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

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

The name of the Essarts family is derived from The surname Essarts is a patronymic surname, that is, derived from an ancestor's given name. Patronymic surnames belong to the category of hereditary surnames, and they arose out of the vernacular and religious given name traditions. The vernacular or regional naming tradition is the oldest and most pervasive type of patronymic surname. According to this custom, names were originally composed of vocabulary elements from the local language. Vernacular names that were derived from ancient Germanic personal names have cognates in most European languages. For example, the court of Charlemagne (742-814) was Christian and Latin-speaking, but the Frankish dialect of Old German was commonly used for personal names. Vernacular names were widespread throughout Normandy. Accordingly, many typical English and French names are in fact, originally of Germanic origin and often have cognates in other European countries. In this case, family tradition has it that the name is derived from the name Isolde, the wife of Tristram, nephew of the King of Cornwall, of the great Arthurian legends. According to the family tradition, Tristram escaped to Brittany, where he married Isolde, daughter of the Duke of Brittany. Their tragic love affair became the subject of the opera Tristan and Isolde by Wagner. On the other hand, it seems more likely that the name is derived from the Old German word ishild, which meant ice battle.

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Since the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules, Breton surnames have many spelling variations. Latin and French, which were the official court languages, were also influential on the spelling of surnames. 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. Therefore, 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 after the Norman Conquest, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. The name has been spelled Izzat, Izat, Izatt, Issard, Isoed, Izzatt, Izzard, Izod, Essarts, Isett and many more.

First found in Gloucestershire where they held a family seat from ancient times, being granted lands in that shire soon after the Norman Conquest in 1066. Traditionally, the family was descended from Isolde, daughter of the Duke of Brittany in the fifth century who later became the wife of Tristram, of the great Arthurian legends, nephew of the King of Cornwall. Tristram escaped to Brittany and their tragic love affair became the subject of an opera by Wagner.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Essarts research. Another 288 words(21 lines of text) covering the years 1400, 1569, 1577, 1599, 1695, and 1785 are included under the topic Early Essarts History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Some of the Essarts family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 100 words(7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Investigation of immigration and passenger lists has revealed a number of people bearing the name Essarts: Ralph Izard of London, England, who settled in Charleston, South Carolina in 1682; Abraham and Ann Izard, who settled in Virginia in 1756; as well as John Izard, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1820..

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  1. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  2. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  4. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  5. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  6. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  7. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  8. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  9. 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.
  10. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  11. ...

The Essarts Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Essarts 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 27 October 2010 at 13:42.

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