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

Origins Available: Dutch, English

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

The name Custer is tied to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of England. It comes from the baptismal name which means Custance. Baptismal names began to appear as surnames relatively late in the growth of the naming tradition. This is a little surprising, given the popularity of biblical figures in the Christian countries of Europe. Nevertheless, surnames derived from baptismal names grew in popularity during the Middle Ages, and have become one of the foremost sources for surnames.

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Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Custer has undergone many spelling variations, including Custerson, Custer, Custance, Constance, Custeson and others.

First found in Norfolk where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. Their family seat later emerged at Weston House in Norwich in that shire. From their early beginnings, for the next few centuries, the family name also acquired other estates or manors as branches established themselves throughout England. The major conflicts of the eras, such as the War of the Roses, the English Reformation, and the English Civil War sometimes found them to be in opposing camps, with conflicting interests. For instance, the ancient, most popular form of the name was Constance.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Custer research. Another 229 words(16 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1379, 1629, 1801, and 1881 are included under the topic Early Custer History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 38 words(3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Custer Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. 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 Custer were among those contributors:

Custer Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Emanuel Custer, who came to Maryland in 1811
  • Catherine Custer, who landed in New York, NY in 1812
  • Fergus Custer, who arrived in New York, NY in 1812
  • James Custer, who settled in New York in 1832
  • Ernst Custer, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850


Custer Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century


  • Henry Custer, who arrived in Illinois in 1917

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  • George Armstrong Custer (1839-1876), United States Army cavalry commander in the American Civil War and the Indian Wars
  • Thomas Ward Custer (1845-1876), United States Army officer and two-time recipient of the Medal of Honor
  • Elizabeth Bacon Custer (1842-1933), American wife of General George Armstrong Custer
  • Boston Custer (1848-1876), American youngest brother of U.S. Army General George Armstrong Custer
  • John Custer, American record producer
  • Bob Custer (1898-1974), American film actor
  • Willard Ray Custer (1899-1985), American engineer and aircraft visionary
  • David Luke Custer (b. 1980), American journalist and television anchor and reporter
  • Stephen Custer, American cellist
  • Levitt Ellsworth Custer (1863-1924), American Ohio dentist and balloonist

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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: Appetitus rationi pareat
Motto Translation: Let your desires obey your reason.

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  1. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  2. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  3. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  4. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  5. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  6. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  7. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  8. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  9. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  11. ...

The Custer Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Custer 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 2013 at 12:35.

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