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Bristol Coat of Arms / Bristol Family Crest

Bristol Coat of Arms / Bristol Family Crest

This ancient English surname of BRISTOL was a locational name meaning 'one who came from BRISTOL' in Gloucestershire. The name was originally rendered in the Old English form BRYCGSTOW, literally meaning the dweller at the site of the bridge. The name is also spelt BRISTO, BRISTOW, BRISTOWE and BRISTOLL. Early records of the name mention Brycgstowe (without surname) listed as a tenant in the Domesday Book of 1086. Lia de Bristou, was documented in County Gloucestershire in the year 1191. John de Bristow was recorded in County Somerset, 1300 and Thomas Bristow of County Somerset, was documented during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377). Edward Bristow of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Francis Bristow of County Hereford, registered at Oxford University in 1582. The names introduced into Britain by the Normans during the Invasion of 1066 were of three kinds. There were names of Norse origin which their ancestors had carried into Normandy; names of Germanic origin which the Frankish conquerors had brought across the Rhine and which had ousted the old Celtic and Latin names from France, and Biblical names and names of Latin and Greek saints. These names they retained even after the customs and language of the natives of Northern France had been adopted by them. After the Norman Conquest not only Normans, but Frenchmen and Bretons from other parts of France settled in England, and quite a few found their way north into Scotland. In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use as a practical matter. It originated in the devices used to distinguish the armoured warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity. As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe. The eagle depicted in the crest is emblematical of fortitude and magnanimity of mind. The Romans used the figure of an eagle for their ensign, and their example has been often followed. It is the device of Russia, Austria, Germany and the United States of America.

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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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