of the first partition and to the sinister a flag with the arms of the second partition of the field.
18) de Gerlachberg Autriche - (An., 9 juillet 1841) Coupé au 1 parti a de gueules à deux tubes de canon d'or passés en sautoir b d'azur à un senestrochère armé d'argent issant d'une nuée au naturel mouv du flanc et tenant une épée en barre le tout acc d'une étoile d'argent posée au canton dextre du chef au 2 d'or à trois monts accosté de sinople mouv de la pointe Casque couronné Cimier quatre plumes d'autruche d'or de gueules d'argent et d'azur Lambrequin à dextre d'or et de gueules à senestre d'argent et d'azur. English: Per fess 1st per pale a) gules two cannon barrels or in saltire b) azure an armoured left arm argent coming from a cloud proper [itself] coming from the side [of the shield] and [the arm] holding a sword bendwise sinister all accompanied by an etoile in the dexter quarter of the chief 2nd or three mountains side by side vert coming from the base Crowned with a helmet Crest: four plumes of ostrich feathers or, gules, argent and azure Mantling: to the dexter or and gules to the sinister argent and azure.

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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. 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. The Siege of Carlaverock, N. Harris, Nichols & Son, London, 1828, P180
8. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 313
9. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
10. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P191
11. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 69
12. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Deer
13. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P30
14. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 64
15. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P136-141