Peirce Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History

Peirce Family Coat of Arms

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Peirce Coat of Arms Meaning

Peirce Name Origin & History

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Peirce Coat of Arms Meaning

The three main devices (symbols) in the Peirce blazon are the unicorn, raven and griffin. The two main tinctures (colors) are azure and or.

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 1A 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” 2The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36.

The bright yellow colour frequently found in coats of arms is known to heralds as Or, or sometimes simply as Gold.3Boutell’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 4A 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.5Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53.

In the mediaeval period there was no real percieved difference between real and mythical animals, after all, much of the world remained unknown and who was to say what strange and magical creatures existed in distant lands? As heraldry developed a whole menagerie of imagined creatures 6Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P164 came into being, and their various representations became more or less standardised in form and appearance. The unicorn is an intresting example that is still part of our own mythology today. The unicorn as illustrated on even the most ancient coat of arms is still instantly recognisable to us today, and shares many of the same poses that both lions and horses can be found in. 7A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Unicorn. Wade, the 18th century heraldic writer suggested that were adopted as symbols because of “its virtue, courage and strength”. 8The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P85

Birds of great variety occur throughout heraldry, at least in name 9A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P233. In truth, despite the proliferation of species, the actual depictions can sometimes be hard to distinguish! The crane, heron and stork are commonly to be found on a coat of arms but all tend to share the same stylised appearance 10A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P164. The raven is amongst the mjaor bird species to appear in heraldry.

In the mediaeval period there was no real percieved difference between real and mythical animals, after all, much of the world remained unknown and who was to say what strange and magical creatures existed in distant lands? As heraldry developed a whole menagerie of imagined creatures 11Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P164 came into being, and their various representations became more or less standardised in form and appearance. The griffin is perhaps the most common of these creatures, being a chimera with the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle. 12A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Griffin. It is most often in the pose known as rampant segreant, on its hind legs with claws and wings extended. Vinycomb has much to say on the subject of the griffin, perhaps summarised in his belief that it represents “strength and vigilance”.]13Fictitious & Symbolic Creatures…in British Heraldry, J. Vinycomb, Chapman & Hall, London, 1906, P150

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Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Peirce Name

Peirce Origin:

England, France

Origins of Peirce:

It is an English surname introduced from the famous and particular name of old resident ‘Peter,’ which in old England more frequently appeared as ‘Piers.’ ‘Peter’ acquires from the Greek word ‘Petros,’ which means ‘rock, hill or slope,’ and was the name used by Jesus to Simon to indicated the confidence of faith. St. Peter was the loveable priest of the old parish, and his name was famous all over the Christendom among the Middle Ages. The style ‘Piers’ is the French one, frequently introduced by the Normans at the period of the invasion in 1066. There are almost sixteen various spellings of the name in the new phrase, from Pierce, Pearce, and Piers, to Peers, Peres and Perse. John Peirce was given a ticket to travel from the Barbados to the American communities in January 1678. He moved aboard the “Judith” under Captain Robert Kingsland. James Peirce (1674-1726) was a disagree religious person who was a presbyterian officer at Newbury from 1703 – 1713.

Variations:

More common variations are: Peircey, Peairce, Peiarce, Peierce, Peirice, Pieirca, Perce, Pirce, Pearce, Pierce.

England:

The origins of the surname Peirce are found in Somerset where people held a family seat from early times and their registers were found in the poll derived by the Kings of Britain to develop the rate of taxation of their activities.

The very first recorded spelling of the family was shown to be that of Gilbert Perse, dated about 1198, in the “London pipe rolls ” It was during the time of King Richard I who was known to be the “The Lionheart,” dated 1189-1199. 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.

Ireland:

Many of the people with surname Peirce had moved to Ireland during the 17th century.

United States of America:

Individuals with the surname Peirce settled in the United States in three different centuries respectively in the 17th, 18th, and 19th. Some of the people with the name Peirce who settled in the United States in the 17th century included David Peirce landed in Virginia in the year 1637. Eliza Peirce and Robert Peirce, both landed in Virginia in the same year 1643. Peter Peirce landed in Virginia in 1647, and Richard Peirce came to Maryland in 1649.

Some of the people with the surname Peirce who settled in the United States in the 18th century included Tobias Peirce and Anne Peirce; both arrived in Virginia in the same year 1714. Henry Peirce landed in Virginia in 1701 and James Peirce settled in South Carolina in 1769.

The following century saw more Peirce surnames arrive. Some of the people with the name Peirce who settled in the United States in the 19th century included Samuel Peirce at the age of 38 landed in Virginia in the year 1813.

Australia:

Some of the people with the surname Peirce who settled in Australia in the 19th century included Samuel Peirce arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship “ Stebonheath” in the year 1849.

Here is the population distribution of the last name Peirce: United States 4,129; England 1,065; Australia 722; Canada 352; South Africa 274; Scotland 53; New-Zealand 45; Belgium 59; Italy 190; Mexico 131.

Notable People:

Augustus Baker Peirce (1840–1919), was a riverboat captain and actor in Australia.

Benjamin Peirce (1809–1880), was an American expert in mathematics, writer of an article on the refusal of data outliers Peirce’s Criterion, and father of Charles Sanders Peirce.

Bill Peirce (born 1938), is a financier, Professor Emeritus at Case Western Reserve University, and 2006 Ohio gubernatorial participant.

Charles Sanders Peirce (C.S. Peirce) (1839–1914), was an American mathematician, scientist, scholar, creator of pragmatism.

Clarence V. Peirce (1850-1923), was an old American laborer and political leader.

George James Peirce (1868–1954), was an American biologist.

Hayford Peirce (born 1942), is an American author of science fiction

Kimberly Peirce (born 1967), is an American film producer.

Leslie P. Peirce was an American professor.

Lincoln Peirce was an American artisan, famous for the comic strip Big Nate.

Penney L. Peirce, (born 1949), is an American head of intuition development, writer of books on religious and extended approach.

Robert B. F. Peirce (1843–1898), was an American member from Indiana.

Waldo Peirce (1884–1970), was an American painter. He was born in Bangor, Maine.

Peirce Family Gift Ideas

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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) (Canterbury, co. Kent). Az. a bend wavy or, betw. two unicorns’ heads erased ar. maned gold. Crest—A unicorn’s head couped ar. armed and maned or.
2) (London). Ar. a fesse humettée gu. betw. three ravens rising sa.
3) Sa. a bend raguly betw. two unicorns’ heads erased or. Crest—A griffin pass. or.

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References   [ + ]

1. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Azure
2. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
3. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27
4. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P85
5. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
6. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P164
7. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Unicorn
8. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P85
9. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P233
10. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P164
11. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P164
12. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Griffin
13. Fictitious & Symbolic Creatures…in British Heraldry, J. Vinycomb, Chapman & Hall, London, 1906, P150