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Two Coats of Arms
for individuals of the Jacques Family in France

A word of note:  A coat of arms is given to and registered to one male member of a family.  The coat of arms is not "transferable" and so does not become the coat of arms for the entire family and its descendants.  If a son wishes to use the coat of arms of his father, it must have an element changed and it must be registered with the appropriate heraldry body in the individual's country - this is most strictly adhered to in England.  So, if you find a coat of arms for your family name - it was given and registered to one person only and cannot be claimed as "yours".


This Coat of Arms for the Jacques "clan" was found by Robert Jacques in a book by Napoleon Caron called Nos Vielles Armoiries Oubliées (1917) at the Montréal Central Library (the photo in the book was of poor quality).  This armorial appears to date back to the time of Louis III of France.  According to the author it was sculpted in the stone of a Picardie castle along with others (unfortunately, the castle is not named). 

A Description of the elements of this Coat of Arms

Upper Row:  Flag with horizontal lines, representation of French Seigniorial territory, French cross and fleur de lys, flag with vertical lines

Second Row:  Representation of the king's domain, representation of battle stations, Germanic lion, war camp

In the Centre of the two upper rows: Louis III's Coat of Arms

In the lower section:  Representation of a wheat field with a crow and a sheaf of wheat

From this photo, there is no way to determine the tinctures (colors) and other elements of the armorial.


Below is a more modern and simpler Jacques Coat of Arms.  There is no indication of the date of this one.  It was found by Jacquie Scherr on a web site called Free Coats of arms

A Couple of Heraldic Definitions

Cadency - (Ca'-den-cy) As the original object of armorial bearings was to distinguish one iron encased warrior from another, it was also necessary to provide distinctive bearings for different members of a family all entitled to bear the paternal arms. This gave rise to the use of Marks of Cadency, or differences (called by the French brisure.) They are as follows:

1. Label 6. Fleur-de-lis
2. Crescent 7. Rose
3. Mullet 8. Cross Moline
4. Martlet 9. Octofoil
5. Annulet  

The eldest son (during the lifetime of his father) bears a label of three points; the second son, a crescent; the third, a mullet; the fourth, a martlet; the fifth, an annulet; the sixth, a fleur-de-lis; the seventh, a rose; the eight, a cross moline; the ninth, an octofoil. A younger son of a younger son places a mark upon a mark. Thus the ninth son of a ninth son would place an octofoil upon an octofoil.

Helmet - The helmet is borne above the shield and beneath the crest. Like the coronet, it denotes the rank of the wearer. Those used by English heralds are: (1) For sovereigns and princes of the blood, borne full-face, with six bars, all of gold; (2) for the nobility, of steel, with five bars of gold, shown somewhat in profile; (3) for baronets and knights, of steel, full-faced and open; (4) for an esquire or gentleman, of steel, with the visor closed, and represented in profile (as in the helmet above).

Fess - Formed by two horizontal lines drawn across the field, comprising the center third of the shield. It is emblematic of the military girdle worn around the body over the amour and implied that its bearer was ever ready to serve his country.


Coat of Arms Symbolism
Symbolisms of Heraldry

The following symbolisms have been excerpted from W. Cecil Wade's "The Symbolisms of Heraldry or A Treatise on the Meanings and Derivations of Armorial Bearings".  Published in London in 1898. 

Colors and Metals

Or, yellow or gold
Argent, white or
Peace and sincerity

Sable or black
Constancy, sometimes grief

Azure or blue
Loyalty and truth

Gules or red
Military fortitude and magnanimity
Vert or green Hope, joy and sometimes loyalty in love
Purpure, purple
Royal majesty, sovereignty and justice
Tenne or tawney
Worthy ambition
Murray or sanguine Not hasty in battle, and yet a victor
Heraldic Lines
Nebulee or Nebuly
The sea or water
Engrailed and
Earth or land
Ragulee or Raguly
Difficulties which have been encountered
Fire or the walls of a fortress or town
Dominion and authority
Chevron - Protection
Military belt or girdle of honor
Bar For "one who sets the bar of conscience, religion and honor against angry passions
Military strength and fortitude
Same as Pale
Same as Pale
Canton Bearing of honor. When borne charged, it often contains some special symbols granted by the sovereign in reward for the performance of eminent service
Quarter Bearing of honor. Similar to the Canton
Defense or protection
Battune Sinister Marks a royal descent that is barred by illegitimacy from succession to the throne
Orle or Tressure
Preservation or protection
Given by a king for virtue and learning, and especially for service in embassage
Voiders Given to gentlewomen who have deserved highly
Bordure or Border
Frequently adopted as a "difference" between relatives bearing the same arms
Common Charges
Deathless courage
Tiger Great fierceness and valor when enraged to combat; one whose resentment will be dangerous if aroused
Ferocity in the protection of kindred

Denotes valiant captains that do in the end gain their attempts after long sieges and hard enterprises. One whom it is dangerous to assail or thwart
Great ferocity when aroused
Courage and strength
Heraldic Tiger
Same as Tiger
Valiant and hardy warrior
As a lion may be said to signify a brave man, so may a panther a beautiful woman, which, though fierce, is very tender and loving to her young, and will defend it with the hazard of her life
Horse Readiness for all employments for king and country
Bull or Ox
Valor and magnanimity
Boar A fierce combatant when at bay, and ceases fighting only with its life, and therefore may be properly applied as the armorial bearing of a warrior
Goat Emblem of that martial man who wins a victory by the employment rather of policy than valor
Lamb Gentleness and patience under suffering
Hares and Rabbits One who enjoys a peaceable and retired life
Squirrel Sylvan retirement being the delight of its bearer
Provident provider
Industry and perseverance
Fox One who will use all that he may posses of sagacity, wit or wisdom in his own defense
Talbot, Mastiff and Greyhound
Courage, vigilancy and loyal fidelity
Cat or
Liberty, vigilance, forecast and courage
Docility, patience and indefatigable perseverance
Well-governed industry
Symbolizes a man of great labor, wisdom and providence
Spider Wisdom, labor and providence in all affairs
Wisdom and nobility
House Snail
Deliberation and perseverance
Double Eagle
and Eagle
Signifies a man of action, ever more occupied in high and weighty affairs, and one of lofty spirit, ingenious, speedy in apprehension and judicious in matters of ambiguity
Alerion Signifies one who having been maimed and lamed in war, was thus prevented from fully asserting his power
Celebrity, sometimes protection or coverture
Feathers (usually ostrich)
Willing obedience and serenity
Falcon or Hawk
One eager or hot in the pursuit of an object much desired
Hawks or
Falcons Bells
One who feared not to signal his approach in either peace or war
One who is vigilant and of acute wit
Beauty and pride of carriage
Devoted and self-sacrificing charity
Filial duty, emblem of a grateful man
A lover of poetry and harmony
Goose and Duck
A man of many resources
Gannet To subsist by the wings of his virtue and merit, having little land to rest upon
Swallow One who is prompt and ready in the dispatch of his business
Courage, always ready for battle, ready to fight to the death
Loving constancy and peace
Raven One who, having derived little from his ancestors, has through Providence become the architect of his own fortunes or one of an enduring constancy of nature
Crow Signifies a settled habitation and a quiet life
Dolphin Charity and a kind affection towards children
Invulnerability to attack
Extreme courage
Griffin Sets forth the property of a valorous soldier whose magnanimity is such that he will dare all dangers, and even death itself, rather than become captive
A most valiant defender of treasure
Terror to all beholders
Omniscience and secrecy
Pegasus Exceeding activity and energy of mind whereby one may mount to honour
Ferocity under provocation
Centuar For those who have been eminent in the field
The conquest of a very powerful enemy
Stag, Hart, Buck
and Deer
Policy, Peace and Harmony
Horns and Antlers
Strength and Fortitude
Escallop Shell
One who has made long journeys or voyages to far countries, who had borne considerable naval command or who had gained great victories
Other Shells
Protection of Providence
Charity, sincerity
Flaming Heart
Ardent affection
Faith, sincerity and justice
Red Hand
Usual mark for a baronet if borne on a small escutcheon
A laborious and industrious person
Signify a man armed for the performance of martial enterprise
Strength, stability and expedition
Same as Leg
Same as leg
Human Head
Blackamoor Head
Deeds of prowess in the Crusades
Crossed Thigh-bones
Providence in Government
The mutual converse of human society
Maritime dominion
Royal or seigniorial authority
Celestial Crown
Heavenly reward
Pastoral Crosier The emblem of a shepherd’s watchfulness over his flock, and denotes episcopal jurisdiction and authority
Annulet or
Finger Ring
Honesty and constancy, also held to be a token of noble birth
Their first bearer was a man who obtained credence, knowledge and faith in his words and deeds, and who was secret in his affairs
Emblematic of the liberal art of writing and of learned employments
Same as pen
Same as harp
Scythe Hope of a fruitful harvest of things hoped for
Same as Scythe
Anchor Succor in extremity and the Christian symbol of hope
Ship, Lumphiad or Galley
All such symbols would point to some notable expedition by sea, by which, perhaps, the first bearers had become famous
Cubes, squares or dice  Constancy, wisdom, verity probity, and equity
Same as Cubes
Execution of military duty
Purse A frank and liberal steward of the blessings that God has bestowed
Tower or Castle
Grandeur and solidity. Sometimes granted to one who has held one for his king, or who has captured one by force or stratagem
Signifies a governor or magistrate
Pillar or Column
Fortitude and constancy
Scaling Ladder
One who was fearless in attacking
Symbolic of some Christian experience or sentiment
Trestles and stools
Marks of authority
Angels, Cherubs and Seraphs
Dignity, glory and honor
Estoiles Emblems of God’s goodness or of some eminence in the first bearer above the ruder sort of men
Mullet Denotes some Divine quality bestowed from above
Gold Spur
Dignity of knighthood
Silver Spur
An esquire
Glory and splendor
Crescent Signifies one who has been enlightened and honored by the gracious aspect of his sovereign
Serene power over mundane actions
Lightning The effecting of some weighty business with great clarity and force
Safety, refuge and protection
Effectual protection in emergency
Hunting Horn
One who is fond of high pursuits
Ready for the fray
Cannon, Mortars, Cannon Balls and Grenades
Well bestowed on those who have dared their terrors in sieges and battles
Sword Indicates the bearer to a just and generous pursuit of honor and virtue in warlike deeds
Arrows and Arrowheads
Martial readiness
Spear or Lance
Knightly service and devotion to honor
Spear Heads or Pheons  Dexterity and nimbleness of wit to penetrate and understand matters of highest consequence
A defender
Saddles, Stirrups
and Spurs
Preparedness for active service
Horse Shoe
Good luck
Trunk of a Tree
An object of veneration
Travel and labour
Victory in war
Water Bougets Conferred on those who had brought water to an army or besieged place
Catharine Wheel
Emblem of one who is prepared to undergo great trials for the Christian faith
Victorious fidelity in authority
Clarion or Rest
Same as Trumpet
Beacons or Cressets
One who is watchful for the commonwealth or who gave the signal in time of danger
Chains A reward for acceptable or weighty service
Fusil of Yarn
Gold Roundles
One who has been found worthy of trust and treasure
White Roundles
Bounty of Nature’s gifts
Chaplets and Wreaths Granted for special service

For more information on the elements of coats of arms visit the link below.

Pimbley's Dictionary of Heraldry
Descriptions of the various elements of the coat of arms

Heraldry on the Internet

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