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

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

Within the rugged landscape of Moors and hills called Wales the ancient name latimer was developed. At one time this surname was simply a name for a person who worked as an interpreter; such a person was otherwise known as a latimer. The surname latimer is derived from the Old French words latinier, latimier, and latimmer, which all literally mean a speaker of Latin.

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Welsh surnames are relatively few in number, but they have an inordinately large number of spelling variations. There are many factors that explain the preponderance of Welsh variants, but the earliest is found during the Middle Ages when Welsh surnames came into use. Scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, which often resulted in a single person's name being inconsistently recorded over his lifetime. The transliteration of Welsh names into English also accounts for many of the spelling variations: the unique Brythonic Celtic language of the Welsh had many sounds the English language was incapable of accurately reproducing. It was also common for members of a same surname to change their names slightly, in order to signify a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations. For all of these reasons, the many spelling variations of particular Welsh names are very important. The surname latimer has occasionally been spelled Latimer, Latimor, Lattimer, Lattimor, Lattimore and many more.

First found in Breconshire (Welsh: Sir Frycheiniog), a traditional county in southern Wales, which takes its name from the Welsh kingdom of Brycheiniog (5th-10th centuries), 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 latimer research. Another 215 words(15 lines of text) covering the years 1200, 1380, 1487, 1555, 1467 and 1545 are included under the topic Early latimer History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 99 words(7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early latimer Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the latimer family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 87 words(6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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The Welsh migration to North America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries contributed greatly to its rapid development. These migrants were in search of land, work, and freedom. Those Welsh families that survived the long ocean journey were critical to the development of new industries and factories, and to the quick settlement of land. They also added to an ever-growing rich cultural heritage. A search of the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name latimer:

latimer Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Thomas Latimer, who arrived in Virginia in 1701
  • Andrew Latimer arrived in Virginia in 1774

latimer Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • C H Latimer, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • B G Latimer, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • J Latimer, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • Jorge Latimer, who landed in Puerto Rico in 1860
  • John Latimer, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1873

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  • Don Latimer (b. 1955), American NFL football player
  • Jonathan Latimer (1906-1983), U.S. crime writer
  • Lewis Latimer (1848-1928), African-American inventor
  • George Latimer (1935-1976), American politician, Mayor of Saint Paul, Minnesota (1976 to 1990)
  • George Latimer (1750-1825), American merchant and politician, Speaker of the Pennsylvania House 17941798
  • Dr. Henry Latimer (1752-1819), American physician and politician
  • Joseph White "The Boy Major" Latimer (1843-1863), American officer in the Confederate Army, mortally wounded at the Battle of Gettysburg
  • Jon Latimer (1964-2009), Welsh historian and writer
  • Hugh Latimer (1485-1555), English prelate who refused to recant his Protestantism after the accession of Mary I, a Catholic, and was executed for heresy
  • Henry Latimer (1938-2005), Florida judge

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  • The Lattimores by Esther Lattimore Jenkins.
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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. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-005-8).
  3. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  4. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  5. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  6. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  7. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  8. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  9. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  10. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  11. ...

The latimer Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The latimer 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 19 February 2014 at 14:50.

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