Triste History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Triste history begins in Cornwall, a rugged coastal region in southwestern England. Quite distinct from Devon, the adjoining county, Cornwall had its own spoken language until the late 18th century. The Triste history began here. The manner in which hereditary surnames arose is interesting. Local surnames were derived from where the original bearer lived, was born, or held land. Unlike most Celtic peoples, who favored patronymic names, the Cornish predominantly used local surnames. The Triste family originally lived in Cornwall. Their name, however, is derived from the Old French word triste, meaning meeting place, and indicates that they lived near a popular meeting place.

Early Origins of the Triste family

The surname Triste was first found in Cornwall where they held a family seat at Lords of the Manor of Parc Behan. The main stem of this distinguished Cornish family flourished until the 15th or 16th centuries. It is curious how the evolution of the family motto has been woven around the family surname 'Nec Triste, Nec trepidum', Neither sad nor fearful. This used to be a common practice in the 13th and 14th centuries, particularly in war cries, which frequently held only one word, the family name.

Early History of the Triste family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Triste research. Another 78 words (6 lines of text) covering the year 1748 is included under the topic Early Triste History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Triste Spelling Variations

Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Trist, Triste, Triss, Trisse and others.

Early Notables of the Triste family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Triste Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Australia Triste migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Triste Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Frederick Triste, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Aztec" in 1851 [1]


The Triste Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Nec triste nec trepidum
Motto Translation: Neither sad nor fearful.


  1. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) AZTEC 1851. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1851Aztec.gif


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