Morden Coat of Arms
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Origin, Meaning, Family History and Morden Coat of Arms and Family Crest
Origins of Morden:
According to the early recordings of the spelling forms of the name, this interesting and unique name was listed in many spelling forms such as Mordan, Morden, Mordin, Mordon, Mordern, Murdan, Murden, and more, this is an old English surname. It is locational and starts from Mordon, a place in district Durham. The origin of this place name and hence the later surname, is from the Old English pre 7th-century word ‘mor,’ meaning moor or fenland, and ‘-dun,’ which means a hill, thus the hill in the fen country. The placename Mordon first shows on record as Murdon in the year 1050 A.D. in the book known as “The History of St. Cuthbert’, and after that in the Pipe Rolls of Durham in 1196, as Mordon. During the Middle Ages, it became customary for people to migrate, generally to search work elsewhere, and they would often pick or be given as their surname, the name of the place from whence they came. Spelling being at best random soon lead to the advancement of “sounds like” spellings. Amongst the early records in Durham is the christening of William Mordan, in October 1633 at St. Andrew’s, Bishop Auckland.
More common variations are: Moreden, Mordeno, Mordeen, Moraden, Moriden, Mordeni, Moorden, Mordn, Mrden, Mordeden.
The surname Morden first appeared in Bedfordshire (Old English: Bedanfordscir), located in Southeast-central England, an earlier part of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia. “Turvey in Bedfordshire was the principal seat of this noble Norman family, declined from Osbert le Mordaunt, who came over from Normandy with William the Invader, and received a grant of the lordship of Radwell in that division.” Another reference is more specific as “their ancestor was Sir Osbert le Mordaunt, who owned Radwell, co. Bedfordshire, by a gift of his brother, who had received it from the Invader, for services performed by himself and his father.” The church of Mordon (Morden) in Durham was home to another section of the family. “This place gave the name to a resident family, of whom mention happened in the 14th century. The name Moredun, or “the moorish hill,” from the height of the place above a marsh. ”
The very first recording spelling of the family was shown to be that of John de Mordon, dated about 1273, in the “Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire.” It was during the time of King Edward I, dated 1272 – 1307. 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 Morden had moved to Ireland during the 17th century.
United States of America:
Individuals with the surname Morden landed in the United States in two different centuries respectively in the 17th, and 18th. Some of the people with the name Morden who arrived in the United States in the 17th century included Jane Morden at the age of 30, landed in New England in 1634. Jane Morden and her husband settled in Boston in 1635. James Morden settled in Virginia in 1698.
The following century saw more Morden surnames arrive. Some of the people with the surname Morden who arrived in the United States in the 18th century included Elizabeth Morden, and her husband settled in Carolina in 1724. Eliz Shields Morden, who came to Carolina in 1724.
People with the surname Morden settled in Canada in the 18th century. Some of the individuals with the surname Morden who came to Canada in the 18th century included Mr. Daniel Morden U.E. who settled in Flamborough West [Hamilton], Ontario near the year 1784. Mr. Douglas Morden U.E. who settled in Canada near the year 1784. Mr. James Morden U.E. who settled in Canada near the year 1784. Mr. James Amit Morden U.E. who settled in Sophiasburgh and Ameliasburgh [Prince Edward County], Ontario near the year 1784. Mr. Joseph Morden U.E. who settled in Canada.
Here is the population distribution of the last name Morden: Canada 1,551; United States 1,354; Philippines 1,096; England 441; Australia 184; Scotland 33; United Arab Emirates 31; Indonesia 16; Russia 10; Tanzania 3.
Robert Morden (c. 1650 – 1703) was an English bookseller and journalist.
Morden Coat of Arms Meaning
The four main devices (symbols) in the Morden blazon are the fleur-de-lis, talbot, cross crosslet and otter. The three main tinctures (colors) are gules, or and argent .
Gules, the heraldic colour red is very popular, sometimes said to represent “Military Fortitude and Magnanimity”1The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36. It is usually abbreviated as gu and in the days before colour printing was shown in a system known as hatching by vertical lines 2Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P52. Although it may look like a French word it is normally pronounced with a hard “g” and may be derived either from the Latin gula (throat) or Arabic gule (rose).3A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P154
The bright yellow colour frequently found in coats of arms is known to heralds as Or, or sometimes simply as Gold.4Boutell’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 5A 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.6Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53.
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) 7Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 8A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11.
The fleur-de-lys (“flower of the lily”) has a long and noble history and was a symbol associated with the royalty of France even before heraldry became widespread. 9Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 3. The Lily flower is said to represent “Purity, or whiteness of soul”10The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P134 and sometimes associated with the Virgin Mary. The fleur-de-lys is also used as a small “badge”, known as a mark of cadency to show that the holder is the sixth son of the present holder of the arms 11A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P489
Many breeds of dog appear in coats of arms, reflecting their status as man’s closet companion. The talbot is a hunting dog akin to a terrier, and usually illustrated in a lifelike style and eager pose. 12A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Dog In common with the other heraldic dogs, Wade suggests that their presence should suggest “courage, vigilance and loyal fidelity”. 13The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P68 Others might say we need look no further than a pleasure in the hunt and the affection for this sturdy breed.
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. The cross crosslet is one of these, being symetrical both vertically and horizontally and having an additional cross bar on each arm. 15A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Cross Crosslet Wade suggests that these additional crossing signify “the fourfold mystery of the Cross”. 16The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P103