Samford Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History

Samford Family Coat of Arms

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Samford Coat of Arms Meaning

Samford Name Origin & History

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Samford Coat of Arms Meaning

The three main devices (symbols) in the Samford blazon are the chevron, mullet and bar wavy. The three main tinctures (colors) are azure, sable and argent .

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.

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 3A 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 4Boutell’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 5The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35.

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) 6Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 7A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11.

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 8A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, (various), or additional cross-pieces used to strengthen the shield and painted a different colour.9The 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” 10The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P45, possibly becuase of its resemblance to the roof truss of a house.

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” 11Boutell’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 12A 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” 13The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P105.

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. The decorative edge pattern Wavy, is a typical example of this. For obvious reasons it is associated with both water and the sea 14The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P40. Indeed, a roundel with alternating bars of azure and argent (blue and white) is known by the shorthand term fountain, representing water at the bottom of a well 15A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Water. Other colours have also been used and the result can be very pleasing to the eye.

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Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Samford Name

Origins of Samford:
The name Samford reached English shores for the first time with the authors of the Samford family as they shifted following the Norman Invasion of 1066.  The Samford family resided in Shropshire, although their name acquired from the Old English and converts directly as sandy ford.  Such a name would have shown that the original bearer resided near such a landmark.

Variations:
More common variations are: Samiford, Samofordu, Samford, Samfrod, Simford, Sumford, Samferd, Sumiford, Summford, Sommeford.

England:
The surname Samford first appeared in Shropshire at Sandford, where Thomas de Saundford, one of the “companions in arms” of William I was given lands, for his support.  He showed in the Domesday Book of 1086.  “Richard de Sanford seated at Sandford soon after the Invasion, and which has ever since survived their principal seat.” Sandford Hall, near Whitchurch, remaines today.  This division house considered to have been built between 1700 and 1750 and at the time of writing is up for sale.  Thorpe-Salvin in the West Riding of Yorkshire was home to a branch of the family.  It previously the property of the Salvin family, and subsequently of the Sandfords, by whom the now ruined Hall constructed about the middle of the 16th century.”

United States of America:
Individuals with the surname Samford landed in the United States in the 17th century.  Some of the people with the name Samford who arrived in the United States in the 17th century included Thomas Samford, who arrived in New England in 1637.  William Samford, who landed in Maryland in 1655.

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Browse Samford 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) (Bicknoler, co. Somerset; descended from co. Devon; Christopher Samford, of Bicknoler, Visit. Somerset, 1623, son of Bartholomew Samford, who was third son of Christopher Samford, Esq., of Halberton, co. Devon). Ar. a chev. betw. three mullets sa.
2) (Collumpton, Halberton, and Exeter, co. Devon; Hugh Samford, of Exeter, Visit. Devon, 1620, son of Christopher Samford, of Halberton, and grandson of John Samford, of Collumpton). Ar. a chev. betw. three martlets sa.
3) Ar. two bars wavy az.
4) Az. three bars wavy ar.
5) Or, three bars wavy az.
6) Ar. two bars az. on a canton or, a fess gu. in chief three lozenges of the last.

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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. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Sable
4. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26
5. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35
6. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
7. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11
8. A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, (various)
9. The Pursuivant of Arms, J. R. Planche, Hardwicke, London 1859
10. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P45
11. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 97
12. A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P107
13. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P105
14. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P40
15. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Water