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

Origins Available: German, Irish, Jewish

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

The surname Fox originally appeared in Gaelic as O Sionnaigh, derived from the word "sionnach," which means "fox."


Within the archives researched, many different spelling variations of the surname Fox were found. These included One reason for the many variations is that scribes and church officials often spelled an individual's name as it sounded. This imprecise method often led to many versions. Fox, McFox, McShanaghy, McShinagh, McShinnock and others.

First found in County Limerick (Irish: Luimneach) located in Southwestern Ireland, in the province of Munster, where they held a family seat from very ancient times.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fox research. Another 375 words(27 lines of text) covering the years 1624, 1691, 1749, 1806, 1806, 1624, 1691, 1627, 1716, 1661, 1679, 1679, 1685, 1689, 1661, 1676, 1679 and 1680 are included under the topic Early Fox History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 121 words(9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Fox Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


During the 19th century thousands of impoverished Irish families made the long journey to British North America and the United States. These people were leaving a land that had become beset with poverty, lack of opportunity, and hunger. In North America, they hoped to find land, work, and political and religious freedoms. Although the majority of the immigrants that survived the long sea passage did make these discoveries, it was not without much perseverance and hard work: by the mid-19th century land suitable for agriculture was short supply, especially in British North America, in the east; the work available was generally low paying and physically taxing construction or factory work; and the English stereotypes concerning the Irish, although less frequent and vehement, were, nevertheless, present in the land of freedom, liberty, and equality for all men. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. Research into passenger and immigration lists has brought forth evidence of the early members of the Fox family in North America:

Fox Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Hugh Fox, who arrived in Virginia in 1633
  • Jo Fox, aged 35, arrived in New England in 1635
  • George Fox settled in Virginia in 1635
  • John Fox settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Francis Fox settled in Virginia in 1639

Fox Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Richd Fox, who arrived in Virginia in 1704
  • James Fox settled in Virginia in 1706
  • Marmaduke Fox, who arrived in Virginia in 1714
  • Jas Fox, who landed in Virginia in 1723
  • Johanis Frans Fox, aged 25, arrived in Pennsylvania in 1732

Fox Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Patt Fox, who arrived in New York, NY in 1804
  • Joseph Fox, who landed in America in 1811
  • Antonio Fox, who arrived in Puerto Rico in 1816
  • Mr. Fox, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1822
  • Benjamin Fox was a planter in Western Bay in 1828

Fox Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century

  • George Greenfield Fox, who arrived in Colorado in 1901


  • Marye Anne Fox (b. 1947), American physical organic chemist named Chancellor of the University of California, San Diego in 2004
  • William Fox (1879-1952), American motion picture executive who founded the Fox Film Corporation in 1915 and the Fox West Coast Theatres chain in the 1920s
  • Anne-Marie Fox (b. 1962), American model and actress
  • Colonel Wesley L. Fox (b. 1931), American Marine awarded the Medal of Honor for valor during the Vietnam War and is widely regarded as a legendary hero within the Corps
  • Vivica Anjanetta Fox Fox (b. 1964), American actress and television producer best known for her roles in the films Independence Day and Kill Bill: Vol. 1
  • Lieutenant-General Alonzo Patrick Fox (1895-1984), American Commanding General War Department Personnel Center, Fort Sam Houston (1945-1946)
  • Brigadier-General Leon Alexander Fox (1890-1965), American Chief Medical Officer North Atlantic Division (1945-1946)
  • Mr. Stanley Hubert Fox (d. 1912), aged 38, American Second Class passenger from Rochester, New York who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking and was recovered by CS Mackay-Bennett
  • Arthur Fox, American Olympic sliver medalist for fencing at the 1904 Summer Games
  • Raymond Lee Fox Sr. (1916-2014), American engine builder, NASCAR car owner and NASCAR engine inspector, inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2003



  • American Family History: Fox, Ellicott, Evans; Charles Worthington Evans, Martha Ellicott Tyson, G. Hunter Bartlett by Charles Worthington Evans.
  • Fox Family History, 1703-1976 by John Franklin Vallentine.

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: Sionnach aboo
Motto Translation: The fox to victory


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  1. Kennedy, Patrick. Kennedy's Book of Arms. Canterbury: Achievements, 1967. Print.
  2. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
  3. Johnson, Daniel F. Irish Emigration to New England Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada 1841-1849. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1996. Print.
  4. Woulfe, Rev. Patrick. Irish Names and Surnames Collected and Edited with Explanatory and Historical Notes. Kansas City: Genealogical Foundation, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-940134-403).
  5. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
  6. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  7. Land Owners in Ireland. Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1203-3).
  8. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  9. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
  10. Tepper, Michael Ed & Elizabeth P. Bentley Transcriber. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986. Print.
  11. ...

The Fox Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Fox 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 20 August 2014 at 18:40.

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