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Maillard Coat of Arms / Maillard Family Crest

Maillard Coat of Arms / Maillard Family Crest

This English, French and Swiss surname of MAILLARD was a locational name meaning 'the dweller at the sign of the wild drake or wild duck'. In the Middle Ages surnames were frequently taken from bird signs, although in many cases the meaning was as a dealer in such birds used for food. Although many of these animal and bird names sometimes came from shop or inn signs, some also have other derivations such as nicknames from a fancied resemblance to the creature depicted. The name is also spelt MALARD, MALLARD and MAILLART. During the 17th century surnames were brought to Britain, North America and southern Africa by French Huguenot exiles. The Huguenots were French Protestants, and in 1572 large numbers of them were massacred in Paris on the orders of Queen Catherine de'Medici. Many of the survivors sought refuge in England and elsewhere. Although the Edict of Nantes (1598) officially guaranteed religious toleration, persecution continued, and the Edict was revoked by Louis XIV in 1685. It was then the trickle of emigration became a flood. Many migrated to England, while others joined groups of Dutch Protestants settling around the Cape of Good Hope. Others sailed across the Atlantic to establish themselves in North America. Early records of the name include John MALARD of County Hereford, who registered at Oxford University in 1580, and Ralph Beech and Mary MALLARD were married at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in the year 1638. Francis MALLARD and Anne Hinderson were wed at St. George's Chapel, Mayfair, London in 1742. A notable member of the name was Robert MAILLART (1872-1940) the Swiss civil engineer, born in Berne. He studied at the Zurich Polytechnic, then set up on his own. He designed many industrial buildings and arch bridges in the Swiss Alps including the spectacular curving Schwanback Bridge (1933). In the Middle Ages the Herald (old French herault) was an officer whose duty it was to proclaim war or peace, carry challenges to battle and messages between sovereigns; nowadays war or peace is still proclaimed by the heralds, but their chief duty as court functionaries is to superintend state ceremonies, such as coronations, installations, and to grant arms. Edward III (1327-1377) appointed two heraldic kings-at-arms for south and north, England in 1340. The English College of Heralds was incorporated by Richard III in 1483-84.


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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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