Barnwell family crest and coat of arms

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Meaning of the Barnwell family crest symbols


The torse was originally used to mask the join between helmet and crest but also holds a secondary meaning as a momento given to a crusader by his lady-love, given to him when he left for battle.

Bird - Martlet/Martlette

The martlet bird is a symbol of the speed and agility of family members to act quickly and decisively when needed. They represent the swiftness of thought and action that is necessary to protect and care for one's family.

Meaning of the Barnwell coat of arms colors


The silver or white color on the coat of arms, (known as 'Argent'), signifies sincerity and peacefulness. It is one of the oldest colors known in ancient heraldry.


The blue color (known as Azure) represented the family's loyal and truthful nature and their reputation for trustworthiness during the middle ages.

Barnwell name meaning and origin

Barnwell is a surname of English origin, derived from a place name meaning "barn spring" or "spring near a barn." It is believed to have originated in various locations in England, including Barnwell in Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire.

History of family crests like the Barnwell coat of arms

Family crests and coats of arms emerged during the Middle Ages, mostly in wider Europe. They were used as a way to identify knights and nobles on the battlefield and in tournaments. The designs were unique to each family and were passed down from generation to generation.

The earliest crests were simple designs, such as a single animal or symbol, but they became more elaborate over time. Coats of arms were also developed, which included a shield with the family crest, as well as other symbols and colors that represented the family's history and achievements.

The use of family crests and coats of arms spread throughout Europe and became a symbol of social status and identity. They were often displayed on clothing, armor, and flags, and were used to mark the family's property and possessions.

Today, family crests and coats of arms are still used as a way to honor and celebrate family heritage.

Barnwell name variations and their meaning

The family name Barnwell has seen various variations over time, reflecting the diverse ways in which it has been spelled and pronounced. Some common variations include Barnwall, Barnwill, and Barnwel. These variations may have emerged due to regional accents, dialects, or simply personal preferences in spelling. It is interesting to note how the pronunciation of the name may have influenced its spelling, leading to different variations. For instance, the pronunciation of the "r" sound in some accents may have resulted in the spelling "Barnwall." Similarly, the use of double letters, such as "ll" in Barnwell, may have been altered to a single letter in other variations like "Barnwel." These variations highlight the fluidity of language and how names can evolve over time. Despite the different spellings, these variations all refer to the same family name, connecting individuals who share a common ancestry.

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