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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) (granted to John Grigg, Esq.).Motto—Ut prosim. Gu. a chev. betw. three griggs (or young eels) with tails in the mouth ar. Crest—A horse’s head erased ar.
2) (co. Kent). Ar. a trefoil betw. two chev. sa.
3) (Bealing Parva, co. Suffolk). Ar. three lions pass. in pale az. a bordure of the last.
4) Ar. two chev. sa. Crest—Out of a ducal coronet a dexter hand holding up a swan's head all ppr.

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

This interesting name is Scottish in origin and is a diminutive form of the given name "Gregory", which is from the Greek "Gregorios", a derivative of "Gregorein", to be awake or watchful. More common variations are: Greigg, Griegg, Griggy, Griggi, Grigga, Grigge, Grig, Griggo, Graigg, Grgg.

The surname Grigg first found in Yorkshire, where they held a family seat from early times. The very first recording spelling of the family was shown to be that of Walter Greg, dated 1214,   in the “Charters of the Eaeldom of Morton”. It was during the reign of King Alexander 11, who was known as "King of Scotland" dated 1214-1249.  Surname all over the country 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.

Some of the people with the name Grigg who arrived in the United States in the 17th century included Tho Grigg, aged 16, who arrived in Virginia in 1635.  William Grigg, who landed in Virginia in 1664.  George Grigg, who landed in Maryland in 1676. People with the surname Grigg who landed in the United States in the 18th century included James Grigg, who arrived in Virginia in 1723. Some of the people with the surname Grigg who arrived in the Canada in the 18th century included Mr John Grigg U.E. who settled in Home District [York County], Ontario c. 1784.

Grigg Coat of Arms Meaning

The three main devices (symbols) in the Grigg blazon are the grigg, trefoil and lion. The two main tinctures (colors) are gules and sable.

Red in heraldry is given the name Gules, sometimes said to be the “martyr’s colour”1. The colour is also associated with Mars, the red planet, and the zodiacal sign Aries 2. Later heralds of a more poetical nature would sometimes refer to the colour as ruby, after the precious stone.3.

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 4. 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 5. Although it may seem a sombre tone, and does indeed sometimes denote grief, it is more commonly said to represent Constancy 6.

Fish in great variety abound in Heraldry, many different species inhabit coats of arms 7, although truth be told many of the actual images are sometimes indistinguishable, being shown as a stylised, and easily recognised “trout” shape 8 that a child might draw. The actual name used in the coat of arms may be some play-on-words or allusion to the family name, as in the famous arms of the de Lucy family, being “Gules, three lucies or”, 9 this being an ancient name for the fish we call today a “pike”. It is possible that the eel, also known as a grigg has been used in this fashion, or it may simply relate to some fishing activity in the history of the family.

Natural objects abound in heraldry, and one category that gives especial delight are the many flowers and flowering plants that frequently occur 10. The trefoil may originally been a representation of a specific plant (perhaps shamrock) but it has been used as a symbol almost since the beginning of heraldry and over time has adopted a stylised aspect. 11. Guillim believes that it signifies “perpetuity…the just man shall never wither”. 12

The art of heraldry would be significantly poorer if we were without the lion in all its forms. Most general works on Heraldry devote at least one chapter solely to this magnificent creature and its multifarious depictions 13 14 15. Some of the earliest known examples of heraldry, dating right back to the knighting of Geoffrey of Anjou in 1127, where he is shown with six such beasts upon his shield 16 .The great authority on heraldic symbology, Wade, points out the high place that the lion holds in heraldry, “as the emblem of deathless courage” 17, a sentiment echoed equally today.

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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, P53
  • 3 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P77
  • 4 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Sable
  • 5 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26
  • 6 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35
  • 7 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P150
  • 8 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P137
  • 9 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 79
  • 10 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P262
  • 11 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Trefoil
  • 12 A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P109
  • 13 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P172
  • 14 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 63
  • 15 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P140
  • 16 A Treatise on Heraldry, J. Woodward, W & A.K Johnston, Edinburgh & London, 1896, P45
  • 17 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P60