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Gernon Coat of Arms Meaning

The three main devices (symbols) in the Gernon blazon are the pile wavy, lion passant and buck’s head. The three main tinctures (colors) are sable, argent 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 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.

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) 4. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 5.

Gules, the heraldic colour red is very popular, sometimes said to represent “Military Fortitude and Magnanimity”6. It is usually abbreviated as gu and in the days before colour printing was shown in a system known as hatching by vertical lines 7. 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).8

The pile was originally quite a simple shape, being a triangle reaching from the top of the shield down to a point near the lower centre 9. It can also be given a decorative egde style, and Wavy works well in this respect. It is, for obvious reasons, associated with both water and the sea 10. Indeed, a roundel with alternating bars of azure and argent (blue and white) is known by the shorthand term fountain, representing water at the bottom of a well 11. Other colours have also been used and the result can be very pleasing to the eye.

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 12 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 13. The lion passant is an example of these modified form, showing the creature on all fours, as if walking proudly. In common with all reprensentations of the lion it can be taken to be an “emblem of deathless courage”. 14

The chief is an area across the top of the field 15. It appears in many different forms and can itself be charged with other charges and ordinaries, 16, being treated almost as if it were a completely separate area. In its simplest form it can be clearly identified. Early examples include the award by Henry III of England to the knight Robert de MORTEYN BRETON of Ermine, a chief gules.

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

The history of the name Gernon goes back 1066 when the Norman Invasion of England occurred.  Soon after this event, the name would have given to a person who had a moustache.  The name originally acquired from Old English words gernon or grenon, which meant moustache.  The English language only became regulated in the last few centuries.  For that reason, spelling variations are common among many Anglo-Norman names.  The shape of the English language was frequently changed with the introduction of components of Norman French, Latin, and other European languages even the spelling of educated people's names were subsequently modified. More common variations are: Gernone, Gernnon, Gernnion, Gernan, Gernun, Gernen, Gerinan, Giernan, Geranin, Geranen.

The surname Gernon first found in Montfiquet, in the district of Bayeux.  Robert de Guernon accompanied the William the Champion at Hastings in 1066 AD.  Robert held lands in Herefordshire, Suffolk, and a great barony in Essex.  Another early notable of the family was Ranulf II (also known as Ranulf de Gernon) (1099-1153), a Norman-born, a potentate who inherited the honour of the palatine county of Chester.  He claimed descent from the Counts of Bessin in Normandy. Thoydon-Garnon in Essex was and old homestead of the family. "The church takes the adjunct to its name from the family of Gernon, who were anciently its proprietors."  Great and Little Birch in Essex was an old family seat. " Birch Castle was fortified against Henry III. by Sir Ralph Gernon, then lord of the manor like there are still some remains."

Some of the people with the surname Gernon who arrived in the United States in the 18th century included Richard Gernon to Philadelphia in the year 1797.

Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) (co. Essex). Ar. three piles wavy gu. Crest—A hand issuing from a clond in fesse, holding a club ppr.
2) (co. Hereford). Ar. three piles wavy gu; meeting in the base point and a bordure or.
3) (co. Hereford). Gu. two lions pass. ar. a bordure az.
4) (co. Nottingham). Or, a hart's head cabossed gu.
5) (alias Candishe) Ar. three piles wavy gu. Crest—A wolf's head couped az. collared and ringed or.
6) (alias Pike) Gu. three piles wavy ar.
7) (Bakewell, co. Derby). Paly wavy of six ar. and gu.
8) Or, on a bend az. three escallops of the field.
9) Ar. a chev. betw. three bucks’ heads couped sa. (another, buck’s heads gu).
10) Ar. three harts’ heads cabossed gu.
11) Or, on a bend az. an escallop ar.
12) (Gernonstown and Killincoole, co. Meath; descended from Roger de Gernon, who went to Ireland with Strongbow, 1172. Fun. Ent. Edward Gernon, Ulster’s Office, 1621). (Athcarne Castle, co. Meath; descended from Thomas Gernon, younger son of Christopher Gernon, Esq., of Drogheda, and brother of Richard Gernon, living 1738, who settled at Bourdeaux). Motto—Parva contemnimus. Ar. an eagle displ. sa. armed, beaked, and gorged with a chaplet or.
13) (Drogheda, Dublin, Bourdeaux, and Paris. Fun. Ent. of the wife of Roger Gernon, of Dublin, Ulster’s Office, 16:20, and Reg. Ped.; descended from John Gernon, second son of Thomas Gernon, Esq., of Gemonstown, who d. 1517). S ame Arms, a crescent for diff. Crest—A horse pass. ar. hoofed or.

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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 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 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Pile
  • 10 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P40
  • 11 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Water
  • 12 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 64
  • 13 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P136-141
  • 14 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P61
  • 15 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 40
  • 16 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Chief