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Keys/McKey Coat of Arms 1700 County Fermanagh

Replies: 5

Keys/McKey Coat of Arms 1700 County Fermanagh

Posted: 1443801534000
Classification: Query
With this note I am reviving an old line of research. A coat of arms appears on Keys gravestones dating from 1733 and 1794 near Irvinestown, County Fermanagh. (See image.) The Keys in Fermanagh may have emigrated from Galloway in Scotland in the 1600s, the name having been anglicized from McKey or similar. In the 1930s the arms are confirmed by the Ulster King of Arms to descendants of the Keys, with the blazon given below. (See artists representation in image.) However, no information as to the original grant of arms is provided. The question is: what is their significance/origin and why did the Keys believe they were entitled to bear them?
The blazon: "Or, a lion rampant gules between two fleur-de-lys azure, on a chief of the last three crosses couped gold, for Crest on a wreath of the colours, an arm erect in armour couped at the wrist, the hand proper, mantled gules, double argent, for Motto: “Ne perii nec disperii,” the whole as is in the margent more clearly depicted"
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