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

Origins Available: English, French

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

The ancestors of the Archer family brought their name to England in the wave of migration after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name Archer is for a bowman, and derives from the French L'Archer of the same meaning.


Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence in the eras before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate regularly changed the spellings of their names as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Archer have been found, including Archer, Archar, Arsher, Arsher, Arshire, Archere and many more.

First found in Wiltshire where they were granted lands after the Norman Conquest in 1066.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Archer research. Another 571 words(41 lines of text) covering the years 1166, 1210, 1214, 1273, 1350, 1296, 1856, 1861, 1598, 1682, 1581, 1662, 1640, 1619, 1685, 1659, 1660 and are included under the topic Early Archer History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 105 words(8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Archer Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Archer family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 105 words(8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


For many English families, the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. For such families, the shores of Ireland, Australia, and the New World beckoned. They left their homeland at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. Many arrived after the long voyage sick, starving, and without a penny. But even those were greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. Numerous English settlers who arrived in the United States and Canada at this time went on to make important contributions to the developing cultures of those countries. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Archer were among those contributors:

Archer Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Gabriel Archer, who arrived in New England in 1602
  • Georg Archer, who landed in Virginia in 1618
  • Samuel Archer, who arrived in Salem, Massachusetts in 1630
  • Jo Archer, who arrived in Virginia in 1635
  • Geo Archer, who landed in Virginia in 1635

Archer Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Robert Archer, who landed in Virginia in 1700
  • Michael Archer, who landed in Virginia in 1726
  • Thomas Archer, who arrived in Georgia in 1747
  • George Archer, who landed in New Jersey in 1764
  • Alexander Archer, his wife Jane, and four children, settled in Charles Town [Charleston], South Carolina in 1767

Archer Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Vincent Archer, aged 10, landed in Key West, Fla in 1839
  • Mary Archer, aged 6, landed in Key West, Fla in 1839
  • Augustus Archer, aged 12, landed in Key West, Fla in 1839
  • Benj Archer, aged 35, arrived in Key West, Fla in 1839
  • Charlotte Archer, aged 32, landed in Key West, Fla in 1839


  • Anne Archer (b. 1947), American actress named Miss Golden Globe in 1971
  • William Archer (1856-1924), Scottish author, critic, and translator
  • Jeffrey Howard Archer (b. 1940), Baron Archer of Weston-super-Mare, English author and politician
  • Frederick James Archer (1857-1886), English jockey
  • Thomas Archer (1668-1743), English architect
  • Mr. Ernest Edward Archer, aged 36, English Able Seaman from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping on life boat 3
  • Violet Archer CM (1913-2000), Canadian composer, teacher, pianist, organist, and percussionist
  • Robyn Archer (b. 1948), Australian singer and actress
  • Bertram Stuart Trevelyan Archer GC, OBE, ERD (b. 1915), British soldier awarded the George Cross Medal for extensive work on defusing German bombs dropped on United Kingdom during World War II
  • Peter Kingsley Archer PC (1926-2012), Baron Archer of Sandwell, British Labour Party member of the House of Lords


  • The Archer Family Genealogical Record by Julia Mallison Murden.
  • Growing up Black in Rural Mississippi: Memories of a Family, Heritage of a Place by Chalmers Archer.

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: Sola bona quae honesta
Motto Translation: Those things only are good which are honest.


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  1. 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.
  2. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  3. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  4. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  5. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  6. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  7. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  9. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  10. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  11. ...

The Archer Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Archer 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 6 September 2014 at 04:11.

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