Hammersley Coat of Arms
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Which coat of arms or "family crest" is mine?
Choose the design you like best, just your ancestors did when they painted these symbols on the shields they carried into battle and displayed in their homes. These coats of arms are real, historical works of art/culture dating back as far as 1100AD. Most of these designs were compiled and documented by genealogists and heraldists in large books published in the nineteenth century. These arms were owned by individuals who bore your surname, and were passed down through the generations from father to son, earning the monicker "family crest".
Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Hammersley Name
Origins of Hammersley:
This unusual surname listed as Hammersley, and Hammerslie, is of Old English origins. It acquires from some now ‘lost’ old hamlet considered to have been in Staffordshire and perhaps known as “Hamela’s Leia” or similar. This converts as ‘the clearing (Leah) of Hamela’ or maybe ‘an area cleared for agriculture on a (hamm) slope.’ There are known to be at least five thousand British surnames which acquire from places whose only memory lies in the presence of the name, and Hammersley is a good example. The name was first listed in London at the end of the 16th century, and unimportantly later it would seem in Stafford. It shows that the real ‘village’ violently cleared under the Enclosure Acts when most residents lost their old grazing rights and applied to more outside. When they did, they gave as easy classification, the name of their old home, and this may well have replaced for any old surname. Examples of the name documentation derived from the early records contain as Anne Hammerslie, the daughter of Hugh, the first named below, at the parish of St Olave’s, Hart Street, London in November 1599, and Dorcas, the second daughter of Hugh, but now noted as ‘Hew Hamersley’, at St Antholin’s, Budge Row, London, in June 1609. Walter Hamersley of Hamersley, was listed in the record of students at Oxford University in September 1610.
More common variations are: Hammersly, Hamersley, Hammersoley, Hammersley, Hammerslea, Hammerslay, Hamersly, Hummersly, Hammersly.
The surname Hammersley first appeared in Staffordshire at Hammersley, “a locality apparently too appeared in Staffordshire.” We can find no history of this hamlet today, but there is no uncertainty some or all of the family came from Staffordshire. By example, the Record of the University of Oxford list Walter Hamersley, in 1610 and William Hamersly in 1617 as both being from Staffordshire Evidence of the family also appeared at Kencott in Oxfordshire. It was here that the family of Hammersley. The taxes reduced for land and a money payment in 1767.”
The very first recording spelling of the family was shown to be that of Hugh Hammersley, dated about 1598, in the “St Olave’s Church,” London. It was during the time of Queen Elizabeth who was known to be the “Good Queen Bess,” dated 1558 – 1603. The origin of surnames during this period became a necessity with the introduction of personal taxation.
Many of the people with surname Hammersley had moved to Ireland during the 17th century.
United States of America:
Individuals with the surname Hammersley landed in the United States in three different centuries respectively in the 18th, 19th, and 20th. Some of the people with the name Hammersley who arrived in the United States in the 18th century included Anne Hammersley settled in Virginia in 1732.
People with the surname Hammersley who landed in the United States in the 19th century included Edward Hammersley, and George arrived in Philadelphia in 1846. T. W. Hammersley arrived in San Francisco in 1852. W. B. Hammersley at the age of 28, who landed in America from Oldham, in 1893.
The following century saw much more Hammersley surnames arrive. Some of the people with the surname Hammersley who arrived in the United States in the 20th century included Guy Hammersley, who settled in America from London, in 1903. George Edward Hammersley, who moved to the United States from London, England, in 1912.
Some of the people with the surname Hammersley who came to Canada in the 20th century included Robert D. Hammersley moved to Vancouver, Canada, in 1919.
Here is the population distribution of the last name Hammersley: England 1,516; United States 1,267; Australia 447; South Africa 201; New Zealand 151; Canada 126; Chile 99; Ireland 82; Scotland 53; Spain 11.
Ben Hammersley (born 1976), was a British photojournalist.
Charles E. Hammersley (died 1957), was an American leader.
Frederick Hammersley (1919–2009), was an American abstract artist.
Hammersley Coat of Arms Meaning
The three main devices (symbols) in the Hammersley blazon are the ram, griffin and cross crosslet fitchee. The two main tinctures (colors) are gules and or.
Red in heraldry is given the name Gules, sometimes said to be the “martyr’s colour”1The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36. The colour is also associated with Mars, the red planet, and the zodiacal sign Aries 2Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53. Later heralds of a more poetical nature would sometimes refer to the colour as ruby, after the precious stone.3A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P77.
Or is the heraldic metal Gold, often shown as a bold, bright yellow colour. It is said to show “Generosity and elevation of the mind” 4The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35. Later heralds, of a more poetic nature liked to refer to it as Topaz, after the gemstone, and, for obvious reasons associated it with the Sun 5Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53. In drawings without colour it is usually represented by many small dots, or by the letter ‘O’ 6A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P76-77.
Both the Ram and the ram’s head appear in heraldry, depicted in a lifelike aspect. 7A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:ram Wade assigns it the meaning of “leader” on account of its role within the flock. 8The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P68 Wade quotes Nichols in suggesting that it most resembles the primrose, which “brings good luck to the finder”. 9The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P135
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? As heraldry developed a whole menagerie of imagined creatures 10Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P164 came into being, and their various representations became more or less standardised in form and appearance. The griffin is perhaps the most common of these creatures, being a chimera with the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle. 11A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Griffin. It is most often in the pose known as rampant segreant, on its hind legs with claws and wings extended. Vinycomb has much to say on the subject of the griffin, perhaps summarised in his belief that it represents “strength and vigilance”.]12Fictitious & Symbolic Creatures…in British Heraldry, J. Vinycomb, Chapman & Hall, London, 1906, P150
No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross 13Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 47. Mediaeval Europe was a deeply religious and Christian and many of the nobility wanted to show their devotion by adopting the symbol of the cross as part of the arms. Since no two arms could be identical there arose many variants of the cross. The cross crosslet is one of these, having an additional cross bar on each arm. 14A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Cross Crosslet Wade suggests that these additional crossing signify “the fourfold mystery of the Cross”. 15The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P103 The final addition fitchee simply means pointed, and indicates that the lower end is pointed, as if it is to be struck into the ground. 16A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Fitché