The Croom Coat of Arms

What are coats of arms? These are hereditary symbols that have been handed down in families. The practice originated in western Europe about the middle of the twelfth century. A coat of arms often is mistakenly referred to as "a family crest." In fact, the crest is a part of a coat of arms. It is possible to have a coat of arms without a crest, but not to have a crest without a coat of arms. 1

Though not enforced today, a false claim and use of a family coat of arms for several centuries was punishable by fine or imprisonment. Many contemporary families unknowingly claim coats of arms to which they have no legitimate title. A person with a particular surname is not necessarily entitled to claim a particular registered coat of arms. Certainly, that is the case with our Croom Coat of Arms, as I shall comment on further down this page.

The coat of arms: The shield is in the center. On top of it should come a helmet, and on top of that a crest which is supposed to be bound onto the helmet by a wreath of the colors. From the helmet flow down the lambrequin or mantel which, like everything else in heraldry had a strictly utilitarian function. Made originally of linen or cloth, the lambrequin helped to keep off the heat of the sun and also catch or deflect sword cuts.1

The shield of the Croom Coat of Arms displayed on my website is described thusly: "Gules, a chevron ermine between three fleur d lis argent." The crest (on top of the helmet) is describe thusly: "A lion rampant argent holding in dexter paw a fleur de lis argent".

Terminology describing the Croom coat of arms, specifically the shield and cress:

Gules: Red - One of the 5 principal heraldic colors; represents fire. In military application it signifies fortitude.

Chevron - adapted from the bow of the war saddle which rose high in front. 

Ermine - one of the 7 furs used in coats of arm. In the Croom example it is white with black spots (track of the ermine) in the shape of a chevron. Ermine was the luxury fur of the Middle Ages.

Fleur de Lis - The three leaves are said to represent faith, wisdom, and valor. This is one of the most highly regarded charges among royalty and those of nobility. The charge is an adaptation of the lily.

Argent: Silver - This metal represents nobility, peace, and serenity.

Helmet - Showed rank. The Croom example denotes Peer.

OR: Gold - Represents the most excellent metal and exceeds all other in value, purity, and fineness; the bearer surpassing all others in valor. A gold crown rests on the helmet in the Croom coat of arms.

Lion - Used as an emblem of strength, courage, and generosity, as well as power and strength. In the Croom coat of arms, the lion is correctly erect in rampant position.

Can descendants of Daniel Croom (~1685 - 1734) honestly claim the Croom Coat of Arms as their own? I think not. Inasmuch as no one knows the identity of the parents of Daniel nor his place of birth, we can only speculate as to his ancestry. For many generations, Croom family members in eastern North Carolina claimed to be of Swiss descent. Later, when records proved they were descended from Daniel Croom of Virginia, many of the same began claiming they were of Irish descent. No known proof supports such claims. After years of research, this writer believes that Daniel Croom most likely was of English descent.

If you wish to know more about heraldry, coats of arms and titles, visit a good library. It makes for interesting reading.

John Croom      
January 1, 2005

 

Footnotes:

1 Heraldry, Ancestry and Titles; L.G. Pine,  MCMLXV,
  Gramercy Publishing Company, New York

 

This page was last revised on 19 December 2005

Copyright 1995-2017 by John H. Croom, all rights reserved.

 

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