Worthy Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History

Worthy Family Coat of Arms

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Worthy Coat of Arms Meaning

Worthy Name Origin & History

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Worthy Coat of Arms Meaning

The three main devices (symbols) in the Worthy blazon are the griffin, saltire and cinquefoil. The two main tinctures (colors) are gules and or.

Red in heraldry is given the name Gules, sometimes said to be the “martyr’s colour”1The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36. The colour is also associated with Mars, the red planet, and the zodiacal sign Aries 2Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53. Later heralds of a more poetical nature would sometimes refer to the colour as ruby, after the precious stone.3A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P77.

The bright yellow colour frequently found in coats of arms is known to heralds as Or, or sometimes simply as Gold.4Boutell’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 5A 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.6Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53.

In the mediaeval period there was no real percieved difference between real and mythical animals, after all, much of the world remained unknown and who was to say what strange and magical creatures existed in distant lands? As heraldry developed a whole menagerie of imagined creatures 7Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P164 came into being, and their various representations became more or less standardised in form and appearance. The griffin is perhaps the most common of these creatures, being a chimera with the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle. 8A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Griffin. It is most often in the pose known as rampant segreant, on its hind legs with claws and wings extended. Vinycomb has much to say on the subject of the griffin, perhaps summarised in his belief that it represents “strength and vigilance”.]9Fictitious & Symbolic Creatures…in British Heraldry, J. Vinycomb, Chapman & Hall, London, 1906, P150

The saltire is one the major ordinaries, large charges that occupy the whole of the field 10A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Saltire. Arguably one of the best uses of this device is that of the St. Andrews Cross, a white saltire on a blue background found on the Scottish flag. The saltire is obviously closely related to the Cross, and Wade in his work on Heraldic Symbology suggests additionally that it alludes to “Resolution”, whilst Guillim, an even more ancient writer, somewhat fancifully argues that it is awarded to those who have succesfully scaled the walls of towns! 11A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P63

Natural objects abound in heraldry, and one category that gives especial delight are the many flowers and flowering plants that frequently occur 12A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P262. The cinquefoil is also of this type, being drawn, at least a little, realistically and often to very pleasing effect. It is shown as five-petalled flower, each petal quite rounded but with a distinct tip. It is sometimes pierced with a hole in the centre and usually appears on its own, without any leaves. 13A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Cinquefoil It has no fixed colour but can appear in any of the available heraldic tinctures.

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Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Worthy Name

Worthy Origin:

England, France

Origins of Worthy:

The surname of Worthy has two possible sources from which it was originally derived. The first possible origin of the surname of Worthy is that it is a locational surname. This means that it was often taken by the Lord or owner of the land from which the name derives. Others who may have take a locational surname are people who have migrated out of the area to seek out work. The easiest way to identify someone who was a stranger at that time was by the name of their birthplace. In the case of the surname of Worthy, the location from which it was derived is most likely within the country of England, from places in Devon or Hampshire. Within the area of Hampshire there were three places that bore the name of Worthy. The name itself derives from the Old English, Pre 7th Century word of “worthing” which can be translated to mean “an enclosure.” The second possible origin of the surname of Worthy is that it was a nickname. It is a common element of surnames throughout Europe that many of them originally derived from nicknames, as it was a very common practice in medieval times. In the beginning, nicknames were applied to people who had distinguishing characteristics, such as moral or mental peculiarities, a similar appearance to a bird or animal, a similar disposition to a bird or animal, occupation of an individual, their habits, or their manner of dress. In the instance of the surname of Worthy, this name was given to someone who was a respected member of the community, or someone who was deemed to have worth. This meaning of the surname of Worthy derives from the Old English Pre 7th Century word of “weorth” which can be translated to mean “having value.”

Variations:

More common variations are: Worth, Nosworthy, Warth, Wrath, Wirth, Werth, Worthey, Wororthy,

History:

England:

The first recorded spelling of the surname of Worthy can be traced to the country of England. One person by the name of Godwine aet Worthige, who was mentioned in the document known as the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles of Hampshire in the year of 1001. This document was ordered, decreed, and written under the reign of King Ethelred, who was known throughout the ages and commonly referred to as one “The Unready.” King Ethelred ruled from the year of 978 to the year of 1016. Other mentions of the surname of Worthy can be found within the country of England. One Hydeburne Worthy was mentioned in the Doomsday Book of 1086, which was said to cover the “great survey” of England.

United States of America:

Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, it was common for European citizens to wish to migrate to the United States of America in search of a better life for them and their families. The United States, which at that time was known as the Colonies or the New World, promised freedoms that these European citizens had never had access to. This movement of people was known as the European Migration. Among those who migrated to the New World was one Damaris Worthy, who arrived in the state of Virginia in the year of 1663, the first Worthy in America.

Here is the population distribution of the last name Worthy: United States 9,451; England 1,006; Australia 438; Canada 171; New Zealand 57; Wales 56; Scotland 46; Netherlands 22; Spain 12; India 10

Notable People:

Jerel Worthy (born in 1990) who is a National Football League (NFL) football defensive end for the Green Bay Packers who is from the United States of America.

William Worthy Jr. (born in 1921) who was a civil rights activist and African-American journalist.

James Ager Worthy (born in 1961) who is a is a retired Hall of Fame college and professional basketball player from the United States of America.

Rick Worthy (born in 1967) who is an actor from the United States of America.

Christopher John “Chris” Worthy (1947-2007) who is a retired professional ice hockey player from the country of Canada.

Calum Worthy (born in 1991) who is a singer and musician from Victoria, British Columbia, and who is an actor.

Trevor H. Worthy (born in 1957) who is a paleo zoologist from the country of New Zealand.

Dave Worthy (1934-2004) who served as a Member of the Canadian House of Commons from the year of 1988 to the year of 1993, and who was a politician from the country of Canada.

Worthy Family Gift Ideas

Browse Worthy 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

Gules a saltire argent fretty azure between twelve cinquefoils or. Crest—A griffin passant, wings endorsed or.

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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, P53
3. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P77
4. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27
5. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P85
6. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
7. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P164
8. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Griffin
9. Fictitious & Symbolic Creatures…in British Heraldry, J. Vinycomb, Chapman & Hall, London, 1906, P150
10. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Saltire
11. A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P63
12. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P262
13. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Cinquefoil