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

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

The name Heath has a long Anglo-Saxon heritage. The name comes from when a family lived on a heath, which is an area of level, uncultivated land with poor, coarse, undrained soil and rich deposits of peat or peaty humus. The surname Heath belongs to the class of topographic surnames, which were given to people who resided near physical features such as hills, streams, churches, or types of trees.


Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Heath have been found, including Heath, Hethe and others.

First found in Durham where it was first listed as Atte-Hethe, Apud Hethe and Del la Hethe in the Rotuli Hundredorum of 1279. [1] The name was denoted for someone who lived on or by a heath, typically filled with heather. [2]


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Heath research. Another 159 words(11 lines of text) covering the years 1575, 1649, 1501, 1578, 1629, 1664 and 1661 are included under the topic Early Heath History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 85 words(6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Heath Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Heath family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Heath, or a variant listed above:

Heath Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • William Heath settled in New England in 1620 later moving to Boston in 1632
  • Thomas Heath, who arrived in Maryland in 1633
  • Issabell Heath, who arrived in Virginia in 1634
  • Isack Heath, aged 50, arrived in New England in 1635
  • Jon Heath, who arrived in Virginia in 1635

Heath Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Robrt Heath, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1700
  • John Heath, who arrived in America in 1764
  • Benjamin Heath, who arrived in America in 1799

Heath Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Edward Heath, aged 44, landed in Connecticut in 1812
  • Joseph Heath, aged 25, arrived in New York in 1812
  • Noble Heath, aged 17, arrived in Maine in 1812
  • Frank Heath, who landed in New York in 1849


  • Sir Thomas Little Heath (1861-1940), British civil servant, mathematician, classical scholar, historian of ancient Greek mathematics, translator, and mountaineer
  • Thomas Heath (1719-1773), English scientific and mathematical instrument maker
  • Benjamin Heath (1704-1766), English classical scholar and bibliophile
  • Prime Minister Sir Edward Richard George Heath (1916-2005), Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1970 to 1974
  • Air Marshall Sir Maurice Heath (1909-1998), former Chief of Staff Allied Air Forces, Central Europe
  • Lieutenant-General Sir Lewis Macclesfield Heath KBE, CB, CIE, DSO, MC (1885-1954), British and Indian Army officer during World War I and World War II
  • Adrian "Inchy" Heath (b. 1961), British football manager and former player
  • George Edward 'Ted' Heath (1902-1969), famous British bandleader of the 40s, 50s and early 60s
  • David William St. John Heath CBE (b. 1954), British politician


  • Harrington-Heath Heritage: Ancestors and Descendants (1600-1984) of Oramel Warren Harrington and Martha C. Heath by Ruth Haddox Harrington.

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: Espere mieux
Motto Translation: Hope for better.



  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges, A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8)

Other References

  1. 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.
  2. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  3. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  4. 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.
  5. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  6. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  7. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  8. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  9. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  10. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  11. ...

The Heath Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Heath 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 March 2014 at 09:51.

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