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

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

The name Armitage first arose amongst the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It is derived from their having lived in the county of Yorkshire in eastern England. Records show that most, if not all of the bearers of the surname can be traced back to a family living at Hermitage Bridge in Almondbury, near Huddersfield in the 13th century.


One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Armitage has appeared include Armitage, Hermitage, Ermytache, Ermitage, Armitach, Hermitack, Armitack and many more.

First found in the county of Yorkshire in eastern England, where they held a family seat from very ancient times.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Armitage research. Another 175 words(12 lines of text) covering the years 1379, 1596, 1662, 1850 and 1655 are included under the topic Early Armitage History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 33 words(2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Armitage Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Armitage family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 59 words(4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Armitage arrived in North America very early:

Armitage Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Godfrey Armitage, who landed in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1630
  • Joseph Armitage, who landed in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1630
  • Thomas Armitage, who arrived in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1635
  • Godfrey Armitage of Lynn moved to Boston, Massachusetts in 1639
  • Abra Armitage, who arrived in Virginia in 1652

Armitage Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Eleazer Armitage, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1712

Armitage Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • James Armitage, who landed in America in 1804
  • Joshua Armitage, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1811
  • Hannah Armitage, who landed in New York in 1822


  • Karole Armitage (b. 1954), American dancer
  • Richard Lee Armitage (b. 1945), American politician, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State (2001-2005)
  • Edward Armitage (1817-1896), English painter
  • Kenneth Armitage (b. 1916), English sculptor
  • Robert Perceval Armitage (1906-1990), British colonial administrator
  • Peter Armitage (b. 1924), British statistician specializing in medical statistics
  • Albert Borlase Armitage (1864-1943), Scottish explorer of Antarctica and a captain in the Royal Navy
  • Simon Armitage (b. 1963), British poet, playwright, and novelist
  • Lieutenant-Commander Robert Selby Armitage GC, GM, RNVR (1905-1982), one of only eight people to have been awarded both the George Cross and George Medal for his bomb disposal work during the Second World War


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: Semper paratus
Motto Translation: Always prepared.


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  1. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  2. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  3. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  4. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  5. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  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. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  8. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  9. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  10. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  11. ...

The Armitage Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Armitage 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 3 March 2014 at 10:02.

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