Moorman Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History

Moorman Family Coat of Arms

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Moorman Coat of Arms Meaning

Moorman Name Origin & History

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Moorman Coat of Arms Meaning

The three main devices (symbols) in the Moorman blazon are the chequy , cross engrailed and arrow. The main tincture (color) is or.

Or is the heraldic metal Gold, often shown as a bold, bright yellow colour. It is said to show “Generosity and elevation of the mind” 1The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35. Later heralds, of a more poetic nature liked to refer to it as Topaz, after the gemstone, and, for obvious reasons associated it with the Sun 2Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53. In drawings without colour it is usually represented by many small dots, or by the letter ‘O’ 3A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P76-77.

Chequy (a word with a surprising number of different spellings!) is what is known as a treatment, a repeating pattern usually used to fill the whole background of the shield with a series of alternately coloured squares 4A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Chequy. These squares are usually quite small (there should be at least 20 in total), giving the appearance of a chess board, but any combination of colours may be used. It can also be used as a patterning on some of the larger ordinaries, such as the pale and fess, in which case there are three rows of squares. Wade, an authority on heraldic meaning groups chequy with all those heraldic features that are composed of squares and believes that they represent “Constancy”, but also quotes another author Morgan, who says that they can also be associated with “wisdom…verity, probity…and equity”, and offers in evidence the existence of the common English saying that an honest man is a ”Square Dealer” 5The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P100.

No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross 6Boutell’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 7Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P67. The pattern engrailed is a series of scalloped indentations with the points facing outwards – and should not be confused with invected, which has the points facing inwards! Wade believes that both of these indented forms represent “earth or land”, and one perhaps can indeed see the furrowed earth embodied in them.

Given the martial nature of the origins of Heraldry, in the identification of knights and men-at-arms it can come as no surprise that mediaeval weaponry of all types are frequently to be found in a coat of arms 8Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 89. The regular prescence of the arrow, both singly and in groups is evidence of this. In British heraldry a lone arrow normally points downward, but in the French tradition it points upwards. 9A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Arrow. The presence of an arrow in a coat of arms is reckoned to indicate “martial readiness” by Wade. 10The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P111

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Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Moorman Name

This distinguished British surname noted in a wide range of spellings including as More, Mores, Moor, Moores, Moors, Moreman, Morman, Moorman, and in Scotland Muir, has some possible origins.  The first is a geographical name for someone who resided on a moor or in a fen, both of which showed by the Olde English pre 7th Century word “mor”, or from one of the various hamlets so named such as Moore in the division of Cheshire, or More in Shropshire.  Secondly, it may have been a nickname for someone of dark or swarthy complexion.  In this example, the origin is from the Old French “more”, meaning dark-skinned.  There was also a personal name of the same origin, which was borne by many early saints.  The given name was introduced into England by the Normans but was never as popular in England as on the Continent.  In Ireland, the surname started as a form of the Gaelic O’Mordha, a combination of the components O’, meaning descendant of, and Mordha, a byname changing as proud or stately. More common variations are: Moormann, Mooreman, Moormani, Moormain, Moormman, Mooriman, Morman, Mooremane, Moorimani.

The surname Moorman first appeared in Suffolk where they held a family seat as Lords of the Estate.  The Saxon force of English history declined after the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Some of the people with the name Moorman who arrived in the United States in the 17th century included  Zachariah Moorman, who arrived in South Carolina in 1671.

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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

Or, a cross engrailed chequy gules and argent. Crest— A hand holding four arrows points downward all ppr.

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References   [ + ]

1. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35
2. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
3. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P76-77
4. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Chequy
5. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P100
6. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 47
7. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P67
8. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 89
9. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Arrow
10. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P111