Layman Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History

Layman Family Coat of Arms

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Layman Coat of Arms Meaning

Layman Name Origin & History

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Layman Coat of Arms Meaning

The three main devices (symbols) in the Layman blazon are the annulet, per chevron and fesse. The three main tinctures (colors) are argent, gules and or .

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) 1Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 2A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11.

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.3The Siege of Carlaverock, N. Harris, Nichols & Son, London, 1828, P180. The word gules is thought to come from the Arabic gule, or “red rose” 4Boutell’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 5Understanding 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 bright yellow colour frequently found in coats of arms is known to heralds as Or, or sometimes simply as Gold.6Boutell’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 7A 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.8Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53.

For easy recognition of the items on a coat of arms, and hence the quick identification of the owner, bold simple shapes are best. Hence, simple geometric shapes are often used for this purpose 9A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P146xz`, and the annulet is a good example, being a circular ring of any colour. They also appear interlaced or one within the other, both of which are very pleasing additions. Wade believes that these were one of the symbols of ancient pilgrims. 10The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P19

To add variety and interest to the arms, heraldic artists began to divide the background of the shield into two parts, giving each a different colour. They were named for the ordinary that they most resembled, so the division of the shield by an inverted ‘V’ shape, similar to the ordinary known as the chevron came to be called per chevron 11Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P63. Visually rather striking, it can be even more effective if one charge is placed below the point, and two others above and to the sides. 12A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Party. Wade considers the use of the per chevron division to indicate “constancy, with peace and Sincerity”. 13The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P150

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 14A 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”.

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Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Layman Name

LAYMAN

The English surname has two sources of origin. The first come from the medieval English compound word leyeman or leahman. The prefixes “leye” and “leah” both translate to mean a meadow or pasture with the suffix “man” which would indicate the name referenced someone who live near an area of fallow land. The second source is the version of the Germanic name Lehman, found predominately in the Saxony. Which is one of the main regions where the language called English would originate and evolve from.

The variations in the spelling of the surname includes; Higgs; Higg; Higges; and Higge among others. The variations in spelling of surnames dating back to ancient times can be attributed to a lack of consistency regarding guidelines for spelling in use by the scribes who recorded such information, many of which were in the habit of spelling phonetically. The issue of multiple spellings of names in records was compounded by the diversity of languages in use in European countries at this time.

Until the Norman invasion and conquest, surnames were rarely if ever used. In the small settlements and villages which existed during earlier times in most of Britain, residents found little need for surnames as everyone in these communities knew each other and a given name would usually suffice. However, as communities grew and people began to migrate on a larger scale, along with the need of the government having a reliable way to track people for tax and census purposes, the Norman aristocracy’s penchant for using surnames seemed the appropriate evolution to this problem. In most instances to distinguish themselves, one from another, those not of the noble class would often be identified by their given name plus their occupation while others may have been identified by their given name and one of their parent’s names. There was a boundless supply from which surnames could be formed, in addition to the use of patriarchal/matriarchal names or reference to the individuals occupation, there were things such as defining physical traits, a familiar geographical location or a topographical landmark found near the individual’s home or birthplace, the name of the village in which the person lived, and so much more. Over the course or time, surnames would come not just to represent an individual but whole families.

Some of the earliest record of any variation of this surname are those of Reiner Leman which appears in the 1185 Knights Templar rolls and Ailric de la Leie which appears in the Nottinghamshire tax rolls from 1193. The tax rolls, were a series of census and tax records kept by the English Treasury by order of King John. These documents, the oldest dating back seven hundred years to the 12th century, are considered the oldest continuous set of records detailing English governance in the United Kingdom.

The task of record keeping was primarily the responsibility of the churches, priories, and government as literacy was often a skill found only among the wealthy, the clergy, and those in government. For practical purposes, governments found the use of surnames made the recording and tracking of people for census, taxation, and immigration purposes easier.

With the discovery of America, people began to immigrate to the “New World”. Some of the first recorded immigrants to America bearing the surname were Johannas Layman who arrived in 1727 and settled in Pennsylvania. William Layman arrived in America in 1852 and settled in Indiana.

Worldwide, the highest concentration of people with the surname Layman are found in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Belgium, and Poland. By state, the largest percentile of those with the surname Layman live in Virginia, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.

There are many persons of note who bear the surname such as American born, Brigadier General Walter G. Layman. Layman served in the U.S. Army during World War II, in recognition of his exceptional meritorious service, he was posthumously awarded the Army Distinguished Service Medal.

English born, Alfred Layman, was a noted cricketer who played for Kent.

American born, Jason Layman was a professional American football player. He played college football at the University of Tennessee, upon graduation he was drafted by the Houston Oilers. Layman also played for the Tennessee Titans during which time he went to the Super Bowl with his team.

John Lehman is the noted heraldic authority and author of the website, Coat of Arms Database, based out of Michigan, USA.

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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) Per chev. gu. and ar. three annulets counterchanged (another, three annulets in chief of the second). Crest—A demi bull ramp. ppr.
2) Ar. on a fesse gu. three annulets or.

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References   [ + ]

1. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
2. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11
3. The Siege of Carlaverock, N. Harris, Nichols & Son, London, 1828, P180
4. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 313
5. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
6. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27
7. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P85
8. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
9. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P146
10. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P19
11. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P63
12. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Party
13. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P150
14. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Fesse