See Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History

See Family Coat of Arms

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See Coat of Arms Meaning

See Name Origin & History

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

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See Coat of Arms Meaning

The two main devices (symbols) in the See blazon are the salmon and flaunch. The two main tinctures (colors) are azure 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.

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) 3Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 4A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11.

Fish in great variety abound in Heraldry, many different species inhabit coats of arms 5Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P150, although truth be told many of the actual images are sometimes indistinguishable, being shown as a stylised, and easily recognised salmon shape 6A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P137 that a child might draw. The actual name used in the coat of arms may be some play-on-words or allusion to the family name, as in the famous arms of the de Lucy family, being “Gules, three lucies or”, 7Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 79 this being an ancient name for the fish we call today a “pike”. It is possible that the salmon has been used in this fashion, or it may simply relate to some fishing activity in the history of the family.

There are a number of major, simple and easily recognisable shapes and big patterns that are known as ordinaries. 8A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Ordinaries The flaunch (or more properly flaunches as they are always in pairs) is a interesting example of the type, being a shape curving inwards from edge vertical edge, each reaching about one third of the distance across. 9A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Flaunch Wade’s researchs into the symbology of heraldry leads him to conclude that they represent a “reward given for virtue and learning”. 10The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P52

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Origin, Meaning and Family History of the See Name

See Origin:
England

Origins of See:
Listed as Sea and See, this rare surname is English and geographical. As such it does seem to show a person who resided in sight of the “sea.” It is proven by the very early recordings of Richard Attesee in the Subsidy Tax Rolls of Yorkshire in the year 1297, and Bertam del See of Colchester, Essex, in the year 1312.  However, while these people may well have resided by the coast, the Olde English word for water was “sae.” It was used to show any water, including lakes, pools, and even quite small ponds.  Furthermore, until most of East Anglia and parts of Somerset and Yorkshire drained by Dutch engineers working between the 14th and 18th centuries, the “sea” as we know it stuck right into the middle of the country.  It was also one of the main reasons why in the past well before railways and mechanized transport, inland people had a diet which contained a large amount of fish.  It caught on their doorstep.  The surname was it seems famous in the town of Bridgewater in Somerset, with an example being William Bythesee in 1362.  This man lived by not the sea as such, but one of the large waterways now known locally as drains, but which seven centuries ago would have been “seas.”

Variations:
More common variations are: Suee, Seye, Sewe, Saee, Seeh, Scee, Seei, Siee, Seey, Ssee.

England:
The surname See first appeared in Kent where they held a family seat as Lords of the Estate of Seal in that shire.  After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William, Duke of Normandy, having controlled over King Harold, given most of Britain to his many successful Barons.  It was not uncommon to find a Baron, or a Priest, with 60 or more Lordships spread throughout the country.  These he gave to his sons, nephews and other junior lines of his family and they became known as under-tenants.  They picked the Norman system of surnames which recognized the under-tenant with his holdings so as to identify him from the senior stem of the family.  After many revolutionary wars between his Barons, Duke William, commissioned a census of all England to determine in 1086, settling once and for all who held which land.  He called the poll the Domesday Book, showing that those holders recorded would hold the land until the end of time. Hence, Seal at the Domesday Book held by Geoffrey de Rots as an undertenant from the Priest of Bayeux.  The holding was a fishery, consisting mainly of eels.  Not surprisingly, the family Coat of Arms shows salmon swimming.

Ireland:
Many of the people with surname See had moved to Ireland during the 17th century.

United States of America:
Individuals with the surname See landed in the United States in three different centuries respectively in the 17th, 18th, and 19th.  Some of the people with the name See who arrived in the United States in the 17th century included Thomas See settled in Maryland in 1678.  Thomas See, who landed in Maryland in 1678.

People with the surname See who landed in the United States in the 18th century included Marguerite See, who landed in Jamestown, Va in 1700.  Johan Bernhard See, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1740.  Philip See at the age of 27, arrived in Pennsylvania in 1753.  Alexander See settled in South Carolina with his wife and 10 children in 1755.  Alexander See, who arrived in South Carolina in 1755.

The following century saw much more See surnames arrive.  Some of the people with the surname See who arrived in the United States in the 19th century included Nevin See settled in New York in the year 1811.

Canada:
Some of the people with the name See who came in the Canada in the 18th century included Mr. Herman See U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784.

Here is the population distribution of the last name See:
Malaysia 37,689; Philippines 24,554; India 21,185; Singapore 10,148; United States 9,989; Hong Kong 2,325; Vietnam 2,186; Germany 1,446; Australia 1,419; Pakistan 1,132.

Notable People:
Carolyn See (born Caroline Laws; January 1934 – July 2016) was a professor emerita of English at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the writer of ten books, including the memoir and Dreaming.

Lisa See is an American author and novelist.  Her books include On Gold Mountain: The One-Hundred-Year Odyssey of My Chinese-American Family (1995), a detailed account of See’s family history, and the novels Flower Net (1997), The Interior (1999), Dragon Bones (2003), Snow Flower and the Secret Fan (2005) and Peony in Love (2007).

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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

(Underdown, co. Kent). Argent a salmon haurient between two flaunches azure each charged with three bars wavy of the field.

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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. 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, 1847, P11
5. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P150
6. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P137
7. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 79
8. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Ordinaries
9. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Flaunch
10. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P52