What does the Coat of Arms mean?

Carter Society Coat of ArmsThe Carter Society coat of arms reflects our recognition of the early families joined, one to another, in spirit, if not by blood.

Arms: Azure, a chevron or. voided gules between two boucles in chief and a Catherine-wheel in base of the second.

Mantling: Azure lined.

Crest: A talbot sejeant proper holding in his dexter paw a staff with the flag of the thirteen colonies retiring the Union flag of England and Scotland.

Motto: The Cater Society, established 2001.
In order to bring immediate recognition to the Carter Society corporate name, the Board of Directors engaged Margaret Bauer Carter of Lewiston, Idaho, to design a corporate logo, a coat of arms representative of the common bond of the Carters of Colonial Virginia. Her research revealed the common element among all carters, the wheel, was present in the earliest General Livery arms grants to Carters in England and, while a more common wheel design may have been reflected in those archaic applications, it is the Catherine-wheel that was more widely used after the 14th century. The Catherine-wheel, the primary element of the arms displayed by the "Corotoman" Carters of Lancaster County, Virginia, is in contrast to the boucles displayed on the escutcheon of the Carters of "Barford," also of Lancaster County, distinctly different, yet often mistakenly considered interchangeable.
The term 'coat of arms' normally implies a shield, charged with heraldic devices. In its wider sense it also embraces the helm and crest, mantling, motto and other embellishments which make up a full heraldic 'achievement.' A personal Grant may include a device relating to the applicant's profession, whilst institutions and corporations have often designed [their own] devices alluding to their origin and purpose. (From How to Read a Coat of Arms, Peter G. Summers, Harmony Books, NY.)

Notes on some elements of the Carter Society coat of arms:

Chevron a device in the shape of an inverted "V" most often used to indicate the marrying of families.

Catherine-wheel a wheel of usually six to eight spokes with a number of curved blades along the rim, the emblem of the martyrdom of St. Catherine whom the pagans attempted to put to death by a wheel of this kind.

Boucle a buckle of varying designs.

Talbot a long-eared dog.

The flags in the Society crest signify the Union Jack being laid to rest as the American flag representing the thirteen colonies is raised, bringing an end to the tyranny of the Crown of England with the colonists' victory at the Battle of Yorktown in July 1776 that ended the American Revolution.

How can one join the Carter Society?

Membership is extended to all whose descent from their immigrant Carter ancestor has been established. Complete details are available in the Membership Section.

Are there Carter Reunions?

Yes! Since 2001, The Carter Society has held an annual reunion. The multi-day event is moved to various locations in order to explore the impact of the Carter family. Events include tours of homes and historic places, presentations by authorities on their subjects, and opportunities to sample the local fare. Visit the Reunions section for information on past reunions and the next reunion.