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

Origins Available: English, German

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

The name Heyer is part of the ancient legacy of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. Heyer was a name used for a person who was well-known as the heir to a title, fortune, or estate. The name is thought to be derived from the Old French eir, which is itself derived from the Latin heres, meaning "heir."


Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Heyer include Eyre, Eyer, Eyers, Eayres, Eyres, Ayer, Ayers,Heyer, Ayr, Air, Aires, Hyer, Hayer, Hoyer and many more.

First found in Derbyshire, where the ancestral home of the main branch of the Heyer family is thought to be located. Early written records of the name Heyer have been found in many counties, notably Derbyshire, Wiltshire, and Shropshire. In the early legends of the Eyre family, it was recounted that a Knight named Eyre who fought with Richard the Lionheart at the Battle of Ascalon during the Crusades lost a leg while defending his King, which is why the family still bears a booted leg in its crest. Another source, mentions that the traditional origin of the name was in circumstance of a Norman knight having at the Battle of Hastings succoured (helped) duke William of Normandy and given him air when he was in danger of suffocation. [1]


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Heyer research. Another 223 words(16 lines of text) covering the years 1216, 1582, 1657, 1635, 1628, 1678, 1659, 1678, 1635, 1695, 1660, 1661, 1689, 1638, 1698, 1666, 1735, 1665, 1715, 1698, 1701, 1705, 1715, 1670, 1715, 1729, 1585, 1661, 1662 and 1768 are included under the topic Early Heyer History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 281 words(20 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Heyer Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Heyer family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 227 words(16 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Heyer were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records:

Heyer Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Johan Jurg Heyer, who landed in New York in 1709
  • Lienert Heyer, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1737
  • George Heyer, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1738
  • Johan Georg Heyer, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1739
  • Joh Friederich Heyer, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1743

Heyer Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Jacob Heyer, aged 23, arrived in Missouri in 1848
  • Charles Heyer, aged 18, landed in New York, NY in 1848
  • August Heyer, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • Andrew Heyer, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1851
  • Joseph Anthony Heyer, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1851


  • John Christian Frederick Heyer (1793-1873), American missionary, founder of the Guntur Mission in Andhra Pradesh, India
  • John Henry Heyer (1831-1905), American politician
  • Stephon Heyer (b. 1984), American NFL football player
  • Georgette Heyer (1902-1974), English historical romance and detective fiction novelist
  • Hans Heyer (b. 1943), German racing driver
  • John Heyer OBE, OAM (1916-2001), Australian documentary filmmaker, the father of Australian documentary film
  • Hans-Joachim Heyer (1920-1942), German Luftwaffe ace, credited with 53 aerial victories, recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross during World War II
  • Sascha Heyer (b. 1972), Swiss gold, three-time silver and bronze medalist beach volleyball player
  • Shane Heyer (b. 1964), Canadian NHL ice hockey linesman
  • Volker Heyer (b. 1970), German silver medalist judoka at the 1997 European Judo Championships


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: Virtus sola invicta
Motto Translation: Virtue alone is invincible.


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  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.

Other References

  1. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  2. 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.
  3. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  4. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  5. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  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. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  8. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  10. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  11. ...

The Heyer Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Heyer 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 11 October 2013 at 11:16.

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