Friday, 20 February 2009 families coat of arms...

My family Heraldry

(mums branch) Wolstenholme & McCartney (fathers branch)

The surname WOLSTENHOLME was a locational name

'of Wolstenholme'

a spot in Rochdale, County Lancashire.

First held a family seat from very ancient times before and after the norman conquest in 1066, in Wolstenholme, near Warrington in that shire.

Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. The name was derived from the old English word WULFSTAN and HOLMR literally meaning the dweller at the dry land in a fen.

Early records of the name mention Andrew de Wolstanesholm, documented in the year 1300 in Lancashire

The name has many variant spellings which include Wolstonholme, Woolstenhulme, Worstenholme, Wostenholm, Wusteman, Woosnam and Woosman.

The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.

The arms are registered at Newtown, County Montgomery.

It has long been a matter of doubt when the bearing of coats of arms first became hereditary and it was not until the Crusades that Heraldry came into general use.


in ardua virtus


virtue against difficulties

Notible Wolstenholme names:

Thomas Augustus Wolstenholme Parker, 6th Earl of Macclesfield

was a British peer. Before inheriting the earldom, he sat in the House of Commons as Conservative Member of Parliament for Oxfordshire from 1837 until 1841.


Monuments of the Wolstenholmes

Stanmore: The present church (dedicated to St. John) was built at the sole expence of Sir John Wolstenholme, Knt. on a piece of ground given by Mrs. Barbara Burnell, Sir Thomas Lake, and Mr. Robinson. It was consecrated by Bishop Laud, on the 16th of July 1632
From: 'Stanmore Magna'


When searching for a coat of arms from countries other than England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, they are reffered to by different names, inGermany: Wappen, Familienwappen, Blasonierung, Heraldik, WappenschablonenNetherlands: Wapen, Wapenschid, Heraldiek, FamiliewapenSweden: Slaktvapen, Heraldik Denmark: FamilievabenPoland: Herby, Herb, Herbu, HerbarzFrance: ArmoiriesSpain: Heraldica de Apellidos, Escudo, Heraldaria


Heraldry is the profession, study, or art of devising, granting, and blazoning arms and ruling on questions of rank or protocol, as exercised by an officer of arms.


Heraldry comes from Anglo-Norman herald, from the Germanic compound *harja-waldaz, "army commander

The word, in its most general sense, encompasses all matters relating to the duties and responsibilities of officers of arms.

To most, though, heraldry is the practice of designing, displaying, describing, and recording coats of arms and badges. Historically, it has been variously described as "the shorthand of history" and "the floral border in the garden of history."

The origins of heraldry lie in the need to distinguish participants in combat when their faces were hidden by iron and steel helmets.

Eventually a formal system of rules developed into ever more complex forms of heraldry.

The system of blazoning arms that is used in English-speaking countries today was developed by the officers of arms in the Middle Ages. This includes a stylized description of the escutcheon (shield), the crest, and, if present, supporters, mottoes, and other insignia. Certain rules apply, such as the Rule of tincture.

Though heraldry is nearly 900 years old, it is still very much in use.

Many cities and towns in Europe and around the world still make use of arms. Personal heraldry, both legally protected and lawfully assumed, has continued to be used around the world. Heraldic societies exist to promote education and understanding about the subject.

At the time of the Norman conquest of England, heraldry in its essential sense of an inheritable emblem had not yet been developed. The knights in the Bayeux Tapestry carry shields, but there appears to have been no system of hereditary coats of arms.

By the middle of the 12th century, coats of arms were being inherited by the children of armigers (persons entitled to use a coat of arms) across Europe.

In the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance, heraldry became a highly developed discipline, regulated by professional officers of arms. As its use in jousting became obsolete, coats of arms remained popular for visually identifying a person in other ways — impressed in sealing wax on documents, carved on family tombs, and flown as a banner on country homes.

Traditionally, as women did not go to war, they did not bear a shield, instead, women's coats of arms were shown on a lozenge—a rhombus standing on one of its acute corners. This continues true in much of the world, though some heraldic authorities, such as Scotland's, with its ovals for women's arms, make exceptions


The names used in English blazon for the colors and metals come mainly from French and include Or (gold), Argent (white), Azure (blue), Gules (red), Sable (black), Vert (green), and Purpure (purple).


An armorial motto is a phrase or collection of words intended to describe the motivation or intention of the armigerous person or corporation.

Mottoes are generally changed at will and do not make up an integral part of the armorial achievement. Mottoes can typically be found on a scroll under the shield. In Scottish heraldry where the motto is granted as part of the blazon, it is usually shown on a scroll above the crest, and may not be changed at will. A motto may be in any language

Since arms pass from parents to offspring, and there are frequently more than one child per couple, it is necessary to distinguish the arms of siblings and extended family members from the original arms as passed on from eldest son to eldest son.

love and light
trace x

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