Maxwell Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History

Maxwell Family Coat of Arms

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Maxwell Coat of Arms Meaning

Maxwell Name Origin & History

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Maxwell Coat of Arms Meaning

The two main devices (symbols) in the Maxwell blazon are the double-headed eagle and saltire. The two main tinctures (colors) are sable and argent.

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.

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) 4Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 5A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11.

Where the lion is undisputed king of the animals, the eagle undoubtedly plays the same role in the realm of the birds, its use in this form dating back to at least the Roman period 6A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Eagle. They tend to be illustrated in quite some detail, especially in continental European arms, and have almost as wide variety of postures and accessories as the lion, well illustrated in the reference 7A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P235-238 as well as being just the eagle’s head or eagle’s leg. The symbology of the eagle is deep and complex, Wade devotes several pages to the subject 8The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P72-74, but suffice it say that it has long been associated with Empire and those held in high honour – any armiger would be pleased to have any form of Eagle upon their arms!The Double-headed eagle is a variant often seen in Germanic heraldry.

The saltire is one the major ordinaries, large charges that occupy the whole of the field 9A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Saltire. Arguably one of the best uses of this device is that of the St. Andrews Cross, a white saltire on a blue background found on the Scottish flag. The saltire is obviously closely related to the Cross, and Wade in his work on Heraldic Symbology suggests additionally that it alludes to “Resolution”, whilst Guillim, an even more ancient writer, somewhat fancifully argues that it is awarded to those who have succesfully scaled the walls of towns! 10A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P63

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Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Maxwell Name

Maxwell Origin:

England, Scotland

Origins of Name:

The surname of Maxwell has origins in both Scotland and England. In Scotland, this surname of Maxwell is derived from a place near Melrose in the previously known county of Roxburgh. This name derived from Maccus, who was the son of Undewyn, who was a Saxon Lord in the reign of David I obtained land on the Tweed River before 1150. The salmon pool attached to the Tweed River was called Maccus’s Wiel from then on, and thus the lands obtained their names from this. Maccus derives straight from the Old Norse given name “Makkr” which is a form of “Magnus” which can be translated to mean “great.” The other element of this given name was from the Old English Pre 7th Century word “wael” which can be translated to mean “pool” hence this pool was thus named “The Pool of Maccus.”

Variations:

More common variations are:

Mauxwell, Maxwwell, Maxxwell, Maxewell, Maaxweell, Maxiwell, Maxwelle, Maxwiell, Maxwellw

History:

Scotland:

The first recorded spelling of the surname of Maxwell was in the country of Scotland in the year of 1190. This person, who was recorded to be named as Harboured de Makeswell, was recorded and mentioned in the Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire. This document was ordered and decreed under the reign of King William, who was known as and commonly referred to throughout history as “The Lion of Scotland.” King William ruled from the year 1165 to the year 1214. Those who bear the surname of Maxwell in the country of Scotland are all over this region. There are a large number of people who bear this surname in the country of Scotland. The places with the highest numbers of people who carry the surname of Maxwell in Scotland can be found in the counties of Lanarkshire, Ayrshire, Renfrewshire, Angus, Dumfries-shire, Kirkcudbrightshire and Midlothian.

England:

Those who bear the surname of Maxwell are found to be all around the country of England. This surname was said to have originated in the county of Yorkshire. Then those who carried the surname of Maxwell spread to the counties of Lancashire, Durham, Cumberland and Northumberland. Those who bear the surname of Maxwell are also found to heavily populate the city of London.

Ireland

Around the year 1600 Reverend Robert Maxwell was made Dean of Armagh. He was the ancestor of the Maxwells of Farnham in Cavan. For 60 years he was a Presbyterian minister in Omagh.

United States of America:

Throughout the 17th Century, a period of time known as the European Migration began throughout Europe, though mostly centered in England. This migration was when the settlers determined that they no longer were happy with their homeland, and sought out a new place to live, one promising new freedoms and capabilities that were not afforded to them in the land of their birth. The United States of America, which at that time was called The New World or The Colonies, promised these freedoms to new settlers, and thus was a popular destination during this time for those settlers. The first person who was recorded to bear the surname of Maxwell was one by the name of Alexander Maxwell, who arrived in the United States of America in the year of 1650. Those who bear the surname of Maxwell can be found to heavily populate states in many parts of the country. These areas are the states of Texas, California, Georgia, Tennessee, Ohio, Colorado, Washington, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Missouri, and the state of New Jersey.

Canada

The early Canadian arrivals with the surname Maxwell were Irish and Scots Irish.

Maxwell Today:

United States 77,383

Nigeria 55,785

Ghana 20,209

England 13,250

Canada 7,459

Australia 7,336

Uganda 5,601

South Africa 5,132

Kenya 4,237

Scotland 3,872

Notable People:

Hamish Maxwell (1937-2014) who was a consumer products executive, CEO, and Chairman of Philip Morris from the year 1984 to the year 1991

David Farrow Maxwell (1900-1985) who was the 80th President of the American Bar Association

Robert H. Maxwell, who was the Candidate for the Presidential Elector for Alabama in the year 1968, and was a Republican politician from America

Ron Maxwell, who was the Delegate to the Democratic National Convention from Arkansas in the year 2000, and was a Democratic politician from America

Ronald Maxwell, who participated in the Democratic National Convention as a Delegate from South Carolina in the year 1996, and was a Democratic politician from America

Samuel Maxwell (1825-1901) who participated in the Nebraska State Constitutional Convention as a Delegate from the year 1864, and who was a Member of the Nebraska State House of Representatives in the year 1866, and was a Republican politician from America

Samuel D. Maxwell (1803-1873) who was the Mayor of Indianapolis, Indiana from the year 1858 to the year 1863, and was a Republic politician from America

Maxwell Family Gift Ideas

Browse Maxwell 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) (Lord Maxwell, 15th and 16th centuries). Ar. a saltire sa. sometimes borne on the breast of a two-headed eagle sa.
2) (Earl of Morton; title conferred on the tenth Lord Moxwell). Quarterly, 1st, ar. a saltire sa.; 2nd, ar. a two-headed eagle displ. sa. beaked and membered gu.; 3rd, ar. three urcheons sa., for Herries; 4th, gu. a cross or, for Corsbie; en surtout, ar, on a chief gu. two stars of the field, for Douglas, of Dalkeith. Crest—A stag couchant under a holly bush ppr. Supporters—Two stags ppr.
3) (Earl of Nithsdale; arms borne by first and second earls). Motto—Reviresco; sometimes—I bide ye fair. Ar. a two-headed eagle displ. sa. beaked and membered gu. on his breast an escutcheon of the first charged with a saltire of the second. Crest—A stag ppr. attired ar. lodged before a holly bush also ppr. Supporters—Two stags ppr. attired or.
4) (Lord Herries, of Terregles; from a younger son of the third Lord Maxwell and the heiress of Herries, Lord Herries). Motto—Dominus dedit. Quarterly, 1st and 4th, ar. a saltire sa. in chief a label of three points gu., for Maxwell; 2nd and 3rd, ar. three urcheons sa., for Herries. Crest—A stag's head or. Supporters—Two savages, wreathed head and middle with ivy ppr.
5) (Earls of Nithsdale, of the Herries branch; the seventh Lord Herries became third Earl of Nithsdale). Quarterly, 1st and 4th, grand quarters, ar. a two-headed eagle sa. beaked and membered gu. on his breast an escutcheon of the first charged with a saltire of the second, surcharged with an urcheon or; 2nd and 3rd grand quarters, counterquartered, 1st and 4th, ar. a saltire sa. in chief a label of three points gu., 2nd and 3rd, ar. three urcheons ga. Crest—A stag’s head ppr. attired sa. Supporters—Two stags ppr. attired or. Motto—Reviresco.
6) (Constable-Maxwell, Lord Herries, as now home). Motto—Dominus dedit. Quarterly, 1st, ar. an eaule displ. with two heads sa. beaked and membered gu. on his breast an escutcheon of the first charged with a saltire of the second, and surcharged with an urcheon or, for Maxwell; 2nd, quarterly, 1st and 4th, or, a saltire sa., 2nd and 3rd, ar. three urcheons sa., for Herries; 3rd, quarterly, gu. and vair, a bend or, for Constable; 4th, az. on a bend cotised ar. three billets sa., for Haggerston. Crest—A stag’s head couped or. Supporters—Two savages wreathed head and middle with laurel, and holding clubs ppr
7) (Constable, of Terregles, 1875). Motto—Reviresco. Quarterly, as the last, with a crescent sa. in the centre of the quarters. Crest—A stag lodged in front of a holly tree ppr.
8) (Munches and Terraughty, co. Dumfries, paternally Johnstone, 1868). Motto—Reviresco. Quarterly, 1st and 4th grand quarters, ar. a two-headed eagle displ. sa. beaked and membered gu. on its breast an escutcheon of the first charged with a saltire of the second, for Maxwell; 2nd grand quarter, ar. three urcheons sa., for Herries; 3rd grand quarter, counter-quartered, 1st and 4th, ar. a saltire sa. a bordure of the second charged with eight lozenges of the first, for Maxwell, of Barncleugh, 2nd and 3rd, ar. a saltire invecked sa. betw. two pellets in flank, on a chief gu. three cushions or, for Johnstone, of Clauchrie. Crest—A stag lodged in front of a holly bush ppr.
9) (Spottis and Orchardton, bart., 1663; title dormant since 1786). Ar. a saltire sa. betw. an urchecn of the last in chief and a lion’s head couped...in base.
10) (Breoch, co. Kirkcudbright). Ar. a saltire sa, betw. nine mullets, three, three, and three, az.
11) (Cowhill, co. Dumfries, now Drumpark, co. Kirkcudbright; from the second son of the third Lord Maxwell). Motto—Reviresco. Ar. a saltire sa. in base a holly leaf vert. Crest—A stag ppr. attired of ten tynes ar. lodged before a holly bush also ppr.
12) (Broomholm, co. Dumfries, cadet of Cowhill, 1759). Quarterly, 1st and 4th, ar. on a saltire sa. a crescent or; 2nd and 3rd, ar. a lion ramp. az. for Crichton. Crest—A hart courant ppr. Mottoes—Over the crest: Virtutem sic et culpam; below the arms: Peto ac fagio.
13) (Hills, co. Kirkcudbright). Ar. a saltire sa. betw. a mullet in chief and a crescent in base gu.
14) (Kirkconnell, co. Kirkcudbright; from younger son of the second Lord Maxwell, who m. the heiress of Kirkconnell; heiress to. 1844, Robert S. J. Witham). Quarterly, 1st and 4th, ar. an eagle displ. sa. beaked and membered gu. on its breast-an escutcheon of the first charged with a saltire of the second; 2nd and 3rd, az. two croziers in saltire addossee and in chief a mitre or, for Kirkconnell, of that Ilk. Crest—A demi eagle rising ppr. Motto—Spero meliora.
15) (Col. Thomas Maxwell, cadet of Kirkconnell, 1690). Motto—Non dormio. Ar. a saltire sa. within a bordure embattled gu. Crest—A stag lodged under a bush of holly ppr.
16) (Barncleugh, co. Kirkcudbright, cadet of Kirkconnell, 1672; for arms of their heir of line and representative, see supra, under Munches and Terraughty). Ar. a saltire sa. a bordure of the last charged with eight lozenges of the first.
17) (Hyslop-Maxwell, of Glengaber, co. Dumfries, 1867). Motto—Curo dum quiesco. Quarterly, 1st and 4th, ar. a saltire sa. on a bordure engr. of the second eight lozenges of the first; 2nd and 3rd, ar. on a mount vert a stag lodged in front of a holly bush ppr. on a chief invecked of the second three mullets of the first, for Hyslop. Crest—A stag lodged between two branches of holly issuing from the wreath all ppr.
18) (Tinwald, co. Dumfries, from the second son of the first Lord Maxwell). Ar. a saltire sa. in chief a rose gu.
19) (Monreith, co. Wigtoun, cadet of Tinwald, bart., 1681). Motto—Reviresco. Ar. a two-headed eagle displ. sa. beaked and membered gu. on his breast an escutcheon of the first charged with a saltire of the second, surcharged with an urcheon or, a bordure of the third. Crest—An eagle rising ppr.
20) (Carnsalloch, co. Dumfries; from a younger son of the first Lord Maxwell). Motto—Viresco et surgo. Ar. a saltire sa. a bordure of the second charged with eight crescents or. Crest—A stag rising from a holly bush ppr.
21) (Tealing, co. Forfar; from a brother of the first Lord Maxwell). Motto—I’ll byde Broad Albion. Ar. on a saltire sa. a man's heart or. Crest—A falcon looking to the sinister ppr.
22) (Lackiebank, cadet of Tealing, 1676). Motto—Tendit ad astra. Ar. on a saltire sa. betw. two stars in chief and base az. a man’s heart or. Crest—A falcon looking to the sinister ppr.
23) (Brediland, co. Renfrew, 1789). Motto—Spero meliora. Ar. on a saltire sa. a martlet or, a bordure engr. gu. Crest—A buck’s head couped ppr. attired gu
24) (Graham-Maxwell, of Merksworth, 1858). Motto—Spero meliora. Quarterly, 1st and 4th, ar. on a saltire sa. a martlet or, a bordure invecked gu., for Maxwell, of Merksworth; 2nd, or, on a chief ermines three escallops of the first, for Graham; 3rd, ar. on a saltire sa. an annulet or, stoned az. a bordure of the second, for Maxwell, of Williamwood. Crest—A buck’s head couped ppr. attired or.
25) (Pollok, co. Renfrew, bart., 1633, 1682, 1707). Motto—I am ready. These arms are now quartered with Stirling, of Keir, by Sir William Stirling-Maxwell, Bart, K.T., who s. his maternal uncle in the baronetcy in 1865, under the limitation of the patent of 1707. Ar. on a saltire sa. an annulet or, stoned az. Crest—A stag’s head erased az. Supporters—Two apes ppr. (on a seal of 1400 are two lions).
26) (Springkell, co. Dumfries, bart., 1683). Motto—Revirescat. Ar. on a saltire sa. an annulet or, stoned az. in base a crescent of the second, all within a bordure gu. charged with eight bezants. Crest—A dexter hand ppr. holding the head of a double eagle erased sa.
27) (Dalswinton, co. Dumfries). As Pollok, with a heart gu. in base for diff.
28) (Williamwood, co. Renfrew; Maxwell, of Merksworth, heir of line of this branch, see supra). As Pollok, within a bordure sa.
29) (Calderwood, co. Lanark, cadet of Pollok, bart., 1627). Motto—Think on. Quarterly, 1st and 4th, ar. a saltire sa. within a bordure counter-compony of the last and first; 2nd and 3rd, ar. a bend az., for Dennistoun. Crest—A man's head looking “foreright” ppr. Supporters (granted 1793)— An ape chained, and a stag, both ppr.
30) (Lord Farnham, cadet of Calderwood). Motto—Je suis prêt. Quarterly, 1st and 4th, ar. a saltire sa. on a chief of the first three pallets of the second; 2nd and 3rd, barry of six ar. and gu. Crest—A buck’s head erased ppr. Supporters— Two bucks ppr.
31) (Cardoness, со. Kirkcudbright, cadet of Calderwood, bart., 1804). Motto—Think on. Quarterly, 1st, ar. an eagle displ. ppr.: 2nd, az. a gable end of a church, with a cross at the top and Gothic window ar., as patron of Anworth; 3rd, ar. a saltire sa. within a bordure counter-compony of the second and first; 4th, ar. a bend az.; the whole within a bordure embattled gu. Crest—A man’s head looking “foreright,” within two branches of laurel disposed in orle all ppr. Supporters —A lion and a stag, both ppr.
32) (Dargavel, co. Renfrew). Ar. a saltire sa. in base a stag's head ppr.
33) (Birdstown, co. Donegal; exemplified to Richard Charleton, Esq., upon his assuming, by royal licence, 1790, the name of Maxwell instead of Charleton, in compliance with the testamentary injunction of his maternal uncle, William Maxwell, Esq., of Birdstown). Motto—Reviresco. Ar. an eagle with two heads displ. sa. beaked and membered gu. surmounted of a shield of the first charged with a saltire of the second, thereon a hedgehog or. Crest—On a mount vert a holly bush, in front thereof a stag lodged all ppr.
34) (Waring-Maxwell, Finnebrogue, co. Down; exemplified to Dorothea, only dau. and heiress of Robert Maxwell, Esq., of Finnebrogue, and widow of John Waring, of Belvedere Place, Dublin, and to her issue, on their assuming, by royal licence, 1803, the additional surname and arms of Maxwell). Motto—Nec vi nec Astutia. Quarterly, 1st and 4th, ar. on a bend sa. three maacles of the first, for Waring; 2nd and 3rd, ar. a saltire sa. on a chief of the first three palets of the second, for Maxwell. Crest—A stork’s head couped ar.
35) (Perceval-Maxwell; exemplified to Robert Maxwell of Kilmore Hill, co. Waterford, on his assuming, by royal licence, 1839, the additional surname and arms of Maxwell, in compliance with the desire of his maternal uncle, John Waring-Maxwell, Esq., of Finnebrogue, co. Down). Motto—Je suis pret. Quarterly, 1st and 4th, ar. a saltire sa. on a chief of the last three pallets of the first, for Maxwell; 2nd and 3rd, ar. on a chief indented gu. three crosses pattee of the first, for Perceval. Crest—A stag's head and neck erased ppr.
36) (Wedderburn Maxwell, Middlebie, co. Dumfries and Glenlair, co. Kirkcudbright). Mottoes— Reviresco; and Non degener. Quarterly, 1st and 4th, ar. a saltire sa. in chief a mullet gu. a bordure az., for Maxwell; 2nd and 3rd, ar. a chev. betw. three roses gu. barbed vert, for Wedderburn. Crests—Dexter, a stag lodged in front of a holly tree ppr., for Maxwell; sinister, an eagle's head erased ppr., for Wedderburn.

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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. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
5. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11
6. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Eagle
7. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P235-238
8. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P72-74
9. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Saltire
10. A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P63