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Kinross Coat of Arms Meaning

The three main devices (symbols) in the Kinross blazon are the sword, hand and chevron. The three main tinctures (colors) are gules, or and azure .

Gules, the heraldic colour red is very popular, sometimes said to represent “Military Fortitude and Magnanimity”1. It is usually abbreviated as gu and in the days before colour printing was shown in a system known as hatching by vertical lines 2. Although it may look like a French word it is normally pronounced with a hard “g” and may be derived either from the Latin gula (throat) or Arabic gule (rose).3

The bright yellow colour frequently found in coats of arms is known to heralds as Or, or sometimes simply as Gold.4. 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 5. The yellow colour is often associated with the Sun, and the zodiacal sign of Leo.6.

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 7. 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” 8.

Given the martial nature of the origins of Heraldry, in the identification of knights and men-at-arms it can come as no surprise that mediaeval weaponry of all types are frequently to be found in a coat of arms 9. Indeed, the sheer variety of different swords 10 can be bewildering and expaining the difference between a scimitar and a falchion is perhaps best left to the expert! If a charge is described just as a simple sword then it will have a straight blade and cross handle, that may be of a different colour, and, unless specified, points upwards. Wade, quoting the earlier writer Guillim, signifies the use of the sword as representing “Government and Justice”.

The hand, unless we are told otherwise is a dexter (right) hand shown palm outwards and fingers upwards.11. It demonstrates faith, sincerity and justice, and in the form of two right hands clasped can mean union or alliance12. There is a special form called the “Hand of Ulster” which is a sinister hand gules on an argent background (a left hand, red upon white). Originally the Badge of Ulster, the Province of Northern Ireland, it has come to be used as an addition to existing arms, in an escutcheon (small shield) or canton (small square) to indicate that the holder is also a Baronet.13

The chevron is one the major shapes used upon a shield, known as ordinaries. The inverted ‘V’ of the chevron is perhaps thought to have originated to represent a military scarf folded on the shield 14, or additional cross-pieces used to strengthen the shield and painted a different colour.15. It has also acquired the meaning of “Protection… granted… to one who has achieved some notable enterprise” 16, possibly becuase of its resemblance to the roof truss of a house.

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

Variations:
More common variations are: Kinros, Kinrose, Kainaros, Kinirosi, Kinrys, Kinris, Kinors, Kinres, Kahn-Ross, Caineross.

England:
The surname Kinross first appeared in Kinross-shire, where they held a family seat in their areas.  The Pictish impact on Scottish history decreased after Kenneth Macalpine became King of all Scotland.  But those east coast families still played an important role in government and were more accessible to Government than their western highland counterparts.

New Zealand:
People with the surname Kinross settled in New Zealand in the 19th century.  Some of the people with the name Kinross moved to New Zealand in the 19th century included Robert Kinross arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Empress" in 1865.  Thomas Kinross arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "British King" in 1883.  Agnes Kinross arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "British King" in the year 1883.  Violet Kinross arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "British King" in the same year 1883.

Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) (Scotland). Gu. two swords in saltire ar. hilted or, betw. four hands couped apaumee ppr.
2) (Scotland). Gu. a chev. chequy or and az. betw. three swords paleways ar. hilts and pommels or.

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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, P52
  • 3 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P154
  • 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 Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Azure
  • 8 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
  • 9 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 89
  • 10 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P302
  • 11 A Glossary of Terms used in Heraldry, J.B. Parker, 1894 P305
  • 12 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W Cecil Wade 1898 P92
  • 13 Heraldry Historical and Popular, Charles Boutell, 1864 P56
  • 14 A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, (various)
  • 15 The Pursuivant of Arms, J. R. Planche, Hardwicke, London 1859
  • 16 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P45