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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

Or, a fesse gu. betw. three mullets as. Crest—A lion's gamb erased vert.

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

Listed in many forms including Kennaird, Kennard, Kenward and Kenwood, this is an English surname of old origins.  It derives from the Olde English pre 7th-century personal name 'Cyneweard, generally considered to translate as 'Royal protector'.  It was composed of the components "cyne", meaning royal, and either "heard" meaning hardy, brave, or strong, or "weard", meaning guardian or protector. More common variations are: Kennaird, Kenniard, Kennardy, Kennardi, Kennarod, Keinnard, Keunnard, Kenard, Kennaridh, Kenward.

The surname Kennard first found in Gloucestershire where they held a family seat from very early times, some say well before the Norman Invasion and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 AD. The very first recording spelling of the family was shown to be that of Walter Kyneward, dated about 1250,  in the "Ramsey Monastery", Bedfordshire.  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 varieties of the original one.

Some of the people with the name Kennard who arrived in the United States in the 18th century included John Kennard, who arrived in Mississippi in 1798. Some of the people with the surname Kennard who arrived in the United States in the 19th century included William G Kennard, who arrived in Texas in 1835.

Kennard Coat of Arms Meaning

The two main devices (symbols) in the Kennard blazon are the mullet and lion’s gamb. The three main tinctures (colors) are or, gules and azure .

The bright yellow colour frequently found in coats of arms is known to heralds as Or, or sometimes simply as Gold.1. Along with, argent, or silver it forms the two “metals” of heraldry – one of the guidelines of heraldic design is that silver objects should not be placed upon gold fields and vice versa 2. The yellow colour is often associated with the Sun, and the zodiacal sign of Leo.3.

Red in heraldry is given the name Gules, sometimes said to be the “martyr’s colour”4. The colour is also associated with Mars, the red planet, and the zodiacal sign Aries 5. Later heralds of a more poetical nature would sometimes refer to the colour as ruby, after the precious stone.6.

Azure is the heraldic colour blue, usually quite a deep, dark shade of the colour (there is a lighter blue that sometimes occurs, known as celestial azure). If colour printing is not available then it can be represented by closely spaced horizontal lines in a scheme known as “hatching” 7. The word is thought to originate from the Arabic lazura and it represents the colour of the eastern sky. It is also said to be the colour associated by the Catholic Church with the Virgin Mary and hence of particular significance 8.

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” 9. 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 10. 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” 11.

The art of heraldry would be significantly poorer if we were without the lion in all its forms. Most general works on Heraldry devote at least one chapter solely to this magnificent creature and its multifarious depictions 12 13 14. Some of the earliest known examples of heraldry, dating right back to the knighting of Geoffrey of Anjou in 1127, where he is shown with six such beasts upon his shield 15 .The great authority on heraldic symbology, Wade, points out the high place that the lion holds in heraldry, “as the emblem of deathless courage” 16, a sentiment echoed equally today.The variant lion’s gamb is another word for leg, and its significance remains the same as its parent animal

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References

  • 1 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27
  • 2 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P85
  • 3 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
  • 4 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
  • 5 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
  • 6 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P77
  • 7 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26
  • 8 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P150
  • 9 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 97
  • 10 A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P107
  • 11 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P105
  • 12 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P172
  • 13 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 63
  • 14 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P140
  • 15 A Treatise on Heraldry, J. Woodward, W & A.K Johnston, Edinburgh & London, 1896, P45
  • 16 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P60