Blazons & Genealogy Notes1) Or, a fret gu. Crest—On a chapeau az. turned up or, a martlet with wings endorsed sa.
2) (co. Suffolk). Same Arms, a border of the second bezantée and an annulet az.
Choose the design you like best, just your ancestors did when they painted these symbols on the shields they carried into battle and displayed in their homes. These coats of arms are real, historical works of art/culture dating back as far as 1100AD. Most of these designs were compiled and documented by genealogists and heraldists in large books published in the nineteenth century. These arms were owned by individuals who bore your surname, and were passed down through the generations from father to son, earning the monicker "family crest".
This surname is a unique and interesting regional variant of Mill, a name of English and Scottish source, which is either geographical for a person who resided near a mill, or a professional name for a worker at a mill, or certainly the miller himself. The source is from the Old English pre 7th Century “landholders(e),” the middle English “mille,” and the Latin “molina,” a hereditary of “molere,” which means to crush. The mill, either powered by water, air or animals was an essential center of every old village. It was normally completed by an agent of the local land holders and unusual laborers forced to come to him and have their corn ground into flour, a relationship of the ground corn being kept by the Miller instead of payment. Two first weddings of name ancestors in London are between one, Mary Mell and Miles Tompkins in October 1666, at St. James’s, Dukes Place and William Mell and Elizabeth Wood in April 1573 at St. Lawrence Poultney.
More common variations are: Miell, Melly, Meall, Mello, Mella, Meill, Melli, Melle, Moell, Mellu.
The surname Mell first appeared in Somerset where Mells (St. Andrew), is a local church, in the union of Frome, in the hundred of Mells and Leigh. The church recorded back to pre- Domesday Book and was known as Milne in 942 acquired from the Old English word “myln.” By the time of the Domesday Book, the name place name had acquired to “Mulle” or “Mulne” which meant “many mills.” At that time, it was part of the land of St Mary of Glastonbury and held land big sufficient for 20 ploughs.
The very first recording spelling of the family was shown to be that of Richard de la Melle, dated about 1200, in the “Curia Rolls,” Sussex. It was during the time of King John who was known to be the “Lackland,” dated 1199 – 1216. The origin of surnames during this period became a necessity with the introduction of personal taxation. It came to be known as Poll Tax in England.
Many of the people with surname Mell had moved to Ireland during the 17th century.
Individuals with the surname Mell landed in the United States in three different centuries respectively in the 18th and 19th. Some of the people with the name Mell who arrived in the United States in the 17th century included Peter Mell, who arrived in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania in 1743. Melchior Mell, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1746. Michael Mell, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1750. Johann Henrich Mell, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1765. Martin Mell, who landed in Charles Town, South Carolina in 1782.
The following century saw more Mell surnames arrive. Some of the people with the surname Mell who arrived in the United States in the 19th century included Johannes Mell, who arrived in America in 1832. William Mell, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850.
Here is the population distribution of the last name Mell: Brazil 2,464; United States 2,323; Papua New Guinea 1,494; Algeria 982; Germany 706; Malaysia 531; France 404; Morocco 403 ; England 360; Russia 273.
Randle Mell was born in December 1951 in Fresno, California as Randle Dean Mell. He is an actor, famous for Wyatt Earp (1994), The Postman (1997) and Grand Canyon (1991). He is married to Mary McDonnell since September 1984. They have two children.
Stewart Albert Mell (b. 1957), is an old English football player.
Luisa Mell (b. 1978), is a Brazilian actress and old TV performer.
Marisa Mell (1939-1992), was born as Marlies Theres Moitzi. She was an Austrian actress.
Richard F. “Dick” Mell (b. 1938), is an American political leader.
Deborah L. “Deb” Mell (b. 1968), is an American political leader from Chicago.
Richard F. Mell (b. 1938), is an American Democratic leader.
The three main devices (symbols) in the Mell blazon are the fret, martlet and bezant. The two main tinctures (colors) are or and gules.
The bright yellow colour frequently found in coats of arms is known to heralds as Or, or sometimes simply as Gold.1Boutell’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 2A 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.3Understanding 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.4The Siege of Carlaverock, N. Harris, Nichols & Son, London, 1828, P180. The word gules is thought to come from the Arabic gule, or “red rose” 5Boutell’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 6Understanding 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 fret is a striking charge, often occupying the whole of the field and being two instersecting diagonal lines interlaced with the outline of a square. 7A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Fret It is believed to be derived from the image of a fishing net, which it does indeed resemble, and hence Wade believes that it should signify persuasion, although other writers regard it separately as the “the heraldic true lovers knot” 8The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P118
The martlett is by far the most common bird to appear in British Heraldry, perhaps only equalled by the eagle, however it is not a species ever to be found in an ornithologists handbook! The word itself is though to have come from the French word merlette, the female blackbird and itself a similar type of charge used in French Heraldry. 9A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Martlet. Over time the image has become quite stylised, without visible legs or distinctive feathers. Wade suggests that this representation arises from “the appearance of the bird of paradise to ancient travellers” 10The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P79. Other bird species may be named in coats of arms (cornish chough is a frequent example) but in actual execution their appearance is often indistinguishable from the martlet.
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 11A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P146xz`, and the bezant Is a typical example of this, and in British Heraldry always takes the tincture or. It shares the same root as the name Byzantium, being associated with the gold coin of that city and indeed, in some heraldic traditions is represented as a coin-like disk in perspective. Wade suggests that the use of this device refers to ” one who had been found worthy of trust and treasure.” 12The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P122
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27|
|2.||↑||A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P85|
|3.||↑||Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53|
|4.||↑||The Siege of Carlaverock, N. Harris, Nichols & Son, London, 1828, P180|
|5.||↑||Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 313|
|6.||↑||Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53|
|7.||↑||A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Fret|
|8.||↑||The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P118|
|9.||↑||A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Martlet|
|10.||↑||The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P79|
|11.||↑||A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P146|
|12.||↑||The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P122|