Oxford Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History

Oxford Family Coat of Arms

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Oxford Coat of Arms Meaning

Oxford Name Origin & History

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Oxford Coat of Arms Meaning

The four main devices (symbols) in the Oxford blazon are the mullet, bend, paly and lion passant. The three main tinctures (colors) are or, azure and argent .

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.

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) 6Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 7A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11.

The heraldic mullet, not to be confused with the fish of that name, is shown as a regular, five pointed star. This was originally, not an astronomical object, but represented the spur on a horseman’s boot, especially when peirced, with a small circular hole in the centre it represents a type of spur known as a “rowel” 8Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 97. A clear example can be found in the arms of Harpendene, argent, a mullet pierced gules. The ancient writer Guillim associated such spurs in gold as belonging to the Knight, and the silver to their esquires 9A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P107. In later years, Wade linked this five pointed star with the true celestial object, the estoile and termed it a “falling star”, symbolising a “divine quality bestowed from above” 10The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P105.

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 11Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 39-40. Indeed, so important is the bend that it was the subject of one of the earliest cases before the English Court of Chivalry; the famous case of 1390, Scrope vs Grosvenor had to decide which family were the rightful owners of Azure, a bend or (A blue shield, with yellow bend). 12A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P22. The bend is held in high honour and may signify “defence or protection” and often borne by those of high military rank 13The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P49.

Play is what is known as a treatment, a regular patterning, usually over the whole background of the shield. The word comes from the pale, the major vertical stripe that appears on some shields, paly is obvious its little cousin, consisting of, typically, 6 or more vertical stripes, alternately coloured 14A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Paly. The stripes can be any combination of the heraldic tinctures, an early example is that of GURNEY, being simply paly of six, or and argent. Paly can be combined with other effects, such as decorative edges on each stripe, or overlaid with other treatments such as bendy, and these can be very effective and pleasing to the eye 15A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P121.

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Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Oxford Name

Oxford Origin:

England

Origin of Oxford:

Oxford is a strange and old surname from England. It is listed as Oxford, and the original form is Oxenford, it is a locational name from the city of Oxford, the province town of Oxfordshire. The regional name derives from the old English pre 7th Century word “oxa”, which means ox or bull, and “ forda” which means the flat river and is a crossing applicable for traffic, and hence it means bulls pass over. The region name was first listed as “Oxnaford” in the popular registers of Anglo-Saxon in the year 912 A.D and after sometime it was listed as “Oxeneford” in the Domesday Book of 1086. The only way for expanding regional surnames is when a former citizen of a place migrates from one place to another for a search of a job, and they are identified by their place of birth. Under this condition the surname development since 1086 contained Walter de Oxenforde in the city of London in 1319, Johannes de Oxenford of Yorkshire in the Poll Tax rolls of 1379 and Ann Oxford, who named at St Brides Parish, Fleet Street, in the city of London in 1593. At the same time, Job Oxford married Margrett Godworth in July 1660 at St. Dunstan’s in the East, Stepney.

Variations:

More common variations of this surname are: Oxxford, Oxewford, Axford, Exford, Uxford, Oxfort, Oxfrod, Oxfird, Oxferd, Axford.

England:

The name Oxford first organized in Oxfordshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William, Duke of Normandy, having beaten King Harold, gave most of the land in Britain to his several successful Barons. It was not an uncommon to find one 60 or more Lordships spread all over the country. These he gave to his sons, nephews and other offspring of his family and they appeared as under-tenants. Later several unmanageable conflicts between his lords, Duke William, instructed a census of all England in 1086, settling once and for all., who guarded which estate. He named the poll in the Domesday Book, expressing that those partners listed would control the land until the end of time. So, the surname is listed from the tenants of the lands of Oxford, Ulric de Oxenford, a Norman royal who was listed in the Domesday Book census of 1086.

The very first recording spelling of the family was shown to be that of Ulric de Oxenford, which was dated 1086, in the Domesday Book for the division of Kent. It was during the time of King William Ist, 1066 – 1087.

United States of America:

Individuals with the surname Oxford settled in the United States in three different centuries respectively in the 17th, 18th, and 19th. Some of the people with the name Oxford who settled in the United States in the 17th century included Christopher Oxford, who came to Virginia in 1635. Christopher Oxford, who landed in Virginia in the same year in 1635. William Oxford, who arrived in Virginia in 1637. Michael Oxford, who came to Barbados in 1639 and Joseph Oxford, who landed in Virginia in 1650,

Some of the people with the name Oxford who settled in the United States in the 18th century included Rebecca Oxford landed in Virginia in 1724 and Abraham-Oxford, who arrived in New Jersey in 1760.

Some of the people with the name Oxford who settled in the United States in the 19th century included Henry Oxford at the age of 18, arrived in New York in 1862.

Australia:

Some of the people with the name Oxford who settled in the United States in the 19th century included Samuel Oxford, was an English prisoner from Dorset, who transported aboard the “Andromeda” in November 1832, coming in New South Wales, Australia. William Oxford at the age of 30, a brick manufacturer, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship “William Stevenson”.

Here is the population distribution of the last name Oxford: United States 5,766; Venezuela 652; Brazil 382; Ghana 320; Mexico 183; Saudi Arabia 154; France 98; Australia 427; Canada 613; South Africa 329.

Notable People:

Edward Oxford was a British subject who tried to kill Queen Victoria.

Ken Oxford was a British football player.

Kenneth Oxford was a British police officer.

Oxford Family Gift Ideas

Browse Oxford 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) (co Oxford). Paly of six ar. and az. on a bend gu. three mullets of the first, a border or.
2) Az. three bars or, on a chief ar. a lion pass. guard.

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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. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Azure
5. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
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, 1847, P11
8. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 97
9. A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P107
10. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P105
11. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 39-40
12. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P22
13. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P49
14. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Paly
15. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P121