And so to the Coat of Arms. Almost everybody who starts
showing an interest in their family tree, hopes to unearth the Family Coat
of Arms to emblazon on their letterheads, door post or, possibly worst of
all, blazer breast pocket. One word of warning, virtually anybody, and we
Covingtons are no different to the rest, can trace a connection to an
armiger, one who has been given the right to bear a coat-of-arms. However,
do not assume that the arms go with the surname: they go to the lineal
heirs of the man awarded them, in strict accordance with the laws of arms.
With that point made and a confidence that should you
choose to use it in some way, it is extremely unlikely that the KGB of the
Coat-of-Arms world will catch up with you, it may come as a shock to learn
that the only one listed in Burke's General Armory is the Coventon Coat of
Arms. The description of this entry actually reads; "Az. fretty ar. a
saltier parted of the last betw. four estoiles or. (Crest) An heraldic
tiger ramp. gu. semee of estoiles armed and tufted or., supporting a
tilting spear ppr. (Motto) Invidere sperno.
It is likely that the above means very little to you,
as it did to me. However, detailed below is my best attempt at a
translation, which may provide a slightly clearer picture.
Az. = azure (blue)
and is the background colour of the shield or "colours".
fretty ar. = Interlaced fillets crossing the field or
charge lozengeways coloured argent (silver or white). A sort of trellis
A saltier = The cross of St Andrew (an X shape)
parted of the last between four estoiles or. = an
estoile is a 6 armed star shape, with the end of each "arm"
slightly curved, similar to a star-fish. These are coloured or. (gold or
yellow) and situated in the 4 gaps between the cross (saltier) and the
edges of the shield.
The crest - An heraldic tiger ramp gu. = a tiger
standing on its back legs, rising up aggressively and coloured red (gu. =
semee of estolies = strewed over more estoiles (see
armed and tufted or. = hoofs and mane coloured gold or
supporting a tilting spear ppr. = holding a weapon as
used in tilts or tournaments. (ppr = proper ?)
The Motto, Invidere sperno = "I scorn to
envy" and is shared with the Davies and Saunders families.
The black and white interpretation of the arms is shown
below, but it could be considered as a little over elaborate in that no
mention is made of armour helmets or flowing ribbons in the General Armory
version below, doesn’t bear too much scrutiny with regard to the
description above, but it still looks quite nice!!
However, in January 2002 I have been sent a
very nice version from Gene Covington whose family comes from North
Carolina USA. My thanks to him for his submission.