Across the years I have seen many different coats of arms that supposedly represented the Delamater family crest. Seemingly, every variant spelling had a different coat of arms. This was somewhat confusing to me for the fact that though the spelling of our last name differs here in America, from family to family, we are all from the same French family. Thus I believed that there aught to be only one coat of arms for our family name.
In my attempt to locate what might be considered the original family coat of arms, I contacted Family Crests at 27 Arthur Street, Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire, SA72 6EN United Kingdom. I spoke with David Humphreys, one of the owners, and explained to him my dilemma. David helped me to see that multiple coats of arms for the same family name are not something new, even in the old French records.
David actually found six coats of arms: three for the name Maitre and three for the name Maistre. For the benefit of future researchers I will try to describe each of them. (Please note that our Crest is #5, below)
- Le Maitre from Brittany - it came from du Bois-Picard en Bretagne, France. It is described as a blue shield with a gold chevron between three gold marigolds (flowers). This family is described as an old noble family of Brittany.
Since most records say our roots go back to Brittany, I originally purchased this family coat of arms (photo above) at: http://www.family-crests.com. As of July 2012, we now know that this is NOT our coat of arms. (See #5, below)
- Le Maitre from Bourbonnais and Flandres-Français (same arms for these two branches) is described as: Or, a cross moline gules - A red ornate looking cross on a gold shield.
- Le Maitre from Lyonnais is described as: Azure, three bezants, on a chief gules a lion passant guardant or - A blue shield with three gold discs and at the top of the shield a red stripe with one of those elongated gold lions on.
- de Maistre of Brittany is described as: Argent, two bars gules between in chief three torteaux two and one, and in base a bugle horn stringed sable A silver shield with two red horizontal stripes and above these three red discs and below the stripes a black old fashioned bugle, attached to this a black ribbon tied in a bow.
- Le Maistre de Boiverd, of Brittany, France is described as: Azure, a lion rampant argent, flanked by two swords erect of the last, hilts and pommels or - A silver shield with two red horizontal stripes and above these three red discs and below the stripes a black old fashioned bugle, attached to this a black ribbon tied in a bow.
According to the Dictionnaire De La Noblesse, Volume 9, pg. 402, this is the ancient Le Maistre de Garlaye coat of arms. See Le Maistre Ancestry, English translation, the very last paragraph.
- Le Maistre of the Island of Jersey, England is described as: Argent, a chevron gules, in base a marigold proper, on a chief azure, three mullets or - A silver shield with a red chevron, below the chevron a marigold flower properly colored. At the top of the shield there is a broad blue horizontal stripe and on this three gold or yellow stars.
This coat of arms had a crest described as: A cubit arm proper, holding in the hand a wreath of roses gules (or a wreath of laurel vert) – A fore-arm in natural flesh color, and in the hand either a wreath of red roses or a wreath of green bay-laurel leaves.
This branch of the family now spells their name LeMaster.