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

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

The history of the name Issar began when it was derived from The surname Issar 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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There are many spelling variations of Breton surnames, because the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since 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, it was common to find references to one individual with many different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, 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 Issar research. Another 288 words(21 lines of text) covering the years 1400, 1569, 1577, 1599, 1695, and 1785 are included under the topic Early Issar History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Some of the Issar 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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An examination of many early immigration records reveals that people bearing the name Issar arrived in North America very early: 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. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  2. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  3. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  4. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  5. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  6. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  7. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  8. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  10. 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.
  11. ...

The Issar Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Issar 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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