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  1. #1
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    herladry experts take a look at this COA and tell me what you can....

    [IMG][/IMG]

    can anyone give me any info or interpretations

  2. #2
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    Burke's General Armory of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales lists simply the blazon with no additional information:
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    Cowden. Az. on a fess ar. betw. three annulets or, a lion pass. sa. Crest—A demi lion sa. charged with an annulet or.
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    From The Arms of the Baronial and Police Burghs of Scotland by John Marquess of Bute, K.T. , J. H. Stevenson, and H. W. Lonsdale (William Blackwood & Sons, 1903):
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    COWDENBEATH.
    This burgh, incorporated in 1890, possesses no arms. The seal bears simply a representation of the head of a coal-pit—coal-mining being, as the town clerk remarks, the staple industry of the burgh. The general design seems to be to express the idea of wealth derived from coal- mining in the parish of Beath, the name of which (Gaelic, Beithe) signifies a birch-tree, and this could be very well done by a coat party per fess or and sable, a birch-tree proper.

    Note. — The word Cowden seems to be the name of a family, and Cowdenbeath to indicate that part of the parish of Beath which at that time belonged to them, just as other parts are for the parallel reason called Stevenson - beath and Leuchars- beath. There is a family of Cowden bearing azure, on a fess argent, between three annulets or, a lion passant sable; but neither this nor any family connected with the place have appeared to the Town Council to be of sufficient importance to contribute an element to their device, and we are not sufficiently informed to disagree with them.
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    I would guess that those arms belong to that particular family and have been unscrupulously used by the peddlers of "family crests" as the coat of arms of all named Cowden.
    Kenneth Mansfield
    VITAM FORTITER AGERE
    My tartan quilt: Austin, Campbell, Hamilton, MacBean, MacLean, MacRae, Robertson, Sinclair (and counting)

  3. #3
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    this arms actually is associated with my family. i didnt get through a peddler, a much older rendition was given to me on a piece of parchment by my grandfather. i also have traced it back through my family tree to my ancestor James Cowden of Ireland 1660. i have read many descriptions on the arms and was more curious if any of these symbols or its arrangement had signifigant meaning in scottish heraldry.
    Last edited by celticpride; 18th April 12 at 12:04 PM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by celticpride View Post
    this arms actually is associated with my family. i didnt get through a peddler, a much older rendition was given to me on a piece of parchment by my grandfather. i also have traced it back through my family tree to my ancestor James Cowden of Ireland 1660. i have read many descriptions on the arms and was more curious if any of these symbols or its arrangement had signifigant meaning in scottish herladry.
    You may not have received these from a peddler and I certainly didn't accuse you of it. But the fact remains that if you do an Internet search for the "Cowden coat of arms" these are the arms you get. And in point of fact, the illustration you have used comes from just one of those what those in the heraldic community call "bucket shops". What these peddlers of family crests do is look up names in resources like Burke's and find the oldest (or in the case of Cowden, only) arms listed for a name and pass it off as belonging to anyone with that surname.

    Burke's doesn't list where the arms are used, but that may be available elsewhere. We can ascertain from Bute et al, that a particular family named Cowden in Scotland used these arms at some point. If these are indeed the arms used by your forebears, then chances are you are related to said family. I would want some greater evidence that my family actually used the arms if it were me. These peddlers have existed for more than a century and more than one genealogical researcher has latched on to a family coat of arms not knowing much about actual heraldic practice. That said, if you have evidence that your direct ancestors actually used these arms, I would say keep on keeping on.

    As to there being some meaning to the arrangement or choice of charges, most of this idea is a modern contrivance. In reality it may show a familial connection to an older family whose arms were simply Azure three Annulets Or or it may just be something the original armiger liked. If granted, only the whims of the heralds may be what is evident. It's really impossible to know.
    Kenneth Mansfield
    VITAM FORTITER AGERE
    My tartan quilt: Austin, Campbell, Hamilton, MacBean, MacLean, MacRae, Robertson, Sinclair (and counting)

  5. #5
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    hope last post didnt come accross as short, i am use to texting alot through work so i tend to make messages a lil quick. my research into my family tree was done over the last 25 or so years starting with my grandfather who gave me names of his grandparents and such. it took alot of digging but the last 5-10 years the internet has allowed access to alot of records for people doing research and i was able to re-construct our tree back to ireland in early 1600's to the ancestor who was known to have this arms. thanks for your response i always like hearing others opinions on this subject.

  6. #6
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    Ditto to what Slackerdrummer said. Many coats of arms have no meaning especially geometric ones and early years of heraldry. It Scotland arms do have meaning in the symbols and the same for Ireland. Yet many of those countries arms have no meaning too. Some of the symbols used back then mean nothing to us today but back then they did. With symbols are hidden information or revelation.

  7. #7
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    I can only agree with all that has been said above. If there had been any symbolism in the original shield (doubtful), that symbolism has been lost by following generations. Each successive generation re-interprets symbolism to suit their own ideas and beliefs which might be very different from those of the man who was first granted the arms.

    In the end, sometimes, a cigar is just a cigar.

    Regards

    Chas

  8. #8
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    Another point that needs to be stressed: In heraldry -- especially BRITISH heraldry, there is no such thing as "family arms."

    Arms are awarded to INDIVIDUALS. The only person who, legally (in Scotland it's actually by law) bear those arms is the first son of the first son of the first son (etc.) of the guy who originally bore them, assuming that nowhere along the line did one of the sons marry an heiress in her own right, in which case the arms get marshalled with hers.

    This is why we abhor bucket shops -- they are selling people the illusions that they have any right to bear or display the arms they are selling.

    Tony

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by AJBryant View Post
    Another point that needs to be stressed: In heraldry -- especially BRITISH heraldry, there is no such thing as "family arms."

    Arms are awarded to INDIVIDUALS. The only person who, legally (in Scotland it's actually by law) bear those arms is the first son of the first son of the first son (etc.) of the guy who originally bore them, assuming that nowhere along the line did one of the sons marry an heiress in her own right, in which case the arms get marshalled with hers.

    This is why we abhor bucket shops -- they are selling people the illusions that they have any right to bear or display the arms they are selling.

    Tony
    Quite correct. My father bought our "bucket shoppe" arms when I was a kid. As an exercise (just to see if I could), I actually managed to track them back to the original armiger - a 1625 grant to William Prittie Harris, Esq. of County Cork in the name of his grandfather, Richard Harris - to whom we have no known connection.
    Last edited by saharris; 30th April 12 at 08:05 AM.
    St́ophan, Clann Mhic Lẹid na Hearadh
    Steven, Clan MacLeod of Harris
    Dandelion Pursuivant of Arms

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by AJBryant View Post
    The only person who, legally (in Scotland it's actually by law) bear those arms is the first son of the first son of the first son (etc.) of the guy who originally bore them, assuming that nowhere along the line did one of the sons marry an heiress in her own right, in which case the arms get marshalled with hers.
    Only in Scotland is that really the case in practice. In England theoretically all sons inherit the arms with brissures for cadency - the heir losing the label upon his father's death - but in reality the use of brissures never really caught on and to the extent that it did, it didn't hang on. Daughters still do not inherit unless they are an heraldic heiress, but all sons do.

    Still, though, you are correct that they do not belong to all of the same name. They belong to all who are descended in the male line of the original armiger. That's even sort of true in Scotland, just with differences applied for all but the eldest male.
    Kenneth Mansfield
    VITAM FORTITER AGERE
    My tartan quilt: Austin, Campbell, Hamilton, MacBean, MacLean, MacRae, Robertson, Sinclair (and counting)

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