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Jarvis Coat of Arms Meaning

The main device (symbol) in the Jarvis blazon is the ostrich feathers. The two main tinctures (colors) are azure and argent.

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 1. 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” 2.

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) 3. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 4.

The feather, especially that of the ostrich appears with great regularity in the crests of a full achievement of arms, typically in the shape of a plume. Wade associates this device with “willing obedience and serenity of mind”. 5 They are much less common on the shield itself, unless part of an arrow, which may be feathered of a different colour, or a quill pen. 6

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

Jarvis Origin:

Germany, England

Origins of Jarvis:

The surname of Jarvis hails from the countries of England and Germany, but there are many instances of the surname of Jarvis in various cultures and languages. These include: French, Italian, and Swiss. It is believed that the surname of Jarvis is of Pre 7th Century Germanic origins, and that it derives from the personal given name of “Gervase.” This personal given name of “Gervase” itself is comprised of the element “geri” which can be translated to mean “spear,” and the element of “vaulx” which can be translated to mean “a valley.” This name gained popularity in the Christian community in the Middle Ages. It was believed that Gervase was a saint who was martyred by the Roman Emperor who was named Domitian in the 3rd Century. The other possible origin of the surname of Jarvis is that it was a locational surname. This means that it was often taken by the Lord or owner of the land from which the name derives. Others who may have take a locational surname are people who have migrated out of the area to seek out work. The easiest way to identify someone who was a stranger at that time was by the name of their birthplace. In the case of the surname of Jarvis, this means that the surname was given to people who originally hailed from the abbey and the village of Jervaulx, which was located in the country of England, in the county of North Yorkshire. The word “Jervaulx” itself derived from the Norman 11th Century word of “Ure” which as a river, and “vaulx” which can be translated to mean a “valley.”


More common variations are: Jervis, Jervois, Jarvies, Jarviss, Jarvise, Jarvius, Jarveis, Jearvis, Jarvias, Jarivis


The first recorded spelling of the surname of Jarvis was found within the country of England. One person by the name of John Geruas was named as owning land in the county of Shropshire, England in the year of 1202. This proof of landownership was recorded under the reign of one King John I of England, who was known throughout the ages, and commonly referred to throughout history as one “Lackland.” King John I of England ruled from the year of 1199 to the year of 1216. Those who are known by the surname of Jarvis throughout the country of England can be found in high concentrations in the areas of Cornwall, Lancashire, Kent, Warwickshire, Staffordshire, Essex, Norfolk, and in the County Devon.


Within the country of Germany, the first recorded spelling of the surname of Jarvis can be found in the area of Augsberg. One person by the name of Konrad Hervart was mentioned as living in the area od Augsberg, Germany in the year of 1251, and one Clewin Versene was mentioned as residing within the area of Ensisheim, Germany in the year of 1290.


Throughout the country of Scotland, there is a population of people who bear the surname of Jarvis. Those who carry the surname of Jarvis in the country of Scotland can be found in large concentrations in the areas of Fife, Angus, Midlothian, Lanarkshire, and in a large population within the county of Aberdeenshire.

Here is the population distribution of the last name Jarvis: United States 39,681; England 20,176; Canada 6,296; Australia 6,122; South Africa 4,128; Wales 1,434; New Zealand 1,167; Uganda 1,120; Scotland 1,050; Kenya 706

Notable People:

Robert “Cob” Winston Jarvis (1932-2014) who was a basketball player from America who was the star player at the University of Mississippi and who subsequently went on to head coach at the same school between the year 1969 and the year 1976

Francis Jarvis (1878-1933) who was an Olympic Athlete who in the year 1900 was awarded a Gold Medal

Captain David Henry Jarvis (1862-1933) who was a seaman from America who was honored with the Congressional Gold Medal and who had a ship named after him, the USCGC Jarvis WHEC-725 which is a Coast Guard Cutter

James C. Jarvis (1787-1800) who was a midshipman from America who served in the United States Navy and who was tragically killed at age 13 and subsequently had two ships named after him, both being named the USS Jarvis and of which one is a Bagley class destroyer and the other is a Fletcher class destroyer

Thomas Jordan Jarvis (1836-1915) who was a politician from America who served as North Carolina’s 44th Governor from the year 1879 to the year 1885

Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) Az. six ostrich feathers ar. three two, and one. Crest—A lion ramp. gu.
2) Ar. six ostrich feathers aa. three, two, and one.
3) Sa. a chev. betw. six (another three) lapwings ar.

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  • 1 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Azure
  • 2 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
  • 3 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
  • 4 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11
  • 5 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P74
  • 6 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Feathers