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

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

Cornwall in southwestern England provides the original birthplace of the surname Embry. As populations grew, people began to assume an extra name to avoid confusion and to further identify themselves. Unlike most Celtic peoples, who favored patronymic names, the Cornish predominantly used local surnames. This was due to the heavy political and cultural influence of the English upon the Cornish People at the time that surnames first came into use. Local surnames were derived from where a person lived, held land, or was born. While many Cornish surnames of this sort appear to be topographic surnames, which were given to people who resided near physical features such as hills, streams, churches, or types of trees, many are actually habitation surnames derived from lost or unrecorded place names. The name Embry history began at the town of Embrough in Devon. The name is also classified as a baptismal name as in the son of Emery.

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Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Embree, Embray, Embury, Embrey and others.

First found in Devon where they held a family seat from very early times.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Embry research. Another 161 words(12 lines of text) covering the years 1258, 1300, 1363, and 1379 are included under the topic Early Embry History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Embry Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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A search of the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name Embry: Henry Embrie, who purchased land in Virginia in 1635; and William Embree, who landed in Barbados in 1680.

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  • Aaron Embry (b. 1975), American songwriter and record producer
  • Talton Higbee Embry (1897-1946), American aviation enthusiast and co-founder of the company leading to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Norris Embry (1921-1981), American neo-expressionist artist
  • Air Chief Marshal Sir Basil Edward Embry GCB, KBE, DSO & Three Bars, DFC, AFC (1902-1977), much decorated Allied Forces leader awarded the Croix de Guerre in World War II
  • Patrick "Paddy" Embry (b. 1942), former Australian politician


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  1. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  2. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  3. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  4. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  5. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  6. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  7. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  8. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  9. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  10. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  11. ...

The Embry Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Embry 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 December 2012 at 00:44.

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