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

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

The Humphries surname comes from the Old French personal name Humfrey, a cognate of the Old German names Hunfrid and Humfrid. This name was originally derived from the Germanic elements "hun," which means "bear cub," and "frid" or "fred," which mean "peace." It was borne by a 9th century saint and Bishop of Therouanne, who was popular among Norman settlers of England.

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Although there are comparatively few Welsh surnames, they have a great many spelling variations. Variations of Welsh names began almost immediately after their acceptance within Welsh society. In the Middle Ages, it was up to priests and the few other people that recorded names in official documents to decide how to spell the names that they heard. Variations that occurred because of improper recording increased dramatically as the names were later transliterated into English. The Brythonic Celtic language of Wales, known by natives as Cymraeg, featured many highly inflected sounds that could not be properly captured by the English language. Spelling variations were, however, also carried out according to an individual's design: a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations were all indicated by the particular variation of one's name. The spelling variations of the name Humphries have included Humphreys, Homfray, Humfrey, Humfrie, Humfries, Humfreys, Humphereys, Humphries, Humphrays, Humphray, Humphrey, Humphris, Humphry, Humphryes and many more.

First found in Denbighshire (Welsh: Sir Ddinbych), a historic county, created in 1536 at the Act of Union with England, and located in Northeast Wales, where they held a family seat from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Humphries research. Another 171 words(12 lines of text) covering the years 1069, 1391, 1447, 1714, 1579, 1647, 1674, 1621, 1719, 1662, 1648, 1712, 1701, 1712, 1735 and are included under the topic Early Humphries History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 187 words(13 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Humphries Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Humphries family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 101 words(7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Many Welsh joined the great migrations to North America in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Like their Scottish and Irish neighbors, many Welsh families left their homeland hoping to find hope and prosperity in a land that the English did not exercise a tight rule over. Those Welsh immigrants that successfully traveled to North America went on to make significant contributions to the rapid development of both Canada and the United States in terms of the settling of land and the establishment of industry. They also added to the rich cultural heritage of both countries. An examination into the immigration and passenger lists has discovered a number of people bearing the name Humphries:

Humphries Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Edward and Blanche Humphries, who settled in Virginia in 1654
  • Abram Humphries, who landed in Virginia in 1665-1666
  • Eliz Humphries, who landed in Virginia in 1666
  • Thomas Humphries, who landed in Maryland in 1673
  • Janet Humphries, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1683

Humphries Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • John Humphries, who landed in New York in 1801
  • Moses Humphries, aged 17, arrived in New York, NY in 1803
  • David Humphries, aged 52, arrived in New Castle, Wilmington and Philadelphia in 1803
  • Alexander Humphries, aged 28, arrived in New Jersey in 1812
  • Ellen Humphries, who arrived in New York in 1840


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  • Kris Humphries (b. 1985), American basketball player
  • Madeleine Lauren "Carla" Humphries (b. 1988), American model and actress
  • Guy Earl Humphries Jr. (1923-2010), American jurist, Louisiana Ninth Judicial District Court Judge (1960-1981)
  • John Henry Humphries (1861-1933), Canadian-born, American Major League Baseball player who played from 1883 to 1884
  • Ralph Edward "Rusty" Humphries (b. 1965), American radio host, conservative political commentator, and songwriter
  • William Stanley "Stan" Humphries (b. 1965), former professional American NFL football quarterback
  • Barry Humphries AO, CBE (b. 1934), Australian actor and comedian, best known for his persona of Dame Edna Everage
  • John Barry Humphries (b. 1934), Australian comic performer
  • Gary Humphries (b. 1958), Australian politician, 4th Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory (2000-2001), Senator for the Australian Capital Territory (2003-)
  • Gerald Humphries (1908-1983), English cricketer who played two first-class matches for Worcestershire

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  • The Marlett Family in Southeast, Midwest, and Southwest United States, With Connections to the Ball, Humphries, Hope, and Cross Families by Nadeen Cross Marlett.
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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: L'homme vrai aime son pays
Motto Translation: The true man loves his country.

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  1. Bradsley C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print.
  2. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  3. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  4. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  5. Evans, Gwynfor. Wales: A History: 2000 Years of Welsh History. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1996. Print. (ISBN 0-76070-120-2).
  6. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  7. 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.
  8. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  9. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  10. Davies, R. R. The Age of Conquest: Wales, 1063-1415. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. Print.
  11. ...

The Humphries Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Humphries 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 September 2014 at 13:43.

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