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

Origins Available: French, Irish, Welsh

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

The ancestors of the bearers of the Hughes surname were Welsh Brythonic- Celts. However, their name came to Britain with the Norman invasion; Hughes is derived from the Old French personal name Hughe, also spelled Hue. This name was made popular by the exploits of several saints including: St. Hugh of Lincoln (1140-1200), who was born in Burgundy, France and established the first Carthusian monastery in England; as well as St. Hugh of Cluny (1024-1109).

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There are relatively few surnames native to Wales, but they have an inordinately large number of spelling variations. Early variations of Welsh surnames can be explained by the fact that very few people in the early Middle Ages were literate. Priests and the few other literate people were responsible for recording names in official documents. And because most people could not specific how to properly record their names it was up to the individual recorder of that time to determine how a spoken name should be recorded. Variations due to the imprecise or improper recording of a name continued later in history when names originally composed in the Brythonic Celtic, language of Wales, known by natives as Cymraeg, were transliterated into English. Welsh names that were documented in English often changed dramatically since the native language of Wales, which was highly inflected, did not copy well. Occasionally, however, spelling variations were carried out according to an individual's specific design: a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations could be indicated by minor variations. The spelling variations of the name Hughes have included Hughes, Hugh, Hews, Hughs, Hues, Huse and others.

First found in Carmarthenshire (Welsh: Sir Gaerfyrddin), located in Southwest Wales, one of thirteen historic counties and presently one of the principal area in Wales, where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hughes research. Another 211 words(15 lines of text) covering the years 1038, 1603, 1667, 1604, 1664, 1654, 1659, 1645, 1719, 1677, 1720 and are included under the topic Early Hughes History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 171 words(12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Hughes Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Hughes family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 109 words(8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Many Welsh families joined their Scottish and Irish neighbors during the late 1800s and early 1900s in seeking refuge in North America. Like the Irish and Scottish, many Welsh anxiously awaited the work, freedom, and opportunities that they believed lay in North America. Those who did journey over to the United States and what became known as Canada often realized those dreams, but only through much toil and perseverance. Whenever and however these Welsh immigrants arrived in North America, they were instrumental in the creation of the industry, commerce, and cultural heritage within those two developing nations. In the immigration and passenger lists a number of early immigrants bearing the name Hughes were found:

Hughes Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Richard Hughes settled in Virginia in 1634
  • Joshua Hughes, who landed in Roxbury, Massachusetts in 1634
  • Lewes Hughes, aged 19, landed in Barbados in 1635
  • Griffith Hughes, aged 24, landed in Virginia in 1635
  • Jo Hughes, aged 30, arrived in Virginia in 1635


Hughes Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Valentine Hughes, who arrived in Virginia in 1703
  • Richard Hughes settled in Georgia with his wife and five sons in 1733
  • Joseph Hughes, who landed in Georgia in 1738
  • Lucy Hughes, who arrived in Maryland in 1740
  • Thomas Hughes settled in Georgia in 1744


Hughes Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Andrew Hughes, aged 35, landed in New Castle or Philadelphia in 1805
  • Jane Hughes, who landed in America in 1805
  • Lawrence Hughes, who landed in America in 1809
  • Jas Hughes, who landed in New Jersey in 1811
  • Herman Hughes, aged 30, landed in New York in 1812


Hughes Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century


  • Henry P Hughes, who landed in Arkansas in 1900

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  • Charles E Hughes (1862-1948), one time Governor of New York state and later American secretary of state to Warren G. Harding
  • James Mercer Langston Hughes (1902-1967), American poet, novelist, playwright, short story writer, and newspaper columnist. Hughes is best known for his work during the Harlem Renaissance
  • Barnard Aloysius Kiernan Hughes (1915-2006), American actor of theater and film
  • Howard Robard Hughes (1905-1976), pioneering American aviator, engineer, industrialist, and film producer. He was widely known as a playboy and one of the wealthiest people in the world
  • Second Lieutenant Lloyd Herbert Hughes (1921-1843), American officer awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1943
  • John Hughes Jr. (1950-2009), American film director, producer and writer, maker of some of the most successful comedy films of the 1980s and 1990s, including National Lampoon's Vacation, Ferris Bueller's Day Off and The Breakfast Club
  • Hatcher Hughes (1881-1945), American playwright awarded the 1924 Pulitzer Prize for Drama
  • Major-General Everett Strait Hughes (1885-1957), American Chief of Ordnance (1946-1949)
  • Major-General John Hendricken Hughes (1876-1953), American Member of the Secretary of War's Personnel Board (1942-1945)
  • Keith Hughes (1968-2014), American NBA basketball player

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  • The Families of Benjamin (1816-1903) [and] Margaret Evans (1825-1879) Hughes and Evan (1808-1877) [and] Jane Davies (1817-1858) James by David Wendell Hughes.
  • Genealogy of Chadwick, King, and Allied Families: McKee, Callahan, Hughs/Hughes, Mock, Roberts, Langston by Darline Chadwick Smith.
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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: Kymmer-yn Lydeirnon
Motto Translation: Name of the lordship of the family.

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  1. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  2. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. 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.
  5. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-005-8).
  6. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  7. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  8. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  9. Davies, R. R. The Age of Conquest: Wales, 1063-1415. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. Print.
  10. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  11. ...

The Hughes Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Hughes 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 22 September 2014 at 22:00.

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