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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the English Baldwin family come from? What is the English Baldwin family crest and coat of arms? When did the Baldwin family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Baldwin family history?

Baldwin is one of the names carried to England in the great wave of migration from Normandy following the Norman Conquest in 1066. It is based on the Germanic elements bald, which means bold, and wine, which means friend or protector. Early records show that Baldwin, the Count of Flanders (1172-1205), led the Fourth Crusade and became the first Latin Emperor of Constantinople (1204). Baldwin of Exeter (c.1125-1190) was Bishop of Worcester in 1180 and Archbishop of Canterbury between 1185 and 1190.


Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval 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. The name has been spelled Baldwin, Baldwine, Baldwyn, Baldwyne, Baldwynn and others.

First found in Shropshire, where they had been granted lands by King William after the Norman Conquest in 1066.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Baldwin research. Another 179 words(13 lines of text) covering the years 1905, 1593, 1640, 1644, 1620, 1696, 1691, 1659, 1618, 1683, 1659 and 1585 are included under the topic Early Baldwin History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 135 words(10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Baldwin Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Baldwin family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 165 words(12 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Baldwin or a variant listed above:

Baldwin Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • George Baldwin who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1620
  • Nicholas Baldwin, who landed in Virginia in 1622
  • Hugh Baldwin, who landed in Virginia in 1623
  • Jo Baldwin, who landed in Virginia in 1635
  • Wm Baldwin, who landed in Virginia in 1635

Baldwin Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Inc Baldwin, who arrived in Virginia in 1701
  • Edward Baldwin, who landed in Maryland in 1753
  • Samuel Baldwin, who landed in America in 1774

Baldwin Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Cath Baldwin, who arrived in New York, NY in 1812
  • Thomas Baldwin, who landed in New York in 1822
  • Daniel Baldwin, who landed in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1838
  • John P Baldwin, aged 31, arrived in Key West, Fla in 1838
  • Benjamin Baldwin, who landed in Mobile County, Ala in 1840


  • Rear Admiral Charles H Baldwin (1822-1888), American officer in the US Navy
  • Joseph Glover Baldwin (1815-1864), American writer
  • Alexander Rae "Alec" Baldwin (b. 1958), Emmy, Academy Award-nominated, and Golden Globe Award-winning, American actor
  • James Arthur Baldwin (1924-1987), American writer and essayist, known for his book-length essays The Fire Next Time (1963), No Name in the Street (1972), and The Devil Finds Work (1976) and his first novel Go Tell It on the Mountain (1953)
  • James Mark Baldwin (1861-1934), American psychologist
  • Matthias William Baldwin (1795-1866), American locomotive engineer, founder of The Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1825
  • Frank Dwight Baldwin (1842-1923), American soldier, one of only 19 American servicemen to receive the Medal of Honor twice
  • Hanson Weightman Baldwin (1903-1991), American long-time military editor of the New York Times. He won a Pulitzer Prize for "his coverage of the early days of World War II"
  • Roger Nash Baldwin (1884-1981), founder of the American Civil Liberties Union and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Daniel Leroy Baldwin (b. 1960), American actor, producer and director



  • The Baldwins: From Virginia Westward by Frank C. Baldwin.
  • The Descendants of Joseph Baldwin by Donald J. Sublette.

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: Je n'oublierai pas
Motto Translation: I will never forget.


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  1. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  2. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  3. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  4. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  5. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  6. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  7. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  8. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  9. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  10. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  11. ...

The Baldwin Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Baldwin Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 8 August 2014 at 13:41.

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