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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) Ar. a chev. gu. betw. three boars’ heads couped sa. Crest—A demi griffin or.
2) (Scotland, 16th century). Ar. a fess vert betw. three snails az.
3) (Scotland, 16th century). Ar. two snails in chief az. and in base a bunch of three holly leaves vert.

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

This interesting surname is a variant of Stead, which is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and has two possible origins, the first being a locational name from Stead in the West Riding of Yorkshire, or from some other place taking its name from the Old English pre 7th Century "stede", farm, estate, place. More common variations are: Steademan, Steadmann, Steaadman, Steadhman, Steadmman, Stedman, Stadman, Steademann, Steedman, Stiedman.

The surname Steadman first appeared in Gloucestershire Where they held a family seat from very early times, where they were Lords of the manor. The very first recording spelling of the family was shown to be that of Uchtred Stede, dated 1180, in the Pipe Rolls of Devonshire. It was during the reign of King Henry 11, who was known as "The Builder of Churches" dated 1154-1189.  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 Steadman who arrived in the United States in the 17th century included John Steadman who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1686. People with the surname Steadman who landed in the United States in the 18th century included Catherine Steadman, who settled in Virginia in 1741.  Ann and James Steadman, who settled in Maryland in 1742. Some of the people with the surname Steadman who arrived in the United States in the 19th century included James Steadman, who landed in New York in 1822. Some of the population with the surname Steadman who arrived in New Zealand in the 19th century included Mr. Steadman, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1843 aboard the ship Mandarin.

Steadman Coat of Arms Meaning

The three main devices (symbols) in the Steadman blazon are the boar, chevron and snail. The three main tinctures (colors) are gules, argent and vert .

Gules, the heraldic colour red is very popular, sometimes said to represent “Military Fortitude and Magnanimity”1. It is usually abbreviated as gu and in the days before colour printing was shown in a system known as hatching by vertical lines 2. Although it may look like a French word it is normally pronounced with a hard “g” and may be derived either from the Latin gula (throat) or Arabic gule (rose).3

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) 4. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 5.

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” 6. 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 7. More fanciful heralds liked to associate it with the planet venus and the precious stone emerald 8. More strangely, there is some evidence that the term prasin was anciently used, being the Greek for the vegetable we call the Leek!

In the middle ages, the wild boar, a far more fearsome creature than its domesticated relative, the pig was a much more commonly seen animal than today. It was also known as a sanglier. 9 It can appear in many of the same poses that we see for the lion, but has its own (easily imagined!) position known as enraged! 10 We should not be surprised then that this “fierce combatant” is said to be associated with the warrior. 11

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 12, or additional cross-pieces used to strengthen the shield and painted a different colour.13. It has also acquired the meaning of “Protection… granted… to one who has achieved some notable enterprise” 14, possibly becuase of its resemblance to the roof truss of a house.

The snail or house snail does not occur often in heraldry but is always shown in full, with shell on its back. 15 In meaning can be read as a symbol of “deliberation and perserverance”. 16

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References

  • 1 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
  • 2 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P52
  • 3 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P154
  • 4 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
  • 5 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11
  • 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 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 72
  • 10 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Boar
  • 11 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P67
  • 12 A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, (various)
  • 13 The Pursuivant of Arms, J. R. Planche, Hardwicke, London 1859
  • 14 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P45
  • 15 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Snail
  • 16 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P71