Origin, Meaning and Family History of the March Name
The surname March is English and can be geographical, habitational, or patronymic. The geographical usage would be applied to a person who lived on or near a boarded between two territories, an area referred to as the “marches”. The habitational usage would be applied to a resident of the town of March in Cambridge. The patronymic usage referrers to someone with the given or nickname March a name derived from the Latin “Martius” a derivative of the god Mars. A “march” is also a medieval English boundary zone. England and Wales once had an acrimonious relationship, English lords who owned property along the border of Wales were known as “March or Marcher” Lords. These lords and their castles would be the first to experience an invasion or hostile military action taken by the Welsh. It was also a term used with limited success in the north of England in regards to the Scottish border region.
Surnames, as can be noted from the information above, often were adapted from wide variety of sources, from a person’s occupation or topographical landmark found near the individual’s home or birthplace, or possibly from the name of the village in which the person lived or was born. Surnames were sometimes patriarchal or matriarchal, created by combining the person’s given name plus the name of their father or mother. In some instances surnames were also created from defining physical traits; such as a person’s hair color, eye color, height, among other things.
While the use of surnames was a common practice in medieval France among the aristocracy, it was not until after the mid-sixteenth century that it became commonplace in the British Isles and across the remainder of Europe. The small size of the settlements and villages which existed during the earlier periods across most of Europe often meant there was no need for surnames as everyone within 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, the Norman aristocracy’s penchant for using surnames was found to serve several practical purposes; it allowed people the ability to distinguish themselves, one from another, and it gave the government a reliable way to track people for tax, census, and immigration purposes.
The task of record keeping was primarily under the jurisdiction of the Church, local priories, and the government. This was due in large part to the fact that literacy was a skill usually found only among the nobles, the clergy, and government officials and scribes. Even so, there often existed multiple variations of names which may be attributed to a number of factors; the origins of the surname, the lack of guidelines which existed for spelling, and the fact that many scribes who were charged with record keeping spelled phonetically, among other things. One of the earliest records of anyone bearing the surname or any variation of its spelling is that of Henry de la Marche found in Barnwell tax rolls dated 1295. Some other early variations of the name include; March and Marche among others.
With the discovery of America and the addition to the British Commonwealth of countries such as Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, it was not long before people began to immigrate to these outlying areas. The use of surnames made tracking of immigrants easier. Some of the first recorded immigrants to America bearing the surname was Samuel March and his wife Collice who landed and settled in Virginia in 1623. Nathan March was one of the early settlers to Canada, landing and settling in Nova Scotia in 1750. Joseph and Hannah March along with their daughter were early settlers to Australia, landing in Adelaide in 1846 and Samuel and Emma March along with their children, Eliza, Esther, and Sarah landed in Wellington in 1857.
Worldwide, the highest concentration of people with the surname March are found in Canada, Spain, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. By state, the largest percentile of those with the surname March live in Alaska, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania.
There are many notable people who bear the March surname such as Spanish born Jaume March II was a Catalan language poet. He was a member of the famous March family who had produced a number of lawyers and officers to the kingdom of Aragon. He was knighted in 1393 by King Peter the Ceremonious. Spanish born Pere March was the brother of Jaume March II and father of Arnau March. He was a knight, poet, and member of the famous March family of Valencia and Catalan. Spanish born Arnau March was the son of Pere March and nephew of Jaume March II. He was also a knight, a poet, and member of the famous March family. Jaume March II died in 1410.
March Coat of Arms Meaning
The four main devices (symbols) in the March blazon are the cross crosslet fitchee, griffin head, cross crosslet and lion rampant. The three main tinctures (colors) are or, gules and sable .
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” . 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 . In drawings without colour it is usually represented by many small dots, or by the letter ‘O’ .
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.. The word gules is thought to come from the Arabic gule, or “red rose” . Later writers associated it with the precious stone ruby and the metal iron , perhaps because of the red glow of iron in the heat of the blacksmith’s forge.
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 . 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 . Although it may seem a sombre tone, and does indeed sometimes denote grief, it is more commonly said to represent Constancy .
No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross . Mediaeval Europe was a deeply religious and Christian and many of the nobility wanted to show their devotion by adopting the symbol of the cross as part of the arms. Since no two arms could be identical there arose many variants of the cross. The cross crosslet is one of these, having an additional cross bar on each arm. Wade suggests that these additional crossing signify “the fourfold mystery of the Cross”. The final addition fitchee simply means pointed, and indicates that the lower end is pointed, as if it is to be struck into the ground.
In the mediaeval period there was no real percieved difference between real and mythical animals, after all, much of the world remained unknown and who was to say what strange and magical creatures existed in distant lands? As heraldry developed a whole menagerie of imagined creatures came into being, and their various representations became more or less standardised in form and appearance. The griffin is perhaps the most common of these creatures, being a chimera with the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle. . It is most often in the pose known as rampant segreant, on its hind legs with claws and wings extended. Vinycomb has much to say on the subject of the griffin, perhaps summarised in his belief that it represents “strength and vigilance”.]
No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross . Mediaeval Europe was a deeply religious and Christian and many of the nobility wanted to show their devotion by adopting the symbol of the cross as part of the arms. Since no two arms could be identical there arose many variants of the cross. The cross crosslet is one of these, being symetrical both vertically and horizontally and having an additional cross bar on each arm. Wade suggests that these additional crossing signify “the fourfold mystery of the Cross”.