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

Origins Available: English, French, Irish

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

The surname Terry is a ancient name whose history on English soil dates back to the wave of emigration that followed the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. The name comes from the Norman given name Theodoric. In Ireland, the names was rendered "Tuiridh." There are also thought to be instances of this name in Ireland that derive from Mac Toirdealbhaigh.


Spelling variations of this family name include: Terry, Terrie, Therry, Tyrry, Tirry, MacTerye, O'Terry and many more.

First found in the county and city of Cork (Irish: Corcaigh) the ancient Kingdom of Deis Muin (Desmond), located on the southwest coast of Ireland in the province of Munster, where records show them since the 13th century.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Terry research. Another 213 words(15 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1500, 1646, 1641, 1660, 1725, 1622 and 1640 are included under the topic Early Terry History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 59 words(4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Terry Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Terry family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 77 words(6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Terry Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Stephen Terry and Jane Hardey Terry, who came to New England in 1630, aboard the "Mary & John"
  • Stephen Terry, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1631
  • Tho Terry, aged 28, landed in New England in 1635
  • Thomas Terry, who arrived in Braintree, Massachusetts in 1635
  • Rich Terry, aged 17, landed in New England in 1635

Terry Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Wm Terry, who arrived in Georgia in 1733
  • John Terry, who arrived in Georgia in 1742

Terry Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • James Terry, aged 25, arrived in South Carolina in 1812
  • George Terry, aged 48, arrived in South Carolina in 1812
  • J Terry, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • H Terry, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • T Terry, aged 25, arrived in New Orleans, La in 1859


  • Charles L Terry Jr. (1900-1970), American politician, attorney, judge, and Governor of Delaware from 1965 to 1969
  • Captain Seymour W Terry (1918-1945), American Army officer awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1945
  • Wallace Houston Terry (1938-2003), African-American journalist and oral historian
  • Charles Sanford Terry (1864-1936), English historian and Bach scholar
  • Sir Richard Runicman Terry (1865-1938), first organist of Westminster Cathedral
  • Air Marshall Peter Terry (b. 1926), English Royal Air Force commander, Governor of Gibraltar (19851989)
  • Michael Terry (1899-1991), English-born, Australian surveyor, prospector and writer
  • Dame Ellen Alicia Terry (1848-1928), distinguished English Actress probably best known for her role as Beatrice in "Much Ado about Nothing"
  • Fernando Belaunde Terry (b. 1913), Peruvian politician
  • Daniel Terry (1780-1829), English actor



  • All About Terrys: A Genealogy of the Surname Terry by Paul Terry Thompson.
  • The Story of a Family by Henry Vernon Hall.
  • Terry and Allied Families of Virginia, Kentucky, Illinois, Texas by Frances Terry Ingmire.

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: Ex cruce leo
Motto Translation: From the cross a lion.


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  1. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  2. Woodham-Smith, Cecil. The Great Hunger Ireland 1845-1849. New York: Old Town Books, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-385-3).
  3. MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7).
  4. O'Hart, John. Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4).
  5. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  7. Read, Charles Anderson. The Cabinet of Irish Literature Selections from the Works of the Chief Poets, Orators and Prose Writers of Ireland 4 Volumes. London: Blackie and Son, 1884. Print.
  8. Rasmussen, Louis J. . San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists 4 Volumes Colma, California 1965 Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1978. Print.
  9. Donovan, George Francis. The Pre-Revolutionary Irish in Massachusetts 1620-1775. Menasha, WI: Geroge Banta Publsihing Co., 1932. Print.
  10. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
  11. ...

The Terry Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Terry 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 4 October 2014 at 17:28.

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