Mercer Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History

Mercer Family Coat of Arms

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Mercer Coat of Arms Meaning

Mercer Name Origin & History

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Mercer Coat of Arms Meaning

The three main devices (symbols) in the Mercer blazon are the chessrook, marlet and cross pattee. The three main tinctures (colors) are or, gules and sable .

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.

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 7A 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 8Boutell’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 9The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35.

Although we expect to find fierce creatures and fearsome weapons depicted in a coat of arms this is not always the case – sometimes simple household objects are used 10A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P281. The Chess Rook is a typical example of this and has been used in heraldry almost from the beginning. The word “rook” comes not from the bird but from the Italian word rocca, a “castle” or “tower”. 11A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Chess-rook

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. 12A 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” 13The 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.

No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross 14Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 47. 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, typically involving patterning along the edges 15Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P67, or fanciful, decorative endings to the arms of the cross 16A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P128. The cross pattee is typical of these, pattee meaning “spreading”, and so the ends of the arms of the cross curve gently outwards to rather pleasing effect. 17A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Cross Pattée

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Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Mercer Name

Mercer Origin:

France, England Scotland

Origins of Name:

The surname Mercer derives directly from a medieval French word, “mercier” or “merchier, meaning a trader, or merchant, which derives from the Latin “mercarius” which derives from the words “merx” and “mercis,” which mean merchandise. Those who bear the surname of Mercer, may have descended directly from a group of merchants or traders. It is believed that this word was first introduced in the late 11th century, by the Normans atfer the Conquest of 1066. In the Middle Ages, these terms were specifically used to describe a trader or merchant who dealt in specialty textiles and fabrics—especially those textiles and fabrics that were deemed to be luxurious, such as silks, satins, and velvets. This surname of Mercer, is a job-based surname that directly is derived from the occupation of the original name bearer, but later became a hereditary surname that was passed on from generation to generation.

Variations:

More common variations are:

Mercier, Mercera, Mercere, Mercero, Merceur, Merceri, Merceir, Mercery, Merceer, Merecer, Meercer, Mercies, Merchier, Merchiers, Merces

History:

England:

The first recorded spelling of the surname Mercer was in the year 1168. Gamel Mercer was named in the Pipe Rolls of Lincolnshire during the reign of King Henry II, who was known as “The Builder of Churches” and ruled from the year 1154 to the year 1189. During The Great Migration, Robert Mercer and his wife Dorcas Mercer, who was thirty years of age, embarked on the journey to the New World Colonies of America, and became some of the earliest recorded settlers with the surname of Mercer. Robert Mercer and Dorcas Mercer sailed on the ship named the “Assurance” which was bound for the state of Virginia, from London, England in the year 1635, in the month of July. Also in that same year of 1635, Luce Mercer, who was eighteen years of age, sailed from England to New England and settled there.

Early Mercer family lines were merchants of velvets and fine silks. Later they would sell cottons.

The surname occurs in Kent. It is thought that this line of Mercers is a branch of the Flemish line, named Merciers.

Scotland:

In the year 1205, William Mercer was the witness of two separate charters on behalf of the Abbey of Melrose, and Aleumnus Mercer was bound to try to keep the peace between King Alexander II, the King of Scotland, and King Henry III, the King of England in the year 1244.

France:

In France, the Merces family traces their surname back to one family, the family of a man named Thomas Mercer, who in the year 1341 was empowered by King Edward III to get money from the Constable of Bordeaux, so that he could raise troops for battle in Aquitaine, France.

Mercer Today:

United States 38,845

England 11,857

Canada 8,466

Australia 3,409

Brazil 1,383

New Zealand 1,146

South Africa 1,023

Scotland 925

Northern Ireland 644

Mexico 471

Notable People:

George Barclay “Win” Mercer (1874-1903) who was a pitcher in the MLB (Major League Baseball) and played from the year 1894 to the year 1902, who lived in America

Matthew Mercer (born in 1982) is a screenwriter, film director, and voice actor from America

Frank H. Mercer, who was a Candidate for the Connecticut State House of Representatives from Stratford in the year 1930, and the year 1932, was an American Democratic politician

Gabriela Sacedo Mercer, who was a Candidate for the U.S. Representative from Arizona in the 3rd District in the year 2012, and is an American Republican politician

Frederick O. Mercer, who was a Delegate to the Republican National Convention from Illinois in the year 1994, and an American Republican politician

George Anderson Mercer (1835-1907) who was a Member of the North Carolina State Legislature, and was also a Delegate to the Democratic National Convention from Georgia in the year 1892, was an American Democratic politician

Grady Mercer, who was a Member of the North Carolina State Senate in the 9th District in the year 1959, and was also a County Judge in North Carolina and an American Democratic politician

J. H. Mercer, who was an Alternate Delegate to the Republican National Convention from Kansas in the year 1936, was an American Republican politician

James Mercer (1736-1793) who was a Member of the Virginia State Legislature in the year 1762, and was a Delegate to the Continental Congress from Virginia in the year of 1779, and was the State Court Judge in Virginia in the same year of 1779, was an American politician

James Mercer, who was a Candidate for the Michigan State House of Representatives from Genesee County in the 1st District in the year 1938, was an American politician

Mercer Family Gift Ideas

Browse Mercer 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) (Fifield, co. Berks). Sa. on a fesse betw. three chessrooks or, as many martlets of the first.
2) (Aldie. co. Kinross; represented by the Marchioness of Lansdowne as heir of line). Motto—Crux Christi nostra corona. Or, on a fess betw. three crosses pattée gu. in chief and a mullet az. in base as many bezants. Crest—A cross or.
3) (Salineshaw, co. Fife, 1680). Motto—Crux Christi mea corona As Aldie, within a bordure indented gu. Crest—A cross fitchée gu.
4) (Easter Newton, co. Perth, 1676). Motto—Jehova portio mea. As Aldie, within a bordure gu. charged with eight annulets or. Crest—A dexter hand holding a Bible expanded ppr.
5) (Huntingtower, co. Perth, 1864). Mottoes—Over the crest: Ye great pule; below the arms: Crux Christi nostra corona. As Aldie, with a canton gu. charged with a boar's head couped or. Crest—The head and neck of a stork, holding in his beak a serpent writhing ppr.
6) (Fordel, co. Fife, 1853). Motto—The grit pool. Or, on a fess betw. three crosses pattée gu. in chief and a star of six points az. in base as many bezants, all within a bordure of the third, Crest—The head and neck of a heron erased, holding in its beak an eel seizing the neck of the former all ppr.
7) (Balleif, co. Perth). Or, on a fess betw. three crosses pattée gu. as many bezants.

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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:Sable
8. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26
9. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35
10. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P281
11. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Chess-rook
12. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Martlet
13. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P79
14. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 47
15. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P67
16. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P128
17. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Cross Pattée