Barton Historical Society - Coat of Arms
Researched, and artistically compiled by
David Quillian Barton
have done some extensive research on Barton Coats of Arms (COA), checking
information, cross-checking that information that was found, re-checking
and so on. It is to the best of my knowledge, and research, that the
description of the COA is as close to authentic as we can get at this time
without knowing the exact genealogy lineage back to the times COA's were
used. In the description, I will use the Old English terms as well as
modern day terms in parenthesis.
description and drawing that I am presenting is listed in the Burke's
General Armory and is registered at the College of Arms, London. It is in
Record 1560, and "is derived from the place-name Barton, of which there
are twenty-six parishes in England. This Barton descends from Adam de
Barton of Barton in Cambridgeshire, circa 1250." (The Barton's have long
since disappeared from "Barton" and the parish registers show nothing of
value for present day researchers. That is why the Barton-in-the-Beans
theory cannot be proven to date).
Throughout my research, I saw many different items that were referenced to
things or places that have been mentioned or referenced in other research
done by others in the BHS. The first record of the name "Barton" was in
Lancashire, where they had been seated from ancient times. The Barton's
were a fair-skinned Anglo/Saxon race, led by General/Commanders Hengist
and Horsa, and were a founding race of England, settling in Kent around
400 A.D. However, in 1066, the Norman invasion by France forced the land
owners to forfeit their land over to Duke William, and the Barton's
scattered northward to Lancashire, Yorkshire, and Scotland.
family name of Barton emerged as a very notable family name in the county
of Lancashire, establishing a family seat at Barton Hall in Smithills.
For the next 2-3 centuries, the Barton name was involved and played a
significant role in the political development of England. But, again due
to wars and political/religious conflict, many families moved to Ireland,
and to the "colonies" in the 16th, 17th and even 18th centuries.
is very important to keep in mind that a single-family member's COA could
change over time. One reason is that of marriage. In some cases, a Barton
would marry, and take his wife's family's COA, or make a COA with a
combination of both families COA elements. Another reason would be that a
person might inherit the entire estate of a Barton or another family name,
and this inheritance also included the last name and the COA. That is one
reason for so many DNA lineages for people with the Barton name. In the
previous centuries, a particular person's surname might not have been
Barton, but assumed the name due to inheritance of an estate, or changed
due to marriage. You can also include adoption in the mix. Additionally,
there are many additional ways to have received the use of the COA, but
those reasons are too many to list. Also, there are many different
variations of the spelling of the surname “Barton”.
initial use of the COA supposedly started in the 12th century. Used at
first only as badges by the members of an army, they soon developed
differentiations, as clans and then families adopted the symbols which
they displayed on the outside of their coat, or on their helmet. By the
13th century, the passing down of the family COA from father to sons was
the recognized custom. In the beginning, the armorial devices were crude,
but over time became more artistically significant.
These devices were first used as a symbol of recognition on the field of
battle. But, in time, they became a matter of family pride, and were used
as a symbol by a particular family as a way to recognize them. So, the
Badge, and COA soon began to show up on their armor, carriages, hung in
their homes, churches, etc. During this time, there was no regular
systematic way of recording the different COA's.
families were using COA's, but had no hereditary right to them, and there
were few records kept. In the early 1520's, King Richard 1 established a
record keeping system, and sent out his "heralds" (hence the word
heraldry) on periodical "visitations" to record the arms of gentry. These
visits continued for over 150 years. Almost all of the earlier COA's were
based upon some play on the family name; thus from "Barton" was derived
"Boar-ton", and the boar's head was used. The boar's head is one of the
major principals of heraldry, and the use of the boar's head symbol was
used by many warriors and huntsmen. Most feasts always included a wild
boar as one of the meats of the meal. The Barton's of Barton used the
boar's head as their arms shield element for 250 years prior to the
establishment of the College of Arms. Over time, different parts were
added to some COA's, such as the helmet, the crest and the motto. Some
COA's included "supporters", which were animals or people, even mystical
creatures, on both sides of the shield, usually in a standing position,
thus "supporting" the COA.
is also important to remember that a COA is made up of many parts and
colors. Over time, the appearance of a family's COA changed, as different
artists drew or painted the symbols in their artistic manner. What did not
usually change over time was what was considered the family’s "primary
colors". Not all COA's contained every element, such as a crest or motto.
Normally, the family name was not included, and the motto was usually
found at the bottom of the shield.
following is the description of the Barton COA, as listed in Burkes
General Armory in the College of Arms:
"ARMS: Argent (silver or white in color), three boars' heads couped (cut
smooth at the base of the neck) sable (black in color), armed argent (tusk
showing, white in color)."
"Crest: A boars' head couped (cut smooth at the base of the neck) gules
(red in color)."
"primary colors are Argent (silver in color) and sable (black).
Motto: "Fide Et Fortitude" (By or With Faith and Courage)
diagram of a Coat of Arms:
Motto: only the words (if any). The placement on a banner and typestyle
are at the artist's discretion (see above)
Crest: The symbol that appears above the helmet. (In our COA, it's the red
boars' head). This was used as an original autograph, such as being
engraved in a ring, and the ring pressed into the wax sealing a document.
The boars’ head symbol was left, meaning the document was authentic, and
approved by the family member.
shield elements: What appears on the shield, their placement, and their
colors.(the three black boars' heads)
Supporters (if any): Usually two birds, animals or persons on each side of
the shield.(no description ever found containing supporters)
Wreath or Torse: A rope with six parts, using the two primary colors. This
is what the Crest usually used as a base. (the black and silver rope under
the red boars' head)
Helmet (Helm): The type of helmet changed over time, and the design was at
the discretion of the artist. A helmet profile was usually used by
Gentlemen or Peers. A full-faced Helm was usually used by Royalty.
Shield or Angle: This is the base of the entire COA, and the shape changed
throughout the centuries at the discretion of the artist.
Mantle or Mantling: This was actually a coat that was used to protect the
helmet from the sun's rays and heat. It later began to develop into
decorative ribbons, but usually begins on the helmet, and as a solid piece
covering the back-side of the helmet to symbolize the protection from the
There are nearly thirty families with the surname of Barton that have a
registered Coat of Arms. To try to connect them to a specific Barton
Family would be improbable, and would transcend the purpose of
establishing a single Coat of Arms for use by the Barton Historical
NOTE: My knowledge does not enable me to directly connect to any
specific Barton family in America with any of the earlier Barton's in
England. Some of the information in this article could unintentionally be
incorrect. This family name is so old, and was so scattered, a single line
of descent is virtually impossible, but we can assume we are all descended
from many original ancestors of England. While a single line cannot or has
not been established, the following description of the COA was found in
many different references, and each one was identical. Anyone with
additional information that can enhance, prove or disprove any of this
information is asked to please make it known in order to keep our records
as authentic as possible.
***The use or reproduction of this artistic design of the Barton Coat of
Arms for any purpose without signed, written permission from David
Quillian Barton or the Barton Historical Society Board of Directors is
strictly prohibited and is protected by the copyright laws of the United
States of America.
(David Quillian Barton)
April 6, 2004