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Our coat of arms

Three hundred years of history

Since the 13th century, the coat of arms has been used to distinguish and identify individuals and groups. The coat of arms began with a shield worn by the knight or warrior. On the shield were engraved or painted marks of honor or simply emblems called arms, the whole of which is called a coat of arms. All this representation served to identify the combatants: companions or enemies. A motto written on the scroll or other ornaments in color or shape were often added to the shield.

From century to century, groups have sought to distinguish themselves by displaying their particular symbols. Provinces have identified themselves, towns have presented themselves differently, and families with the same surname have asserted their roots and heritage.

For the Tifault family, our coat of arms, presented on an old French shield, illustrates the three hundred years of our history in this land of America.

Explanation of the symbols

[Translated from French]

  • Red: this color covers a large part of the shield's field, recalling Guyenne, an ancient French province whose blazon field was gules surmounted by a leopard. In Gironde, a department of this province, Bazas, sixty kilometers from Bordeaux, is where our ancestor Jacques Tifault left for New France around 1684. Among the emblems on the coats of arms of these towns is the tower, a reminder of the numerous attacks and defenses organized by their inhabitants, notably against the Vandals, Visigoths, Normans and English.
  • The tower: its presence is a sign of the fighting spirit of the population to which the ancestor belonged. It stylizes the walls of these towns, with three crenellations at the top to indicate that Bazas was a capital and chief town, with an episcopal see.
  • The silver Tau: the Greek letter corresponding to the French "T" is the main piece in the coat of arms and represents the first letter of our family name. The Tau dominates the field to symbolize the Tifault family, descended from Jacques Tifault and Marie-Anne L'Écuyer. Also known as the Cross of Saint-Antoine, the Tau's silver color and shape reflect the richness of our family's faith, while evoking their determination in the face of adversity. The cross in the middle of the red signifies heroic efforts to harness the forces of nature, and serves as a rallying sign of good will.
  • Three maple leaves: located at the base of the Tau, and growing from the same branch, they represent the three centuries of Tifault generations thriving in Quebec, other Canadian provinces and the United States. The maple represents their tenacity and longevity.
  • The fleur-de-lis: atop the tower, this symbolizes our French origins and links us to the heritage bequeathed to us by our ancestors.
  • The axe: in the free position, it expresses the mobility of our people to clear new lands and to carry out various trades related to construction or logging. The silver axe glorifies the courage of the farmer and the strength of the lumberjack.
  • Five golden ears of wheat: five golden ears of wheat spring from the same stalk of wheat, overloading the axe. They are a reminder of the mutual help required to draw daily bread from the earth, of the repeated efforts required to establish a home, and of the sense of belonging to the same group, whatever the direction of the members, indicated by the barbs on the ears.
  • Five bands of water: rivers were the first means of travel and access to territories for exploration and discovery. Our ancestor Jacques followed the banks of the St. Lawrence. His sons settled on the shores of the Batiscan or L'Assomption rivers. His descendants braved the dark waters of the Saint-Maurice River. Others ventured into the interior up the Rivière des Envies. From father to son, many have known lakes and rivers, mastering the log drive.

Our motto

[Translated from French]

  • It's with audacity (AUDACE), through ideals and projects, that we can make a real contribution to the development of our nation.
  • The memory (SOUVENIR) of our ancestors and parents, by linking us to our roots, raises noble aspirations and feeds the desire to pursue our dreams.
  • Proud of who we are and what we achieve (la FIERTÉ) supports our motivation to surpass ourselves.

Sources: The symbolic composition of the coat of arms was designed and created by Paul-Émile Thiffault of Trois-Rivières, founder of the association Les Tifault d'Amérique. The information presented above is taken from an original article by Paul-Émile Thiffault in the album Nos vingts ans : 1983-2003 published by Les Tifault d'Amérique Inc. and edited by Christine Thiffault and Denyse Thiffault for the website.