Imhoff Coat of Arms

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imhoff coat of arms
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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

Argent three buffaloes' heads couped sable.

Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Imhoff Name

Spelling variations of this family name include: Imhoff, Immhof, Imhofen, Imhhof, Imhhoff, Imhoffe, Immhoff, Imhoffer, Imhauf, Imhauff, Imhauffer, Imhofin and many more. The surname Imhoff first appeared in Basel, where the name Imhof made a great early donation to the feudal society of early Europe.  The name Imhof became prominent in local affairs and branched into many houses. Some of the people with the name arrived in the United States in the 18th century included Johannes Imhoff, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1741. Konrath Imhoff, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1750.  Martin Imhoff, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1750.  Catharina Imhoff, who landed in America in 1764.  Friedrich Imhoff, who arrived in America in 1780. People with the surname Imhoff who landed in the United States in the 19th century included Frederic Imhoff, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1803-1827.

Imhoff Coat of Arms Meaning

The main device (symbol) in the Imhoff blazon is the buffalo. The two main tinctures (colors) are sable and argent.

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.

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) 4Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 5A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11.

Bulls, and their close relations, cows, calves, oxen and the buffalo are relatively recent additions to the art of heraldry (and it is not always possible to distinguish between them in their renderings). 6A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Bull They can be found in a variety of poses and may have horns, hooves and collared in a different colour. The writer Guillim noted that the prescence of a bull could signify ”valour and magnanimity”. 7A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P117

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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. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Bull
7. A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P117