Kincaid Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History

Kincaid Family Coat of Arms

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Kincaid Coat of Arms Meaning

Kincaid Name Origin & History

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Kincaid Coat of Arms Meaning

The four main devices (symbols) in the Kincaid blazon are the mullet, fesse, mullet and castle. The three main tinctures (colors) are gules, or and ermine .

Red in heraldry is given the name Gules, sometimes said to be the “martyr’s colour”1The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36. The colour is also associated with Mars, the red planet, and the zodiacal sign Aries 2Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53. Later heralds of a more poetical nature would sometimes refer to the colour as ruby, after the precious stone.3A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P77.

The bright yellow colour frequently found in coats of arms is known to heralds as Or, or sometimes simply as Gold.4Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27. 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 5A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P85. The yellow colour is often associated with the Sun, and the zodiacal sign of Leo.6Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53.

Ermine is a very ancient pattern, and distinctive to observe. It was borne alone by John de Monfort, the Earl of Richmond and Duke of Brittany in the late 14th century 7A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P69 It has a long association with royalty and the nobility in general and hence represents “Dignity” wherever it is found 8The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P39. The ermine pattern is white with, typically, a three dots and a dart grouping representing the tail of the furred creature.9Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 28. The ermine spot is sometimes found alone as a special charge on the shield.

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” 10Boutell’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 11A 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” 12The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P105.

The fesse (also found as fess) is one of the major ordinaries to found in heraldry, being a bold, broad, horizontal band across the centre of the shield. It may originally have arisen from the planks of which a wooden shield can be constructed, the centremost plank being painted a different colour 13A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Fesse. It is instantly recognisable as a symbol, for example the arms of COLEVILLE granted during the reign of Hery III are simply or, a fesse gules. With this clear association with the construction of the shield itself, Wade believes that the fesse can be taken to be associated with the military, as a “girdle of honour”.

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” 14Boutell’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 15A 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” 16The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P105.

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Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Kincaid Name

KINCAID

Kincaid is a Clan of Scotland. It is thought the name is a direct translation of the Scots Gaelic word Ceanncadha, which mean ‘rocky or hard place.’ There is also two alternative meanings, one of which is ‘At the front of battle.’ and the second is ‘Head of the woods.’ With so many Scottish Clans, there is rarely one family which makes up the present Surname. Clans themselves usually made alliances with other families for protection and to increase their land holdings. If a smaller family married into a larger one, they would adopt the larger clans, surname as a hyphen on their own and or add a topographical name as a way of differentiating the senior line of the family and a cadet branch or junior side of the family, IE younger sons who might inherit due to war, death, and lack of heirs. One of the best examples of this system is to look to the families who were the ancestors of today’s Kincaid Clan; the Kincaid Clan is made up of several prominent Scottish families. Lennox being chief among them, followed by Comyn Lords of Badenoch, Galbraiths of Buthernock, and the Grahams.

The Kincaid surname was originally found in the lowlands of Scotland in and around Stirlingshire, north-west to Lanarkshire. This region during the 13th century was the primary battle grounds for the Scottish wars of independence from England. Because the clan has multiple origins, the earliest reference is to Maldouen 3rd Earl of Lennox receiving a grant of land in 1238, called ‘Kyncade’ from Scottish King Alexander II, in Lanarkshire. It is this land grant the clan takes their surname. Kincaid has at least ten historical different spellings of their surname. Such as Kincade, Kinkead and Kynayd. The differential spellings are due to phonetic spellings over the centuries, regardless they all are related to each other.

The next major reference to the Kincaid Clan is during the first Scottish war of independence in 1296 when a Francis Kincaid captured Edinburgh Castle, from an occupying English garrison. To herald this feat, the Clan coat of arms, was augmented with the addition of a crenelated castle/tower in their arms. The Laird or Lord of Kincaid was made the Constable of Edinburgh Castle, by Robert the Bruce. A position which carried a great deal of responsibility, as Edinburgh Castle was the home of Kings and Queens of Scotland. The Laird of Kincaid was charged with its defense and governance until 1314.

The 16th century was a time of growth for the future Clan. (The Kincaid family didn’t become a recognized clan until the 20th century.) With the addition of Castle Blackness, the family added Craiglock, and Banatskin Estates along with a large tract of land called the fields of Warriston. This rise in fortune also coincided with a rise in inter-clan conflict. Kincaids fought amongst their main family of Lennox several times, and had several bloody skirmishes with the Stirling family. All of whom had land which abutted each other. Several family members were slain. Because of their marrying into the Lennox family, this was in large part a family squabble which turned deadly. It is also an interesting point to note, because of their alliances through marriage Earls of Lennox, the Kincaid family in the 20th Century was able to establish themselves as an independent Clan.

The Kincaids were also one of the first families to mostly convert to Protestantism. During the 17th Century, they allied themselves with the interests of the English crown. They were also one of the larger families to immigrate to Irish plantations in Ulster, with large settlements in County Down in the the north-east, County Donegal in the north-west, Londonderry, Ulster in the north central part of Ireland, and in Tyrone the town of Omagh. During the rebellion of 1645, most Kincaid family members served not in Scotland, but rather helped to maintain order in Norther Ireland during the conflict. Because of their support for the English crown during this time, the Kincaids suffered greatly at the hands of their fellow Scotsmen. It was at this point the Kincaid surname began to immigrate to the Americas, and to the sugar plantations in Jamaica. (1655 Saw the Spanish defeated at Port Royal, which opened up a large segment of the Caribbean to English, later British colonists.)

In a complete reversal of roles a century earlier, the Kincaid family allied themselves with Charles Stuart, the heir and some would say the pretender to the Scottish throne. Kincaids fought at the battle of Culloden. With the disastrous results of the aftermath of Culloden several Kincaid family members immediately immigrated to the Crown Colony of Virginia.

Today the descendants of the Kincaid family can be found in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. They have integrated, and smoothly assimilated into the countries and cultures they have moved to, without losing their unique sense of Scottish history and the part their ancestors have played in it. The current Chief of Clan Kincaid is Arabella Jane Kincaid of Kincaid. She is one of a number of female Chiefs and resides in the USA. Clan Kincaid’s Motto is “This I’ll Defend!”

Places associated with Clan Kincaid:

Kincaid House, Dunbartonshire, Lanarkshire, Stirlingshire, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Castle Blackness, Edinburgh Castle, Lennox Castle, Stirling Castle, Falkirk, and Culloden Scotland. Counties, Down, Donegal, Ulster, and Tyrone, and the towns of Portadown, Londonderry, and Omagh, Ireland. Richmond, Jamestown, Virginia. Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Kansas, USA to name just a few. Montreal, Ontario, Ottawa, Vancouver BC, Canada. Sydney, Canberra, Perth, Brisbane, Australia. Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington New Zealand. Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Pretoria, South Africa to name just a few places.

Kincaid Family Gift Ideas

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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) (that Ilk, co. Stirling). Motto—I'll defend. Gu. a fess erm. betw. two mullets in chief or, and a castle triple-towered in base ar. masoned sa. Crest—A castle, as in the arms, and issuing therefrom a dexter arm embowed, grasping a sword ppr. Supporters—Two Highlanders armed with cuirasses, each grasping a Lochaber axe all ppr.
2) (Lord Provost of Edinburgh. 1776). Motto—I will defend. Gu.on a chev. ar. three stars of the field, in chief two spur-rowels or, and in base a castle of the second masoned sa. Crest—A dexter arm from the elbow holding a drawn sword ppr.
3) (Thomas Kincaid, surgeon, Edinburgh, 1685). Motto—lncidendo sano. Gu. on a fess erm. betw. two mullets in chief or, and a castle triple-towered in base, masoned sa. a lozenge of the first. Crest—A dexter hand holding a chirurgeon’s instrument, called bistoury, ppr.

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References   [ + ]

1. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
2. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
3. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P77
4. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27
5. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P85
6. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
7. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P69
8. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P39
9. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 28
10. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 97
11. A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P107
12. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P105
13. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Fesse
14. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 97
15. A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P107
16. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P105