Monday, 5 October 2009

MAYOR


ORIGIN: VIKING-NORMAN

MOTTO: MEA ANCHORA CHRISTUS (Christ is my anchor)

Mayor is a French surname of Viking-Norman origin.

The Normans were Viking warriors who settled in Normandy, France, the region gaining its name from the Latin Normannium meaning "Men of the North".

The Mayor surname can be found mostly in France and Switzerland but also in England, where the Normans settled in large numbers following the invasion and conquest by Duke William of Normandy, who became King Willam I of England in 1066.

The first Mayor families to arrive in England were awarded land by William the Conqueror for their distinguished service at the Battle of Hastings in 1066.

The Mayor surname originates from, and is a variant of, the name Mauger, and carries the meanings of "council spear" and "authority", which itself is derived from the Latin magnus meaning "great one" or "leader".

The original Mayor/Mauger coat-of-arms is composed of a knight's helmet, a red greyhound to indicate courage, vigilance and loyalty, three red roses, and a ships anchor to indicate religious steadfastness. This theme is also reflected in the Mayor/Mauger family motto, Mea anchora Christus, meaning "Christ is my anchor". These symbols are set against a red and yellow backdrop to indicate the colours that make up the Flag of Normandy.

The colour red in a coat of arms also indicates the status of warrior.

As a title, the term Mayor is still used to indicate the head of a town and this is a good indication of its original meaning.

NOTES:

The specialist Armorial-History website 'The House of Names' states that the first Mayor families to arrive in England were awarded land by William the Conqueror for their distinguished service at the Battle of Hastings in 1066.

The author Henry S. King in his 1874 book 'The Norman People' lists the surname 'Mayor' as being of French-Norman origin.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mayor_%28Surname%29

Source: Wikipedia, House of Names, 'book' 'The Norman People' by H.S. King.