Menzies Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History

Menzies Family Coat of Arms

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Menzies Coat of Arms Meaning

Menzies Name Origin & History

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Menzies Coat of Arms Meaning

The four main devices (symbols) in the Menzies blazon are the cherub, savage, crescent and sword. The three main tinctures (colors) are argent, gules and ermine .

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.

Ermine is a very ancient pattern, and distinctive to observe. It was borne alone by John de Monfort, the Earl of Richmond and Duke of Brittany in the late 14th century 6A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P69 It has a long association with royalty and the nobility in general and hence represents “Dignity” wherever it is found 7The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P39. The ermine pattern is white with, typically, a three dots and a dart grouping representing the tail of the furred creature.8Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 28. The ermine spot is sometimes found alone as a special charge on the shield.

There are occaisional examples of mythical beings or objects illustrated in a coat of arms, either as an image upon the shield, or as a supporter, and the Cherub is an example of this. Any meaning must really be ascribed from the charateristics of that object, nothing additional is added through their heraldic use. 9The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P124

Heraldry is a human art, by and for people and it is not surprising that people themselves are frequently depicted in arms 10Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P174. As well as the nobility themselves, we also see both the mundane, ploughmen, fishermen and reapers; and the exotic in the form of club wielding savagesand the Moorish or Saracen gentleman with his decorative wreathed turban 11A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P168.

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 12A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P146xz`, and the crescent Is a typical example of this, and can appear in any of the main heraldic tinctures. Some common is this device that there are special names for its appearance in various orientations – whilst it lies normally with points upward, the decrescent points to the sinister side, and the increscent to the dexter 13A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Moon. The allusion, obviously is to the shape of the moon in the sky (indeed, the French have a version “figuré” which includes a face!) and has been said to signify both “honour by the sovereign” and “hope of greater glory” 14The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P106.

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Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Menzies Name

Menzies Origin:

Scotland

Origins of Menzies:

This famous Scottish tribe surname acquires from a Norman knight of the 11th century. When William, the invader conquered England in 1066, it said that he gained help from Scotland. Originally, some Norman nobles and companions received a land allowance in Scotland. According to these were companions called “de Meyners,” basically from the town of Mesnieres, in the department of Seine-Maritime. In England, the name is Manners, the family name of the Dukes of Rutland. The place name is a derivative of the Latin “manere,” which means to stay or reside. The name became famous in Scotland in the 13th century when Robert de Meyners, selected as a Great Chamberlain of Scotland in the year 1224, by King Robert I. Other previous documentations contain as David De Meyness, a noble person, and a representative of the Queen of Scotland’s retinue in 1248, while Robert de Mesnere, was the follower of King Henry III of England in 1255. The change to the (near) new form of Menzies was first listed in 1385 when Alexander de Meinzeis held documents of lands in Durisdeer. The book of Menzies written in 1894 showed a descent from King Fergus in 333 B.C. This is a fictional story, although it has long been held up as the truth.

Variations:

More common variations are: Menezies, Menzzies, Meinzies, Menzes, Menzis, Mensies, Minzies, Manzies, Menezes, Menezis.

Scotland:

The surname Menzies first appeared in Midlothian, where it is quite reasonable that the citizen Gaelic had difficulty with this Norman surname, and it can found in different forms.

The very first recording spelling of the family was shown to be that of Arketil de Mannvers, dated about 1214, “recorded at that of Holyrood, Scotland. It was during the time of King Alexander II, dated 1214-1249. 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.

Ireland:

Many of the people with surname Menzies had moved to Ireland during the 17th century.

United States of America:

Individuals with the surname Menzies landed in the United States in two different centuries respectively in the 18th, and 19th. Some of the people with the name Menzies who arrived in the United States in the 17th century included Archibald, and, Robert Menzies settled in Virginia in 1716. Archibald Menzies and Robert Menzies landed in Virginia in 1716. Elizabeth Menzies, who landed in North Carolina in 1739. Adam Menzies, who arrived in Virginia in 1750-1751.

The following century saw more Menzies surnames come. Some of the people with the name Menzies who arrived in the United States in the 19th century included William Menzies landed in New York, NY in 1803. James Menzies landed in New York, NY in 1812. Joseph Menzies, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) Division, Pennsylvania in 1875.

Canada:

People with the surname Menzies who settled in Canada in the 18th century included Ensign. Alex Menzies U.E. born in New York, USA who settled in Saint Johns, New Brunswick near the year 1784.

Australia:

Some of the individuals with the surname Menzies who landed in Australia in the 19th century included James Menzies arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship “William Money.”

New-Zealand:

Some of the population with the surname Menzies who arrived in New Zealand in the 19th century included Rachel Menzies arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship “Bebington” in 1876. John M. Menzies arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship “Apelles” in 1878.

Here is the population distribution of the last name Menzies: England 3,415; Australia 3,220; United States 2,808; Canada 2,226; Scotland 2,218; Vietnam 1,192; New Zealand 1,153; South Africa 785; Philippines 322; Germany 269.

Notable People:

Alex Menzies was a Scottish football player.

Alex Menzies (footballer, born 1882), was a Scottish international football player.

Archibald Menzies, (1754–1842), was a British specialist and biologist.

Charles Menzies was an anthropologist.

Charles Menzies (1783–1866), was a Royal Marines officer.

Menzies Family Gift Ideas

Browse Menzies 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) (Castle Menzies, co. Perth, bart.). Motto—Vill God, I sall. Ar. a chief gu. Crest—A savage's head erased ppr. Supporters—Two savages wreathed round the head and loins with laurel all ppr.
2) (Professer John Menzies, Aberdeen, 1672). Motto—Scopus vitæ Christus. Erm. on a chief az. a cherub’s head ar. Crest—A cherub with wings expanded ppr.
3) (Edinburgh, 1695). Motto—Ut crescit clarescit. Per pale ar. and or, three crescents gu. a chief of the last. Crest—A crescent ppr.
4) (Pitfoddel, co. Aberdeen). Motto—Malo mori quam foedari. Erm. a chief gu. Crest—A demi eagle with wings expanded ppr. Supporters— Two greyhounds ar. collared gu.
5) (Culdares, co. Perth). Motto—Fortem fors juvat. Ar. a sword in pale ppr. hilted and pommelled or, a chief gu. Cint—A demi lion holding in the dexter paw a baton ppr.
6) (Shian, co. Perth). Motto—Spero. Ar. a chief gu. a bordure chequy az. and of the first. Crest—A book expanded ppr.

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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. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P69
7. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P39
8. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 28
9. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P124
10. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P174
11. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P168
12. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P146
13. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Moon
14. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P106