Rae Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History

Rae Family Coat of Arms

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Rae Coat of Arms Meaning

Rae Name Origin & History

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

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Rae Coat of Arms Meaning

The four main devices (symbols) in the Rae blazon are the roebuck, chevron, fleur-de-lis and mountain cat. The three main tinctures (colors) are argent, gules and vert .

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) 1Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 2A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11.

Red in heraldry is given the name Gules, sometimes said to be the “martyr’s colour”3The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36. The colour is also associated with Mars, the red planet, and the zodiacal sign Aries 4Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53. Later heralds of a more poetical nature would sometimes refer to the colour as ruby, after the precious stone.5A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P77.

The deep green colour that is so often observed in heraldry is more properly known as vert. According to Wade, the use of this colour signifies “Hope and Joy”, but may also represent, rather delightfully, “Loyalty in Love” 6The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36. It has other names also, the French call it sinople, perhaps after a town in Asia Minor from where the best green die materials could be found 7A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Vert. More fanciful heralds liked to associate it with the planet venus and the precious stone emerald 8Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27. More strangely, there is some evidence that the term prasin was anciently used, being the Greek for the vegetable we call the Leek!

Many different forms of the deer, hart, roe-buck and other appear in rolls of arms, though often of similar appearance. The precise choice of animal possibly being a reference to the family name. 9A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Deer If there is any symbology intended it is probably that of enjoyment of the hunt, deer in all its form being a popular prey. 10The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P30

The chevron is one the major shapes used upon a shield, known as ordinaries. The inverted ‘V’ of the chevron is perhaps thought to have originated to represent a military scarf folded on the shield 11A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, (various), or additional cross-pieces used to strengthen the shield and painted a different colour.12The Pursuivant of Arms, J. R. Planche, Hardwicke, London 1859. It has also acquired the meaning of “Protection… granted… to one who has achieved some notable enterprise” 13The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P45, possibly becuase of its resemblance to the roof truss of a house.

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. 14Boutell’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”15The 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 16A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P489

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Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Rae Name

This interesting surname noted in many forms including McRae, MacRae, Rae, Ree, and Rea, is of old Scottish origin, although there can be confusion with English name holder of similar spellings.  The origin is from the pre 7th century Old English ‘ra’.  This word showed the roe deer, and when used as a nickname was on the face of it, a description of a rather timid person. More common variations are: Rawe, Raye, Raey, Wrae, Raei, Raee, Raie, Raue, Raea, Roae.

The surname Rae first showed in Cumberland at Gill, in the church of Bromfield which related to the family from the time of William the Lion, king of Scotland (died 1214.) The very first recording spelling of the family was shown to be that of Vlui Ra, dated 1095, in the Records of the Abbey of Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk. It was during the reign of King Henry 1st, who was known as “The Lion of the Justice” dated 1087-1100.  Surname all over the country became a necessity with the introduction of personal taxation.  It came to be known as Poll Tax in England.  Surnames all over the country began to develop with unique and shocking spelling varieties of the original one.

Some of the people with the name Rae who arrived in the United States in the 17th century included John Rae who settled in Nevis in 1663.  Robert Rae arrived in New Jersey in 1685. People with the surname Rae who landed in the United States in the 18th century included James Rae, who arrived in Virginia in 1716.

Rae Family Gift Ideas

Browse Rae 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) (Govan, Scotland, 1753). Motto: Ever ready. Vert a. chev. ar. betw. three roebucks courant ppr. Crest—A roebuck at gaze ppr.
2) (Scotland, 1672). Motto—In omnia promptus. Ar. three roebucks courants gu. Crest—A roebuck at gaze ppr.
3) Quarterly, ar. and az. on a bend gu. three fleurs-de-lis of the first. Crest—A mountain cat courant guard, ppr.

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References   [ + ]

1. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
2. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11
3. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
4. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
5. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P77
6. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
7. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Vert
8. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27
9. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Deer
10. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P30
11. A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, (various)
12. The Pursuivant of Arms, J. R. Planche, Hardwicke, London 1859
13. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P45
14. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 3
15. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P134
16. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P489