Kirkley Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History

Kirkley Family Coat of Arms

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Kirkley Coat of Arms Meaning

The two main devices (symbols) in the Kirkley blazon are the bars and key. The three main tinctures (colors) are sable, or and gules .

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 1A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Sable. 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 2Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26. Although it may seem a sombre tone, and does indeed sometimes denote grief, it is more commonly said to represent Constancy 3The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35.

Or is the heraldic metal Gold, often shown as a bold, bright yellow colour. It is said to show “Generosity and elevation of the mind” 4The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35. Later heralds, of a more poetic nature liked to refer to it as Topaz, after the gemstone, and, for obvious reasons associated it with the Sun 5Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53. In drawings without colour it is usually represented by many small dots, or by the letter ‘O’ 6A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P76-77.

The bold red colour on a heraldic shield is known as gules. It has a long history within heraldry, it is known that one of those who besieged the scottish castle of Carlaverock in 1300 was the French knight Euremions de la Brette who had as his arms a simple red shield.7The Siege of Carlaverock, N. Harris, Nichols & Son, London, 1828, P180. The word gules is thought to come from the Arabic gule, or “red rose” 8Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 313. Later writers associated it with the precious stone ruby and the metal iron 9Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53, perhaps because of the red glow of iron in the heat of the blacksmith’s forge.

The bar is a thin, horizontal stripe across the centre of the shield 10A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Bar, usually in groups of two or three (any more and there would be confusion with barry, a treatment of horizontal lines of alternating colours). Bars can be a distinctive and easily recognised device, early examples include those awarded by Henry III of England to the family MAUDYT Argent, two bars gules.

Although we expect to find fierce creatures and fearsome weapons depicted in a coat of arms this is not always the case – sometimes simple household objects are used 11A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P281. The key is a typical example of this. Sometimes these objects were chosen for the familiarity they would have for the obsever, helping them identify the owner, and sometimes they were used because of some association with the owner, or a similarity to the family name. 12Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 100 In other cases, Wade suggests that their appearance can be taken to indicate “guardianship and dominion”. 113The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P47

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Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Kirkley Name

Origins of Kirkley:
The Anglo-Saxon name Kirkley acquires from the family having resided in the church of Kirkley in the division of Suffolk as well as in Kirkley a township in the church of Ponteland in the division of Northumberland.  Kirkley has been spelled many different ways, including Before English spelling, became regulated over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence.  As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people’s names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime.  Kirkley, Kirkly, Kirklee, Kirkele, Kirkelee and much more.

Variations:
More common variations are: Kirklley, Kirckley, Kirkoley, Kirkly, Kirkle, Kerkley, Kirklee, Kirkale, Kirkely, Kirkole.

England:
The surname Kirkley first appeared in Suffolk where they held a family seat from old times.

New-Zealand:
Some of the individuals with the surname Kirkley who landed in New-Zealand in the 19th century included James Kirkley at the age of 20, a farm laborer, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship “Salisbury” in the year 1876.  Henry J. Kirkley at the age of 18, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship “Salisbury” in the same year 1876.

Kirkley Family Gift Ideas

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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) (co. York). Ar. two bars engr. sa.
2) Gu. two bars or, in chief three keys ar.

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References   [ + ]

1. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Sable
2. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26
3. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35
4. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35
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, P76-77
7. The Siege of Carlaverock, N. Harris, Nichols & Son, London, 1828, P180
8. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 313
9. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
10. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Bar
11. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P281
12. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 100
13. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P47