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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) (Highead Castle, co. Cumberland, temp. Henry VIII., afterwards of Catterlen; Christopher Richmond, Esq., of Highead Castle, m. Mable, dau. and co-heir of John Vaux, Esq., of Catterlen; the dau. and eventual heiress of Christopher Richmond, Esq., of Highead and Catterlen, m. John Hutchinson, Esq., of Framwell Gate). Gu. two bars gemel and a chief or.
2) (alias Webb) (Stewley, co. Buckingham, and Bedborne, co. Wilts). Ar. a cross patonce az. betw. four estoiles (another, mullets) gu. Crest—A tilting spear ar. headed or, broken in three parts, one piece erect, the other two in saltire, enfiled with a ducal coronet gold.
3) (co. Cumberland). Ar. a fess engr. betw. six fleurs-de-lis sa.
4) (Hedenham, co. Norfolk). Erm. on a chief sa. a griffin pass. or. Crest—On a mount vert an eagle, wings expanded erm. the beak and feathers on the back of the head and tip of the tail or.
5) (co. York). Gu. two bars gemel or, a chief ar.
6) Az. (another, gu.) a sun in glory or.
7) Gu. two bars and a chief or.
8) Gu. on a chief ar. two bars gemel az.
9) Per fess gu. and ar. a cross patonce betw. four mullets counterchanged.
10) Barry of six or and gu. (another, or and az.)
11) Az. a bend cotised or, betw. six lions ramp. of the second.
12) (Scotland). Chequy or and az. a canton erm. Crest—A mullet gu. betw. two palm branches orleways vert.
13) Same Arms, a border gu.
14) (alias Rider) (London; granted 1 Aug. 1759). Or, on a chev. engr. ermines betw. two roses in chief and a lion pass. reguard. in base gu. four barrulets wavy ar. Crest—An eagle displ. sa. holding in the dexter talon an olive branch vert, and in the sinister a thunderbolt ppr.

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

Richmond Origin:

England, France

Origins of Name:

The surname of Richmond is of French origin, and derives from the places in North France with the Old French elements of “riche” which translates to mean rich or splendid, and “mont” which translates to mean hill. This surname is a long-established name with a variation of spellings based on which part of France or England the person is named after. This surname also correlates and derives from Richmond in the North Riding of Yorkshire, which was originally transcribed as “Richemund” in Early Yorkshire Charters, in the year 1108. This name was derived from the Richemonts in France, directly following the Norman Conquest in the year 1066. It is believed that Richmond in South West London was named following the accession of Henry VII, who was formerly the Earl of Richmond and was deemed unlikely to be the source of this surname.


More common variations are:

Richmonde, Richomond, Richmoend, Richmound, Reichmond, Richemond, Richamond, Richmmond, Richimond



The first recorded spelling of the surname Richmond was in the “Carte Antiquae Rolls” as Roger de Richemund, in the year 1199, under the reign of King Richard I, who was also known as “Richard the Lionheart,” and ruled from the year 1189 to the year 1199. In England, those who bear the surname of Richmond are found all throughout the country, with a high concentration in the areas of Durham, Lancashire, Nottinghamshire, Yorkshire, and the city of London.


The surname of Richmond is also found throughout the country of Scotland; it is said that this surname covers most of the country. The largest concentrations of the Scottish citizens who carry the surname of Richmond are found in Ayrshire, Lanarkshire, and Renfrewshire.

United States:

During the European Migration, the United States was a popular destination for disgruntled European citizens who were looking for a place to start over. In the United States of America, which was then referred to as The New World, or The Colonies, religious freedom, and succession from England was underway. Many European citizens migrated this area and began their lives over again. However, it is important to note that the ships that carried these citizens were cramped, with little ventilation and scarce rations, often causing the settlers to start their new life starving and ill. Because of the living conditions on these ships, some European emigrants never made it onto American soil. Of these migrating settlers, those who were recorded to bear the surname of Richmond settled in New York, North Carolina, Michigan, Texas, Massachusetts, Texas, Mississippi, and Louisiana, Kentucky, Tennessee. The first recorded Richmond to emigrate to America was one William Richmond, who landed in Virginia in 1622.

Australia and New Zealand:

During the 19th Century, people began to migrate to the countries of New Zealand and Australia. The first person with the surname of Richmond that was recorded in Australia was Nathanial Richmond, who was a convict from Staffordshire, and was transported the ship named the “Arab” to Van Diemen’s Island, Australia in the year 1822. John Richmond, who was twenty-seven years of age and was a laborer, was the first person with the surname of Richmond to arrive in New Zealand. He arrived to Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship named the “Queen of Nations” in the year 1874.

Richmond Today:

United States 42,170

Ghana 12,142

England 9,739

Ivory Coast 5,406

Nigeria 5,196

Canada 3,205

Australia 2,902

South Africa 1,808

Philippines 1,611

Scotland 1,247

Notable People:

Brigadier-General Adam Richmond (1889-1959) who was the Judge Advocate for the 3rd Army in 1941

Mrs. Byron L. Richmond, who was a Member of the Michigan Republican State Central Committee in 1939, and was an American Republican politician

Allen D. Richmond, who was a Member of the New Hampshire State Senate in the 23rd District from 1903 to 1904, and was an American Republican politician

Albert E. Richmond, who was a Member of the New York State Assembly from Rensselaer County in the 2nd District in 1852, was an American politician

Cedric Richmond, who was a Delegate to the Democratic National Convention from Louisiana in 2004, who was an American politician

Charles H. Richmond (born in 1821) who was a Delegate to the Michigan State Constitutional Convention in 1867, and a Member of the Michigan State Senate in the 4th District from 1883 to 1884, was an American Democratic politician

Charles Richmond, who was a United States Consul in Lahaina, from 1860 to 1861, and was an American politician

Richmond Coat of Arms Meaning

The four main devices (symbols) in the Richmond blazon are the cross patonce, estoile, bars gemel and fleur-de-lis. The three main tinctures (colors) are sable, azure and ermine .

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 1. 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 2. Although it may seem a sombre tone, and does indeed sometimes denote grief, it is more commonly said to represent Constancy 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.

Ermine is a very ancient pattern, and distinctive to observe. It was borne alone by John de Monfort, the Earl of Richmond and Duke of Brittany in the late 14th century 6 It has a long association with royalty and the nobility in general and hence represents “Dignity” wherever it is found 7. The ermine pattern is white with, typically, a three dots and a dart grouping representing the tail of the furred creature.8. The ermine spot is sometimes found alone as a special charge on the shield.

No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross 9. Mediaeval Europe was a deeply religious and Christian and many of the nobility wanted to show their devotion by adopting the symbol of the cross as part of the arms. Since no two arms could be identical there arose many variants of the cross, typically involving patterning along the edges 10, or fanciful, decorative endings to the arms of the cross 11. The cross patonce is typical of these, whereby each arm of the cross expands and ends in a bud-like projection. These cross variations are probably largely for decorative effect, and to differentiate the arms from similar ones and hence their significance is that of the Christian cross itself.

There were of course many widely recognised symbols that existed long before the advent of heraldry and it should be no surprise that some of these were adopted as charge in coats of arms 12. The estoile is a typical example, reflecting the stars in the sky and represented with six wavy points, often with a little shading to give it some depth. 13. The ancient writer Guillim assigns these symbols as the emblems of God’s goodness”. 14

The bar is a thin, horizontal stripe across the centre of the shield, usually in groups of two or three (any more and there would be confusion with barry, a treatment of horizontal lines of alternating colours). It is also possible to place decorative edges along bars, typically these are smaller than those found on the major ordinaries like the fess and pale, but have the same design and share the same meanings. Gemel simply means “doubled” 15, so whatever it is applied to appears twice, slightly reduced in size to occupy a similar amount of space to the original. This is different from having “two” of something, and indeed it is possible to have, for example two bars gemel, in which there are two, clearly separated pairs of bars.

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  • 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 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 Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P69
  • 7 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P39
  • 8 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 28
  • 9 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 47
  • 10 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P67
  • 11 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P128
  • 12 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P301
  • 13 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Estoile
  • 14 A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P77
  • 15 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Gemel