Purefoy Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History

Purefoy Family Coat of Arms

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Purefoy Coat of Arms Meaning

Purefoy Name Origin & History

Variations of this name are: Purferoy, Purfoy.

We have several coat of arms design(s) for the name Purefoy. Click on the thumbnails to view each design.

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Purefoy Coat of Arms Meaning

The four main devices (symbols) in the Purefoy blazon are the mullet, saltire engrailed, hands conjoined and heart. The two main tinctures (colors) are sable and gules.

Sable, the deep black so often found in Heraldry is believed to named from an animal of the marten family know in the middle ages as a Sabellinœ and noted for its very black fur 1A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Sable. In engravings, when colors cannot be shown it is represented as closely spaced horizontal and vertical lines, and appropriately is thus the darkest form of hatching, as this method is known 2Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26. Although it may seem a sombre tone, and does indeed sometimes denote grief, it is more commonly said to represent Constancy 3The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35.

The bold red colour on a heraldic shield is known as gules. It has a long history within heraldry, it is known that one of those who besieged the scottish castle of Carlaverock in 1300 was the French knight Euremions de la Brette who had as his arms a simple red shield.4The Siege of Carlaverock, N. Harris, Nichols & Son, London, 1828, P180. The word gules is thought to come from the Arabic gule, or “red rose” 5Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 313. Later writers associated it with the precious stone ruby and the metal iron 6Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53, perhaps because of the red glow of iron in the heat of the blacksmith’s forge.

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” 7Boutell’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 8A 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” 9The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P105.

The saltire, whilst frequently associated with Scotland is actually a widely used and popular ordinary found throughout all of British Heraldry, perhaps because of its cross-like form 10Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 42. In order to allow for clear differences between similar arms, heralds designed a series of decorative edges, not all of them are appropriate for the saltire (because of the interior angles) but those are suitable can be very effective artistically. The pattern engrailed works well here. It 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.

Heraldry is a human art, by and for people and it is not surprising that people themselves are frequently depicted in arms 11Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P174. Often these are images of knights and men-at-arms, or individual limbs, including hands conjoined. It will come as no surprise that the use of this device is said to denote ”union and alliance”. 12The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P92

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Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Purefoy Name

The old history of the name Purefoy started soon after 1066 when the Norman Invasion of England occurred.  It was a name given to a man of true faith.  The name originally acquired from the Old French pure-fay which meaning one who was staunch and true.  It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has standardised.  For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Purefoy are characterised by many spelling variations.  Authors and priests in the Middle Ages spelt names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person.  As the English language changed and incorporated components of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names.  The variations of the name Purefoy include Purefoy, Purefield, Purefree, Purefrey, Purfrey, Purfry and much more. More common variations are: Puriefoy, Pureifoy, Purefoey, Purrefoy, Peurefoy, Purfoy, Purefy, Purifoy, Purofoy, Purefoi.

The surname Purefoy first discovered in Leicestershire where they held a family seat from very early times and granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 AD.

Some of the people with the surname Purefoy who arrived in the United States in the 19th century included Thomas Purefoy, who settled in Virginia in 1621.  Thomas Purefoy, who landed in Virginia in 1621.  Lucy Purefoy, who landed in Virginia in 1629.  Lucy Purefoy, who settled in Virginia in 1629.  Samuell Purefoy, who settled at St. Christopher (New England) in 1633.

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Browse Purefoy 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. Leicester). Gu. a saltire engr. ar betw. four mullets or.
2) Sa. three pairs of dexter hands conjoined or, ruffled ar. Crest—A demi talbot ramp. sa. ducally gorged or.
3) (Shadlestone, co. Bucks). Gu. three pairs of hands addorsed ar.
4) (Misterton and Drayton, co. Leicester; seated at the former place 1277, and at the latter 1397. The branches were Purefoy, of Barwell, Wolvershill, Shalleston, Wadley, &c.). Sa. six armed hands in pairs embracing, two and one ar. Crest—A dexter gauntlet or, the inside az. fingers grasping a broken tilting-spear of the second.
5) (Caldecote, co. Warwick; confirmed by Camden. Clarenceux, to William Pubefoy, Esq., of Caldecote, tenth in descent from Philip Purefoy, Esq., of Newnham, same co.). (co. Tipperary; descended from Michael Purefoy, Esq., of Caldecote, co. Warwick, escheater for that county, temp. Mary I., second son of Thomas Purefoy, Esq., of Drayton.) Sa. six armed hands in pairs embracing, two and one ar. Crest—In a dexter gauntlet ar. a broken tilting-spear or.
6) Gu. three pairs of hands couped hand in hand ar.
7) Gu. two arms issuing from the sides of the escutcheon, hand in hand ar. betw. three human hearts or (another adds, a crescent in fess).
8) (co. Kent). Sa. six armed hands clasped ar. Crest—A dexter hand holding a garland of flowers ppr.
9) (Bagwell-Purefoy, Greenfield, co. Tipperary; exemplified to Edward Bagwell, Esq., Lieut. 3rd Dragoon Guards, on his assuming, by royal licence, 1847, the additional surname of Purefoy, in compliance with the will of William Purefoy, Esq., of Greenfield). Motto—En bonne foy. Quarterly, 1st and 4th, sa. three pairs of hands conjoined, one and two or, ruffled ar., for Purefoy; 2nd and 3rd, paly of six ar. and az. on a chief gu. a lion of the pass, of the first, for Bagwell. Crest—A hand in armour grasping a broken lance all ppr.
10) (co. Kent). Sa. six armed hands clasped ar. Crest—A dexter hand holding a garland of flowers ppr.
11) Gu. two arms issuing from the sides of the escutcheon, hand in hand ar. betw. three human hearts or (another adds, a crescent in fess).

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References   [ + ]

1. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Sable
2. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26
3. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35
4. The Siege of Carlaverock, N. Harris, Nichols & Son, London, 1828, P180
5. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 313
6. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
7. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 97
8. A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P107
9. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P105
10. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 42
11. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P174
12. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P92