Lightfoot Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History

Lightfoot Family Coat of Arms

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Lightfoot Coat of Arms Meaning

Lightfoot Name Origin & History

We have several coat of arms design(s) for the name Lightfoot. Click on the thumbnails to view each design.
lightfoot coat of arms

Lightfoot Coat of Arms Meaning

The four main devices (symbols) in the Lightfoot blazon are the bend, escallop, barry and heart. 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.

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.

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 bend is a distinctive part of the shield, frequently occuring and clearly visible from a distance – it is a broad band running from top left to bottom right 10Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 39-40. Indeed, so important is the bend that it was the subject of one of the earliest cases before the English Court of Chivalry; the famous case of 1390, Scrope vs Grosvenor had to decide which family were the rightful owners of Azure, a bend or (A blue shield, with yellow bend). 11A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P22. The bend is held in high honour and may signify “defence or protection” and often borne by those of high military rank 12The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P49.

The escallopoccurs often in arms, represented as the outside of the shell, sometimes “fluted” of a different colour 13A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Escallop. It has been part of heraldic tradition almost from the beginning of the art, Henry III of England awarded Gules, 3 escallopes argent to Herbert de CHAMBERLEYNE in the 13th century, and it is present in the heraldry of almost all countries 14A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P299. It is believed that they were adopted as badges of those going to the Holy Land and can be found in the arms of many a crusading family. Hence Wade’s suggested association of the scallop with those that “complete long journeys to far countries” 15The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P91.

When the field of the shield is filled with alternately coloured horizontal lines, this is known as barry, obviously because it is like having many separate bars across the field 16A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Barry. Such shields have great clarity from a distance, those awarded by Henry III of England to Richard de Grey were, for example, Barry argent and azure, simple blue and white horizontal stripes. According to Wade, there was no specific meaning to be attached to barry itself, but it affords the opportunity to display at equal importance two colours that may themselves have specific meanings 17The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P55.

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Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Lightfoot Name

Lightfoot Origin:

England

Origins of Lightfoot:

The surname of Lightfoot is said to be given to the original bearers in the form of a nickname. It is a common element of surnames throughout Europe that many of them originally derived from nicknames, as it was a very common practice in medieval times. In the beginning, nicknames were applied to people who had distinguishing characteristics, such as moral or mental peculiarities, a similar appearance to a bird or animal, a similar disposition to a bird or animal, occupation of an individual, their habits, or their manner of dress. In the instance of the surname of Lightfoot, this surname would have been given to someone who was light, speedy, had a springy step, or who was a runner or messenger. The word itself derives fro the Old English Pre 7th Century word of “leoht” which can be translated to mean “nimble” or “quick” and “fot” which can be translated to mean “foot.” It is also possible that the surname of Lightfoot was used as an occupational surname. This means that the original bearer of the surname of Lightfoot most likely was a messenger, meaning that he actually carried out this job. Occupational surnames were not originally hereditary surnames. They only became hereditary if the son followed in his father’s footsteps for a career; then the surname became hereditary and was used by the children and spouse of the son.

Variations:

More common variations are: Lightfoott, Lightfoote, Leightfoot, Lightffoot, Lightfot, Lightfood, Lightfeot, Lightfeat

History:

England:

The first recorded spelling of the surname of Lightfoot can be traced to the country of England. One person by the name of Hugh Lihtfott was mentioned in the document known as the Curia Regis Rolls of Lincolnshire in the year of 1206. This document was ordered, decreed, and written under the reign of one King John, who was known throughout the ages and commonly referred to as one “Lackland.” King John of England ruled from the year of 1199 to the year of 1216. Other mentions of the surname of Lightfoot can be found within the country of England. One William Lightfote was recorded as residing in Cambridgeshire in the year of 1273, while one Willelmus Lightfote was mentioned as living in the areas of Yorkshire in the year of 1379. Those who bore the surname of Lightfoot can be found throughout the country of England, but can be found in large concentrations in Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, and Cambridgeshire in large concentrations.

United States of America:

The United States of America was seen as a safe haven for disgruntled European citizens. These citizens were tempted to migrate to the United States because of the freedoms that were offered within the United States, freedoms that these citizens had never before been afforded. Among those who migrated to the United States in this large movement of people, which was known as the European Migration, was one John Lightfoot, who arrived in Virginia in 1620.

Here is the population distribution of the last name Lightfoot: United States 10,378; England 4,738; South Africa 1,808; Canada 1,277; Australia 1,149; New Zealand 329; Scotland 282; Germany 235; Wales 181; Northern Ireland 107

Notable People:

Sheryl Lightfoot, who served as the assistant professor in the First Nations Studies Program at UBC, and who was from America.

Edwin Lightfoot, who was a chemical engineer from America, and who was awarded the National Medal of Science in the year of 2004.

W. W. Lightfoot, who served as a Delegate to the Democratic National Convention from the state of Texas in the year of 1888, and who was a Democratic politician from America.

William P. Lightfoot, who served as a Member of the Platform Committee at the Democratic National Convention in the year of 2008, and who served as a Presidential Elector for the District of Columbia in the year of 2012, and who was a Democratic politician from America.

Phil M. Lightfoot, who served as the Mayor of Tuskegee, Alabama from the year of 1956 to the year of 1959, and who was a politician from America.

James Ross Lightfoot (born in 1938) who served as a U.S. Representative from the state of Iowa from the year of 1985 to the year of 1987, who served as a Candidate for the U.S. Senator from the state of Iowa in the year of 1996, and who served as the Candidate for the Governor of Iowa in the year of 1998, and who was a Republican politician from America.

Lightfoot Family Gift Ideas

Browse Lightfoot family gift ideas and products below. If there are multiple coats of arms for this surname, you will see them at the top of this page and can click on the various coat of arms designs to apply them to the gift ideas below.

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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) (Ashford, co. Kent). Barry of six or and gu. on a bend sa. three escallops ar. Crest—A human heart pierced with a passion-nail in bend.
2) (London). Same Arms, escallops of the first.

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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. 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. 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. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 39-40
11. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P22
12. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P49
13. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Escallop
14. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P299
15. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P91
16. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Barry
17. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P55