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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

Az. a cross or. Crest—A greyhound courant ar. collared az.

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

Silk Origin:

England, Ireland

Origins of Silk:

This unique and interesting name has two considerable sources, the first being a metonymic professional (job descriptive) surname for one who jobbed or did business of silk, a silk-trader. It acquired from the Old English pre 7th century “seolc”, from the Latin “sericum”. The second possible origin is from an old English particular name, a shortened form of e.g., “silkin”, itself from “Silverster” or “Silranus”, ultimately meaning “resident of the forest” and frequently given in old times in honour of different early christian religious persons. The advancement of the name has contained as “John Silke” (1353, Wiltshire) and “William Sylke” (1615, London). One “Samuel Silk” married Sarah Mann at St. Georges Chapel, Mayfair in 1748.

Variations:

More common variations are: Silke, Silak, Silka, Silko, Silik, Siluk, Silku, Silky, Silek, Silok.

England:

The surname Silk first appeared in Derbyshire where they held a family seat from early times and were anciently descended from an outstanding Saxon family who held a family seat there well before the Norman Invasion. The name acquired from a colloquial term in Derbyshire about the year 1000 explaining a thrush, i.e. a “shrilcock” or “shilcock.”

The very first recording spelling of the family was shown to be that of John Selk, dated about 1170, in the “The Somerset Pipe Rolls,” Huntingdonshire. It was during the time of King Henry II, who was known to be the “The Builder of Churches,” dated 1154-1189. The origin of surnames during this period 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.

Ireland:

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

United States of America:

Individuals with the surname Silk settled in the United States in two different centuries respectively in the 17th, and 19th. Some of the individuals with the name Silk who landed in the United States in the 17th century included Robert Silk landed in Virginia in 1714. Edward Silk, who came to North Carolina in 1736 andJames Silk settled in Baltimore, Maryland in 1775.

The following century saw more Silk surnames arrive. Some of the population with the surname Silk who arrived in the United States in the 19th century included Esther Silk arrived in Baltimore in 1834. James Silk, who arrived in New York in 1835. John Silk landed in Harford Division, Maryland in 1860. Mrs. William Silk, who came to Iowa in 1870. Peter Silk arrived in St Clair Division, Illinois in 1881.

Canada:

People with the surname Silk settled in Canada in two different centuries respectively in the 18th and 19th. People with the surname Silk who came to Canada in the 18th century included Michael Silk landed in Nova Scotia in 1774. Mr. Daily Silk U.E. settled in Edwardsburgh-Cardinal, Leeds & Grenville, Ontario near the year 1786.

The following century saw more Silk surnames arrive. Some of the people with the surname Silk who landed in Canada in the 19th century included William Silk at the age of 18, a worker, arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the schooner “Jane” from Galway.

Australia:

People with the surname Silk who settled in Australia in the 19th century included Henry Oake Silk arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship “Winchester” in 1838.

New-Zealand:

Some of the individuals with the surname Silk who settled in New Zealand in the 19th century included F. Silk and E. Silk, both arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship “Ashburton” in the same year 1857. John Silk at the age of 17 and Martin Silk at the age of 14, both arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship “Apelles” in 1874.

Here is the population distribution of the last name Silk: United States 3,765; England 2,807; Vietnam 1,590; Brazil 1,526; Pakistan 1,509; Australia 947; Canada 567; South Africa 566Philippines 322; Malaysia 304.

Notable People:

Silk Smitha was an Indian film actress who performed essentially in South Indian movies.

Silk Coat of Arms Meaning

The two main devices (symbols) in the Silk blazon are the cross and greyhound. The two main tinctures (colors) are or and azure.

The bright yellow colour frequently found in coats of arms is known to heralds as Or, or sometimes simply as Gold.1Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27. Along with, argent, or silver it forms the two “metals” of heraldry – one of the guidelines of heraldic design is that silver objects should not be placed upon gold fields and vice versa 2A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P85. The yellow colour is often associated with the Sun, and the zodiacal sign of Leo.3Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53.

Azure is the heraldic colour blue, usually quite a deep, dark shade of the colour (there is a lighter blue that sometimes occurs, known as celestial azure). If colour printing is not available then it can be represented by closely spaced horizontal lines in a scheme known as “hatching” 4Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26. The word is thought to originate from the Arabic lazura and it represents the colour of the eastern sky. It is also said to be the colour associated by the Catholic Church with the Virgin Mary and hence of particular significance 5The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P150.

No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross 6Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 47. 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. In its basic form, the cross is created from two broad bands of colour at right angles covering the whole extent of the shield. It has been subject to all manner of embellishment, and the interested reader is referred to the references, especially Parker’s Heraldic dictionary for many examples of these. 7A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Cross 8A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P106 9A Treatise on Heraldry, J. Woodward, W & A.K Johnston, Edinburgh & London, 1896, P160-173 Suffice it to say that any armiger would be proud to have such an important device as part of their arms.

Unlike many of the creatures to be found in heraldry, the Greyhound is shown in a very natural aspect and lifelike poses. 10A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P204 It is probably the most common member of the dog family to be found in arms 11A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Dog, and Wade suggests that we see in its appearance the suggestion of“courage, vigilance and loyal fidelity”. 12The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P69

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References   [ + ]

1. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27
2. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P85
3. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
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 P150
6. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 47
7. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Cross
8. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P106
9. A Treatise on Heraldry, J. Woodward, W & A.K Johnston, Edinburgh & London, 1896, P160-173
10. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P204
11. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Dog
12. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P69