COAT OF ARMS
In heraldry, the “ESCUTCHEON” or “COAT OF ARMS” is the complete ensemble formed by a shield with the timbre (helm), the mantling of helmet (swirls), the scroll (ribbon), etc. while the “ARMORIAL BEARINGS”, or ornaments on the shield itself, are the colors and metals, the partitions (divisions), and the charges.
The shield chosen for the Coat of Arms of the Marsil/Lefebvre couple is taken from the logo of André Marsil’s Descendants Association (), created in 1992.
The colors of the shield are silver and red. The partitions form a “chapé”. Three charges adorn the shield: a plumb line, a patriarchal cross and a fleur-de-lis.
Our ancestor André Marsil was from St-Omer (Artois) and his wife, Marie Lefebvre, from Soissons (Ile-de-France). The Coat of Arms of St-Omer were: “red, with a silver patriarchal cross”. The one of Soissons: “red, with a silver fleur-de-lis”.
The color choice thus originates from there, as well as the patriarchal cross and the fleur-de-lis on the shield. The chapé’s joined red sections are a reminder of the union of the first Marsil couple in New France, ancestor of our descent. The plumb line suggests the idea of descent and refers to the important progeny fathered by André Marsil in America.
The tricking of the shield (its description in heraldry language) is as follows (in French) : « D'argent, à un fil à plomb de gueules, mouvant du chef; chappé du mesme, une croix patriarcale sur le pan dextre, une fleur de lys sur le sénestre, le tout du champ. »
In common language: “In silver, with a plumb line falling from the top; covered by a red chapé, a cross on the right section, a fleur-de-lis on the left, both of silver”.
The TIMBRE and the MANTLING OF HELMET
The “gentleman” timbre (iron helmet, sideways, with closed visor and without crown) is accompanied by a mantling of helmet of the colors of the shield.
On the scroll, the motto “Fidenter” (with aplomb or confidence) refers to the plumb line on the shield. It expresses: self-confidence, uprightness, accuracy, and verticality.
Author: Michel Marcil SJ,