Archiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 2003-12 > 1071708602

From: Nathaniel Taylor <>
Subject: 'atte Hales' arms (was Re: COATS OF ARMS)
Date: Thu, 18 Dec 2003 00:50:02 GMT
References: <>

In article <>, wrote:

> I am a direct male descendant of a Hale who was entitled to arms. His name
> was atte Hales but it is the same. I use his arms, with minor alterations, as
> my own.

I find this interesting from a sociological perspective--though this
takes us away from the original theme of this (now vastly overlong)
thread. Could you share more information about this line? What is the
date of this ___ atte Hales from whom you can trace descent, and what is
the evidence that he bore arms? 'atte Hales' is an Old English / Middle
English name, of the type of 'generic toponym', referring to a
geographic feature (a 'nook, recess, or valley') rather than a named
place (at least, this is what the entry in the Oxford _Dictionary of
English Surnames_ bears, naming several thirteenth-century holders of
this name in different counties).

For the period in which the form 'atte Hales' would have been used (13th
c., 14th c., maybe early 15th c.) my instinct would be to assume that
the holder of such a name was not of knightly rank. People with real
Middle English rural names like this, in this period, were not likely to
be recognized at that time as armigers, though of course by the
sixteenth century their descendants could certainly be so, as we see in
the visitations.

So: does your armigerous 'atte Hales' ancestor really predate the
Visitations, as the form of his surname implies? If so, what is the
evidence for his use of a coat of arms?

Nat Taylor

This thread: