Coats of arms and banners were used in medieval times by knights going into battle for each clan or family. They were first used because most people were not able to read or write. During battle it was hard to distinguish who was who due to the armor worn by the knights so coats of arms and banners were used to denote each clan. Coats of arms were granted by the ruling monarch and not everyone in the family had the right to use it only the one who had distinguished themselves to the monarch. Today, there are still laws that govern the use of coats of arms but unless one is trademarked everyone can lay claim to them. Today in England, no surname is granted a coat of arms only individuals. Therefore, you may find more than one coat of arms for the same surname but was awarded to different individuals.
Originally, the family motto was a war cry or slogan and was written in Latin. They began to be shown with the arms or crests in the 14th and 15 centuries, but it wasn't until the 17th century that they became generally used. Mottoes weren't included in the older coat of arms and is optional and can be added or changed when wanted.
I have researched various surnames in both mine and my husband's line of the family. Please note these were awarded or used by the families from medieval times and may not have been awarded to any one in our direct lineage.
Motto: "Velis quod prosis" - Aim at what you can accomplish.
The origin of the surname Seibel is French/German. Lee's line of the family was German or German/Russian though the first written record of Seibel was first found in Burgundy, France.
Motto: "I Mak Sikkar" - I Make Sure
The Kirkpatrick motto came into use when Sir Roger Kirkpatrick was an attendant to Robert the Bruce in the very early 1300's. Robert the Bruce became involved in a feud with John "the Red" Comyn, chief of Clan Comyn. Robert arranged to meet Comyn at a church at Dumfries. Sir Roger and another companion waited outside. The meeting turned sour and Robert the Bruce stabbed Comyn but didn't kill him. Robert ran outside and told Sir Roger and the other knight that he had stabbed him but he wasn't dead. Sir Roger then ran into the church and proclaimed he "would make sure" and stabbed Comyn to death.
This event lead not only to the motto but the crest showing a hand holding a dagger with blood dripping off of it which represented the blood of Comyn.
Motto: Audacter et Strenue" - Boldly and Earnestly
The origin of the motto and crest is not completely known at this time.
Motto: "Reviresco" - I flourish again
It is also translated as "I grow strong again." This motto describes a sense of positivity in adverse circumstances. It was adopted in the days of William Maxwell, 5th Earl of Nithsdale and replaced the older motto "I bid ye fair" which adorned the Castle at Caerlaverock. The Maxwells lost the Castle to the English during the wars of Scottish Independence in the 17th century even with the help of their cousins, the Pollock family.
An interesting note to Castle Caerlaverock, the Kirkpatrick family (Lee's side of the family) won Caerlaverock Castle in another battle with the English!
Motto: "Stabo" - I Shall Stand
Motto: "Quod Ero Spero" - What I hope to accomplish , I shall accomplish
There are many variations of the Booth Coat of Arms, this one is just an example of one of them.
Motto: "Reviresco" I grow strong again
The McEwen is also related to Clan Maxwell
Motto: "Honor virtutia præmium" - Honor (or esteem) is the reward for virtue