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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) (England). Ar. a saltire az. betw. four trefoils vert. Crest—A man’s head couped at the neck ppr.
2) (The Gurteen, co. Wexford; an Anglo-Norman family, dispossessed by Oliver Cromwell; Maurice PrenderGast, or Prendlegast, an Anglo-Norman knight, accompanied Fitz-Stephen to the conquest of Ireland, and landed at Bag-an-Bon, co. Wexford, 2 May, 1170, with two ships bringing ten knights atd a great number of archers; Jasper Prendergast, living 1618, proved five descents at Visit. Wexford, 1618). Vair on a chief or, three oak leaves vert.
3) (Newcastle, co. Tipperary; confirmed by Carney, Ulster, 1697, to Col. Thomas Prendergast, of Newcastle Prendergast, co. Tipperary, as his ancient bearing; Edmund Prendergast, Esq., of Newcastle, was confirmed in that Manor, 1639; his eldest son, Jeffrey Prendergast, had issue who followed James II. to France, and his younger son, Thomas Prendergast, was father of Sir Thomas Prendergast, first bart, of Gort, and of Jeffrey Prendergast, Esq., of Crohane). Motto—Vincit Veritas. (Gort, co. Galway, bart., extinct 1760; Elizabeth, sister of Sir Thomas Prendergast, second and last bart., m. Charles Smyth, Esq., M.P., Limerick, and her son, John Smyth, assumed, 1760, the surname of Prendergast, and was created Viscount Gort 1816, with special remainder to Charles Vereker, eldest son of his sister Juliana, who m. Thomas Vereker, Esq., of Roxborough, co. Limerick). (Crohane, co. Tipperary; descended from Jeffrey Prendergast, brother of Sir Thomas Prendergast, first bart. of Gort). Gu. a saltire vaire or and az. Crest—An heraldic antelope trippant ppr. attired and unguled or.

Origin, Meaning, Family History and Prendergast Coat of Arms and Family Crest

Prendergast Origin:


Origins of Prendergast:

The origin of this unique surname evolved originally from the British Isles. It is considered an English, Welsh, Irish, and Scottish, surname but it is basically of Norman- pre 10th-century basis. It is a locational name from a now misplaced medieval village called Brontegeest, in the division of Flanders, nearby to the city of Ghent, and was captured by anciently Flemish habitats to Normandy. It said that it provided to England by Prenliregast, a supporter of Duke William of Normandy until the remarkable success of 1066. His son, Philip, was provided estates near Haverfordwest, in the "English" division of Pembrokeshire, Wales, and named Prendergast Palace. Prendergast in the province of Berwickshire, Scotland, also probably takes its name from this system. The early recordings of the name bearer was a representative of the Welsh branch, and played a significant role with Strongbow, Lord of Pembroke, in the attack of Ireland in May in the year 1169. They received gifts of abundant land, also as being granted a nobility, and after that granted as Prince Gort of palace Gort in Galway. One more branch obtained New Palace near Clonmel, in the division Tipperary, and this was also a system seat for many centuries. A famous name bearer was John Patrick Prendergast (1808 - 1893), the writer of a book named "The Cromwellian establishment of Ireland", and other ancient works.


More common variations are: Prenderghast, Prentdergast, Prendergst, Prindergast, Brendergast, Prendergost, Prendregast, Prendercast, Perndergast, Prendergust


The origins of the surname Prendergast were in Pembrokeshire (welsh: Sir Benfro),s country in southwest Wales, an early part of the welsh kingdom of Deheubarth, where people there grasped a family system or seat from early times and were master of the castle of Prendergast and lands in that shire. Maurice, King of Prendergast, was a great friend and neighbor of Strongbow, Earl of Pembroke. He guided Strongbow in the Anglo/Norman invasion of Ireland in the year 1172. He was requested back to England by Henry II, IN 1175 to protect the helpless Robert, King of Essex, enslaved into Normandy in the year 1177, upon his coming again to England. He once again came back to Ireland and was gifted with lands in Ireland in Waterford and South Mayo.

The very first recording spelling of the people was shown to be that of Maurice de Prendergast, dated 1169, in the records of Pembrokeshire. The origin of surnames during this period became a necessity with the introduction of personal taxation. Surnames all over the country began to develop, with unique and shocking spelling varieties of the original one.

United States:

Individuals who settled in the 17th Century included Phillip Prendergast and Phillipp Prendergast, who landed in Virginia respectively in the year 1643.

The following century saw much more Prendergast surnames arrive. Prendergast who came in the 18th century included Thomas Prendergast, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the year 1772.

Prendergasts also arrived in the 19th century included Edward Prendergast, who came in Charleston, South Caroline in 1824. Michael Prendergast, who landed in Savanna, Georgia in 1856. James Prendergast, who landed in Mobile, Ala in the year 1867 and John Prendergast who arrived in Allegany County, Pennsylvania in 1878.


People of the Prendergast line who settled in Canada in the 19th Century included Johanna Prendergast, who came in Nova Scotia in the year 1825.


Most of the Prendergast people who settled in the 19th century in Australia included Eliza Prendergast, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Eliza" in 1849. Thomas Prendergast, aged 28, who arrived in South Australia in the year 1852 boarded the ship "Epaminondas. Bridget Prendergast, aged 24, a servant and Honora Prendergast, aged 20, a home helper, arrived in South Australia respectively in the years 1855 and 1856 aboard the ships "Victoria Regia" and "Fitzjames". Thomas Prendergast, aged 32, a laborer, who arrived in South Australia in the year 1858 aboard the ship "Utopia."


The settlement of Prendergast family also observed in the 19th century in places in New-Zealand. Mary Prendergast arrived in Auckland, New-Zealand aboard the ship "William Watson" in 1859. Patrick Prendergast and Bridget Prendergast arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Telegraph" in the year 1863.Robert Prendergast, aged 37, a laborer and Mary Prendergast, aged 34, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Helenslee" in the year 1864.

Here is the population distribution of the last name Prendergast: United States 7,100; England 3,334; Scotland 184; Wales 248; South Africa 292; New-Zealand 779; Canada 933; Jamaica 1.035

Notable People:

Maurice de Prendergast, (1169–1174), was a Norman champion.

Declan Prendergast (1981) is an Irish pitcher.

Edmond Francis Prendergast (1843–1918), was a Bishop of Philadelphia.

Prendergast Coat of Arms Meaning

The three main devices (symbols) in the Prendergast blazon are the saltire, trefoil and oak leave. The three main tinctures (colors) are vaire, or and azure .

The bright yellow colour frequently found in coats of arms is known to heralds as Or, or sometimes simply as Gold.1. 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 2. The yellow colour is often associated with the Sun, and the zodiacal sign of Leo.3.

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 4. 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” 5.

The saltire is one the major ordinaries, large charges that occupy the whole of the field 6. Arguably one of the best uses of this device is that of the St. Andrews Cross, a white saltire on a blue background found on the Scottish flag. The saltire is obviously closely related to the Cross, and Wade in his work on Heraldic Symbology suggests additionally that it alludes to “Resolution”, whilst Guillim, an even more ancient writer, somewhat fancifully argues that it is awarded to those who have succesfully scaled the walls of towns! 7

Natural objects abound in heraldry, and one category that gives especial delight are the many flowers and flowering plants that frequently occur 8. The trefoil may originally been a representation of a specific plant (perhaps shamrock) but it has been used as a symbol almost since the beginning of heraldry and over time has adopted a stylised aspect. 9. Guillim believes that it signifies “perpetuity…the just man shall never wither”. 10

Amongst the natural objects depicted on a coat of arms, trees feature frequently, either in whole or as individual branches and leaves. 11. Although sometimes described simply as a tree most often the specific species was named, and the oak tree or oak leaf is a typical example that frequently is depicted in arms, sometimes fructed with acorns of a different colour. 12 For good reason, Wade assigns the meaning of “antiquity and strength” to this symbol. 13

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  • 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 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Saltire
  • 7 A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P63
  • 8 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P262
  • 9 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Trefoil
  • 10 A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P109
  • 11 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P94, 262, 407
  • 12 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Oak
  • 13 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P126