Merlin Coat of Arms
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Which coat of arms or "family crest" is mine?
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".
Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Merlin Name
Origins of Merlin:
According to the early recordings of the spelling of the name, this interesting and unique name was listed in many forms, this is an Anglo-Scottish surname. It is either a geographical name from any of the various places called Moreland, prominently in the Borders area and in the old district of Kinross or a geographical name for “a resident on moorland.” It is from the pre 7th century Olde English “mor” which means a swamp or marsh, and “land.” The surname records back to the mid-13th Century, and other early documentations contain Henry atte Morlonde in the Premium Rolls of Sussex in 1296, and William de Moreland in the Tax Subsidy Rolls of Yorkshire in 1327. The surname spellings contain Moreland, Morlande, Morlan, Morlen Morlin, Morling, Marlen, Merlin, and more. Documentations from remaining parish records of the city of London contain as Mathewe Moreland, named at St. Stephen’s Coleman Street, in September 1579, Anne Marlen who married Roger Thorpe at All Hallows, London Wall, in April 1622. Francis Morlon who married John Henley at St Brides Fleet Street, in December 1655, and Thomas Marling, a witness at St Botolphs without Bishopgate, in September 1795.
More common variations are: Soutter, Suter, Soutar, Sowter, Sutter, Souttar.
The surname Merlin first appeared in Gloucestershire where they held a family seat as kings of the castle. The Saxon command of English history declined after the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The language of the courts was French for the next three centuries, and the Norman atmosphere controlled.
The very first recording spelling of the family was shown to be that of Edith de la Morland, dated about 1357, in the “Middle English Local Surnames.” It was during the time of King Henry III who was known to be the “The Frenchman,” dated 1216 – 1272. 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 Merlin had moved to Ireland during the 17th century.
United States of America:
Some of the individuals with the name Merlin who arrived in the United States in the 19th century included Merlin, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851.
Some of the people with the surname Merlin who came to Canada in the 17th century included Simon Merlin, who arrived in Acadia in 1636.
Here is the population distribution of the last name Merlin: England 1,877; United Stata 1,573; Australia 1,038; South Africa 840; Scotland 781; Canada 535; New Zealand 161; France 135; Chile 72; Switzerland 63.
Antoine Christophe Merlin (1762–1833), a.k.a. “Merlin de Thionville,” was a French leader.
Edin Dervišhalidović was born in September 1962, known by his stage name Dino Merlin. He is a Bosnian singer, composer, musician, and generator. He is one of the most important and commercially successful writers from Bosnia and Herzegovina and is also widely famous in the other countries of the former Yugoslavia.
Jean-Claude Merlin (born 1954), is a French stargazer.
John Joseph Merlin (1735–1803), was a Belgian architect and horologist.
Laurent Merlin (born 1984), is a French football player.
Philippe-Antoine Merlin de Douai (1754–1838) was a French leader and advocate.
Roberto D. Merlin is an Argentine scientist and Peter A. Franken Collegiate Professor of Physics and Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Michigan. He was famous, among other things, for his work on quasiperiodic superlattices, squeezed phonons.
Serge Merlin (né en 1933) is a French actor. He is well-known for performing the role of Raymond Dufayel in Amélie, a 2001 romantic comedy film by Jean-Pierre Jeunet.
Shmuel Merlin (1910–1994), was a Zionist activist, Irgun member, and Israeli leader.
Sidney Merlin (1856–1952), was a Greek biologist and sports shooter.
Merlin Coat of Arms Meaning
The two main devices (symbols) in the Merlin blazon are the bend raguled and ducal coronet. The two main tinctures (colors) are or and azure.
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 bright, strong blue color in Heraldry is known in English as azure, and similarly in other European languages – azul in Spanish, azurro in Italian and azur in French. The word has its roots in the Arabic word lazura, also the source of the name of the precious stone lapis lazuli 4A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Azure. Despite this, those heralds who liked to associate colours with jewels chose instead to describe blue as Sapphire. According to Wade, the use of this colour symbolises “Loyalty and Truth” 5The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36.
The bend is a distinctive part of the shield, frequently occuring and clearly visible from a distance – it is a broad band running from top left to bottom right 6Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 39-40. It can be further distinguished by embellishing the edges. Of the decorative edges raguly can be at first hard to identify, but once we understand that it arises from an old word raggguled meaning ”chopped off”. 7A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Raguly we can see that the curious shapes are intended to represent boughs lopped off a tree trunk. (This is also the origin of the term “ragged staff” see so frequently with a bear in Heraldry). Wade suggests that the use of this decoration represents “difficulties that have been encountered” 8The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P41, and we can perhaps understand that the “hacked path” resulting shows that these difficulties have been overcome.
Crowns are frequently observed in Heraldry 9Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P184, but we should not make the mistake of assuming that these are always on Royal arms 10The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P138. Many of the orders of nobility across Europe were entitled to wear crowns and coronets, Dukes, Earls, Viscounts and Barons in England each had their own distinctive headwear 11A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P350. The ducal coronet is an example of this, being gold with a brim of strawberry leaves and a cap of crimson velvet. 12A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Crown It may also be the case that a crown is added to an existing coat of arms as an augmentation in recognition of some service to a King 13Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 187.