Blazons & Genealogy Notes
(Woodesham or Woodsome, co. York, bart., extinct 1810. John Kate, Esq., of Woodsome, descended from Sir John Kate, Knt., living temp. William I., and his wife, the dau. and heiress of Sir John Woodesham, Knt., of Woodesham, was created a bart. 1641; the fifth bart. d. unm. 1789, and bequeathed his estates to John Listek, who assumed the surname of Kaye, and was created a bart. 1812). Argent two bends sable. Crest—1st: A griffin’s head erased argent holding in the beak a key or; 2nd: A goldfinch ppr. Motto: Kynde Kynn Knawne Kepe.
Origin, Meaning, Family History and Kaye Coat of Arms and Family Crest
England, France, Ireland
Origins of Kaye:
The surname of Kaye is believed to have at least five possible origins from which it was derived. The first of these possible origins is that it was an occupational surname. This means that the original bearer of the surname of Kaye most likely was a key-maker or a key-bearer meaning that he actually carried out this job. Occupational surnames were not originally hereditary surnames. They only became hereditary if the son followed in his father’s footsteps for a career; then the surname became hereditary and was used by the children and spouse of the son. This derivative of the surname of Kaye is believed to have derived from the Old English Pre 7th Century word of “caeg,” which can be translated to mean “key.” The second possible origin of the surname of Kaye is that it was a topographical surname. A topographical surname is used to describe someone who lived on or near a residential landmark. This landmark could be either man made or natural, and would have been easily identifiable in the area from which it hailed, thus making the people who lived near it easily distinguished. In the case of the surname of Kaye, the topographical name was for someone who lived near a wharf. The third possible origin of the surname of Kaye is that it is a derivative of the old Welsh name of “Cai.” The fourth possible origin of the surname of Kaye is that it is a nickname. It is a common element of surnames throughout Europe that many of them originally derived from nicknames, as it was a very common practice in medieval times. In the beginning, nicknames were applied to people who had distinguishing characteristics, such as moral or mental peculiarities, a similar appearance to a bird or animal, a similar disposition to a bird or animal, occupation of an individual, their habits, or their manner of dress. In the case of the surname of Kaye, both the fourth and fifth origins stem from nicknames. The first of these is that the surname of Kaye was a derivative of the Old Norse word of “ka” which can be translated to mean bird, and was given to someone who resembled a bird. The final possible origin from which the surname of Kaye derived is that it was a nickname for a left-handed man, coming from the Danish word of “kei,” which can be translated to mean “left.”
More common variations are: Kaye, Keay
The first recorded spelling of the surname of Kaye can be found within the country of England. One person by the name of Geoffrey Cai was mentioned in the document known as the Pipe Rolls of the county of Norfolk in the year of 1197.
United States of America:
In the 17th and 18th Centuries, it became common for European settlers to migrate to the United States of America in search of a better life. Among those was one Edward Kaye, who arrived in Virginia in the year of 1724, the first Kaye in America.
Here is the population distribution of the last name Kaye: United States 13,136; England 8,916; Uganda 5,228; Australia 2,473; Canada 1,954; Philippines 1,804; South Africa 1,644; Israel 836; India 697; Cameroon 595
Judith Ann Kaye (1938-2016) who was a jurist and a lawyer from America, and who served as the Chairman of the Commission on Judicial Nomination in the year of 2009 to the year of 2013.
William Kaye (1813-1890) who served as the Mayor of Louisville, Kentucky from the year of 1863 to the year of 1865, and who was a politician from America.
Vincent E. Kaye, who served as the Candidate for the Michigan State House of Representatives in the 7th District in the year of 1964, and who was a Republican politician from America.
Philip J. Kaye, who served as an Alternate Delegate to the Democratic National Convention from the state of New York in the year of 1960, and who was a Democratic politician from America.
Leonard C. Kaye, who served as a Candidate for the U.S. Representative from New York in the 15th District in the year of 1922, in the year of 1924, in the year of 1926, and in the year of 1930; and also served a a Candidate for the New York State Assembly from New York County in the 3rd District in the year of 1923, and who was a politician from America.
Kaye Coat of Arms Meaning
The three main devices (symbols) in the Kaye blazon are the bend, goldfinch and griffin. 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 . 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 . Although it may seem a sombre tone, and does indeed sometimes denote grief, it is more commonly said to represent Constancy .
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) . In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper .
The bend is a distinctive part of the shield, frequently occuring and clearly visible from a distance – it is a broad band running from top left to bottom right . Indeed, so important is the bend that it was the subject of one of the earliest cases before the English Court of Chivalry; the famous case of 1390, Scrope vs Grosvenor had to decide which family were the rightful owners of Azure, a bend or (A blue shield, with yellow bend). . The bend is held in high honour and may signify “defence or protection” and often borne by those of high military rank .
Birds of great variety occur throughout heraldry, at least in name . In truth, despite the proliferation of species, the actual depictions can sometimes be hard to distinguish! The crane, heron and stork are commonly to be found on a coat of arms but all tend to share the same stylised appearance . The goldfinch is amongst the major bird species to appear in heraldry.
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 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. . 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”.]