Ireland Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History

Ireland Family Coat of Arms

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Ireland Coat of Arms Meaning

Ireland Name Origin & History

We have several coat of arms design(s) for the name Ireland. Click on the thumbnails to view each design.

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Ireland Coat of Arms Meaning

The four main devices (symbols) in the Ireland blazon are the fleur-de-lis, dove, mullet and lion passant. The two main tinctures (colors) are gules and argent.

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.1The Siege of Carlaverock, N. Harris, Nichols & Son, London, 1828, P180. The word gules is thought to come from the Arabic gule, or “red rose” 2Boutell’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 3Understanding 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.

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.

The fleur-de-lys (“flower of the lily”) has a long and noble history and was a symbol associated with the royalty of France even before heraldry became widespread. 6Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 3. The Lily flower is said to represent “Purity, or whiteness of soul”7The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P134 and sometimes associated with the Virgin Mary. The fleur-de-lys is also used as a small “badge”, known as a mark of cadency to show that the holder is the sixth son of the present holder of the arms 8A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P489

Birds of great variety occur throughout heraldry, at least in name 9A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P233. In truth, despite the proliferation of species, the actual depictions can sometimes be hard to distinguish! The dove is an example of this, closely related birds such as pigeon and stock dove are frequently mentioned in arms but visually almost identical. 10A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Dove The dove itself is said to represent “loving constancy and peace” 11The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P80, the other birds possibly some play on words with the family name (PIDGEON for example).

The heraldic mullet, not to be confused with the fish of that name, is shown as a regular, five pointed star. This was originally, not an astronomical object, but represented the spur on a horseman’s boot, especially when peirced, with a small circular hole in the centre it represents a type of spur known as a “rowel” 12Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 97. A clear example can be found in the arms of Harpendene, argent, a mullet pierced gules. The ancient writer Guillim associated such spurs in gold as belonging to the Knight, and the silver to their esquires 13A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P107. In later years, Wade linked this five pointed star with the true celestial object, the estoile and termed it a “falling star”, symbolising a “divine quality bestowed from above” 14The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P105.

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Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Ireland Name

IRELAND

English in origin the surname Ireland comes from the medieval English compound word “Iraland”. The prefix of the word “Iras” translated to Irishman and “land” translated as it sounded, land or region. In this context the name would be topographical as it was used in reference to an inhabitant of Ireland.

In Europe, the majority of what would later come to be surnames were little more than descriptors or identifiers up until the late 16th to early 17th centuries. Until this period in time, only those of nobility had what would be considered proper surnames. Due to the small size of settlements and villages which existed during earlier times, residents found little need for surnames as everyone in these communities new each other and a given name would usually suffice. However, with the passage of time, population growth and expansions of communities as villages gave way to towns and cities, it became necessary to add a qualifier to a people’s names to distinguish them, one from another. Therefore one person may have been identified by their given name plus their occupation while another may have been identified by their given name and one of their parent’s names. There was a limitless supply from which surnames could be formed, in addition to the use of patriarchal/matriarchal names or reference to the individuals occupation, there were things such as defining physical traits, a familiar geographical location or a topographical landmark found near the individuals home or birthplace, the name of the village in which the person lived, and so much more. The practice of using surnames also served another practical purpose, it gave governments a reliable way to track people for tax and census purposes.

Many of the earliest recordings of surnames are found in official church records and government documents. One of the earliest recordings of any variation of the name Ireland is that of Richard Ireis found in the Shropshire tax rolls dated 1169. These rolls, were a series of census and tax records kept by the English Treasury by order of Queen Henry II, with the oldest dating back to the 12th century.

One noted issue with the record keeping of this era is the variations in the spelling of surnames, this is attributed to a lack of consistency regarding guidelines for spelling in use by the scribes who recorded such information dating back to ancient times. In addition, many of these record keepers were in the habit of spelling phonetically, however, what may have sounded one way to one person may have sounded completely different to another. Due to these issues, variations in the name can include, but are not limited to; Ireland; Irish; Ierland; and Iroland as well as others.

After the founding of America, Canada, and other lands abroad, migration began to occur in greater volume than ever before. Some of the first immigrants to America were Martha Ireland and her children, Mary, Samuel, and Thomas who landed and settled in Boston, Massachusetts in 1635. George Ireland was one of the early immigrants to Australia, settling in Adelaide in 1850. John de Courcy Ireland was one of the early settlers to New Zealand, settling in Auckland in1840.

Worldwide, the highest concentration of people with the surname Ireland are found in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States. By state, the largest percentile of those with the surname Ireland live in Maine, Idaho, Kansas, and South Dakota.

There are many notable people with the surname Ireland. David Kenneth Ireland was born in Bellingham, Washington, he was a noted minimalist architect, sculptor, and conceptual artist.

He received his education at the California College of Arts and Crafts, Western Washington University, San Francisco Art Institute, and Laney College. During his career, Ireland won many awards including the N.E.A Artist Fellowship grant, Adaline Kent Award, the Engelhard Award, and the American Academy of Art.

Ireland Family Gift Ideas

Browse Ireland family gift ideas and products below. If there are multiple coats of arms for this surname, you will see them at the top of this page and can click on the various coat of arms designs to apply them to the gift ideas below.

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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) (Hutt and Hale, co. Lancaster; deacended from Sir John de Ireland, temp. William I.; the last male heir In the direct line, Sir Gilbert Ireland, M.P. for Liverpool, son and heir of Sir John de Ireland, Knt., of Hutt and Hale, d. 1676, leaving his two sisters his co-heirs, m. Green and Aspinwall, now represented by Blackburne, of Hale). Motto—Amor et pax. (Robertstown, co. Kildare; a branch of the Irelands, of the Hutt and Hale; derived from William Ireland, son of George Ireland, who is said to have been brother of Sir John de Ireland, the father of the great Sir Gilbert Ireland, of the Hutt and Hale). Gu. six fleurs-de-lis, three, two, and one ar. Crest—A dove and olive branch ppt.
2) (Lydiate, co. Lancaster; descended from Thomas, second son of Sir John de Ireland, of Hutt and Hale). Gu. a spear in bend or, headed ar. the head pointing to the sinister base point, at the other end a pennon pendant of the third betw. six fleurs-de-lis of the last, all within a bordure engr. of the second pellettee.
3) (cos. Hertford and Salop; granted 1601). Gu. three fleurs-de-lis ar. on a chief indented of the last a lion pass. of the first. Crest—A fleur-de-lis ar. entwined with a snake reguard. vert perforating the middle leaf of the fleur.
4) (Owsden Hall, co. Suffolk). Gu. six fleurs-de-lis, three, two, and one or. Crest—A dove and olive branch ppr.
5) (co. Surrey). Ar. a chev. erm. betw, three mullets gu.
6) (granted 1601). Gu. three fleurs-de-lis ar. a chief indented erm.
7) Or, three crowns az.
8) Gu. a fleur-de-lis ar.
9) Ar. on a chev. sa. three helmets close or.

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References   [ + ]

1. The Siege of Carlaverock, N. Harris, Nichols & Son, London, 1828, P180
2. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 313
3. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
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. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 3
7. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P134
8. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P489
9. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P233
10. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Dove
11. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P80
12. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 97
13. A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P107
14. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P105