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Coat of Arms

"Family indivisibility, the first commandment."
- Philip Roth

  • Gold denotes generosity, valor, perseverance.
  • Red means military strength and magnanimity.
  • The crown identifies person as a count.
  • A lion indicates dauntless courage.
  • The shield represents a defender.

Authentication . . .

This is the coat of arms chosen by our Descendants of Marie Ferree Association and the one accepted by most historians who have researched the Ferree family and for which there is authentication. This authentication can be found in the book "Nobility of Normandy" by E. de Magny, published in Paris in 1864, and located in the National Library of Paris.

Story behind our coat of arms . . .

In very early days medievel knights used a coat of arms to make their shields stand out in battle and make them easily recognizable. They became military status symbols. Most coats of arms were assumed by the bearers and not "granted" by any authority. An exclusive privilege of nobility, the ruling class of society in France, was to hold land which was granted to them for honor or noble service in the military. It was tradition that land and coats of arms were passed from father to son as legal property. In 1265, Robert Ferre des Ferris, son of Raoul (Rodolphe) Ferree confirmed to Pierre de la Masure, the present his father made him of several estates at Forchamps. The original document can be found in the Archives of St. Lo. Translated it reads...

"It is to be known to everybody, as well in the present as in the future that I, Robert Ferre, a knight, gave and confirmed by the present chart to Peter, surnamed 'de la Masure', everything my father Rodolphe gave and confirmed in a chart to this same Peter for services rendered to him. This chart determines the possessions of Peter. In order for this document to be legal now and in the future I put the medal of my own seal on it. This has been done in the year 1265 in the parish of Forchamps."

On the seal are three horseshoes, two above and one below. This is the old coat of arms. A member of this family took part in the Albigeois War and founded a family in Italy with the coat of arms having three rings instead of the three horseshoes. This Italian branch eventually established themselves again in France and continued to use the "three rings". It is the coat of arms used by our Ferree family today.