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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

Ar. six leopards’ faces vert, three, two, and one. Crest—A dolphin embowed ppr.

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

Izzard Origin:

England, France

Origins of Izzard:

This interesting and unusual name is of old French origin and is either from the female particular name "Iseult", or "Isolde", which is a combination of the Germanic components "is", ice, and "hild", which means battle, or the masculine special name "Ishard", a combination of the elements "is", ice and "hard", hardy strong. However, it may also be a nickname surname from the Old Provencal (bouc) "Izar", mountain goat, given to a person with some fancied likeness to the animal, or a sprightly lively person. Variants in the phrase of the spelling include Iz(z)ard, Izzett, Izat(t), Is(s)ard, Issett, Issit(t) and Isso(l)t. The following examples show the name advancement, Robert Isaud (1316, Yorkshire), Thomas Isoude (1326, Fees), John Isot (1379 Yorkshire). Amongst the records in London is one Eliza Izzard, named January 1647 at St. Giles, Cripplegate.


More common variations are: Eizzard, Izzeard, Izard, Ozzard, Ezzard, Izzart, Azzard, Izoard, Izardi, Izeard.


The surname Izzard first appeared in Gloucestershire where they held a family seat from old times, being given lands in that shire soon after the Norman Invasion in 1066. Traditionally, the family descended from Isolde, daughter of the Duke of Brittany in the fifth century who later became the wife of Tristram, of the great Arthurian legends, nephew of the King of Cornwall. Tristram departed to Brittany, and their tragic love affair became the subject of an opera by Wagner.

The very first recorded spelling of the family was shown to be that of Thomas Isolde, dated about 1275, in the "Hundred Rolls of Suffolk". It was during the time of King Henry III who was known to be the “The Frenchman", dated 1216 - 1272. The origin of surnames during this period 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 variations of the original one.


Many of the people with surname Izzard had moved to Ireland during the 17th century.

United States of America:

People with the name Izzard moved to America in many centuries like Ralph Izard of London, England, who settled in Charleston, South Carolina in 1682. Abraham and Ann Izard, who settled in Virginia in 1756 as well as John Izard, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1820.

Here is the population distribution of the last name Izzard: England 1,452; United States 894; Australia 529; Canada 520; South Africa 183; Scotland 46; New Zealand 31; Singapore 24; Spain 8; China 4.

Notable People:

Bob Izzard (born in Sydney, New South Wales) was an Australian rugby league football player of the 1930s. He played for the North Sydney club of the New South Wales Rugby Football League premiership. His usual position was at center.

Craig Izzard (born in Penrith, New South Wales) was an Australian rugby league player for the Penrith Panthers, Parramatta Eels, Balmain Tigers and the Illawarra Steelers in the New South Wales Rugby League competition in Australia, his position of choice was at second row. He also had a short but famous work at the Leeds club in England in 1989.

Edward John "Eddie" Izzard (born February 1962) is an English stand-up comedian, actor, and composer. His comedic style takes the form of random, whimsical monologue, and self-referential signs. He had a starring role in the television series The Riches as Wayne Malloy and had performed in films like Ocean's Twelve, Ocean's Thirteen, Mystery Men, Shadow of the Vampire, The Cat's Meow, Across the Universe, and Valkyrie. He has also worked as a voice actor in The Wild (2006), Igor (2008), The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008), and Cars 2 (2011).

Ralph William Burdick Izzard, OBE (August 1910–December 1992) was an English reporter, writer, adventurer and during World War II, a British Naval Intelligence officer.

Mark Izzard (born September 1954) in Winnipeg, Manitoba is an old center Canadian ice hockey player. Mark's work crossed that of a decade, and he played more than 430 total games. His job started with the Winnipeg Jets in 1972 and ended with the Grand Rapids Grizzlies in 1982.

Grant Izzard (born in Penrith, New South Wales) is an Australian former rugby league football player of the 1990s. He played for the Penrith Panthers and the Illawarra Steelers of the New South Wales Rugby League premiership.

Izzard Coat of Arms Meaning

The two main devices (symbols) in the Izzard blazon are the leopard’s face and dolphin. The two main tinctures (colors) are vert and azure.

The deep green colour that is so often observed in heraldry is more properly known as vert. According to Wade, the use of this colour signifies “Hope and Joy”, but may also represent, rather delightfully, “Loyalty in Love” 1. It has other names also, the French call it sinople, perhaps after a town in Asia Minor from where the best green die materials could be found 2. More fanciful heralds liked to associate it with the planet venus and the precious stone emerald 3. More strangely, there is some evidence that the term prasin was anciently used, being the Greek for the vegetable we call the Leek!

The bright, strong blue color in Heraldry is known in English as azure, and similarly in other European languages – azul in Spanish, azurro in Italian and azur in French. The word has its roots in the Arabic word lazura, also the source of the name of the precious stone lapis lazuli 4. Despite this, those heralds who liked to associate colours with jewels chose instead to describe blue as Sapphire. According to Wade, the use of this colour symbolises “Loyalty and Truth” 5.

The leopard’s face (sometimes, incorrectly referred to as a leopard’s head occurs very frequently in heraldry 6. Early heraldic artists tended to treat lions and leopards as the same animal, but during the development of British Heraldry the heads of the two creatures have adopted separate, and more realistic forms. Wade would have us associate leopards with warriors, especially those who overcome ”hazardous things by force and courage” 7

In the days before television and the internet it was a rare heraldic artist that had ever seen a dolphin for real, so we should not be surprised that the heraldic representation is not instantly recognisable. Despite this, we should not forget that these artists considered the dolphin to be the king of fish, playing the same role as the lion in the animal kingdom. 8 For reasons not immediately clear, Wade suggests that the dolphin was regarded as an “affectionate fish, fond of music”. 9

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  • 1 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
  • 2 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Vert
  • 3 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27
  • 4 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Azure
  • 5 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
  • 6 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Lion
  • 7 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P65
  • 8 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Dolphin
  • 9 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P83