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

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

Membry is a name that was carried to England in the great wave of migration from Normandy following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Membry family lived in Northumberland. The name, however, is a reference to the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, Montbrai, in La Manche, Normandy.

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Before the last few hundred years the English language had no fixed system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations occurred commonly in Anglo Norman surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Membry were recorded, including Mowbray, Moubray, Mowbrey, Moubrey and others.

First found in Northumberland 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. Geoffrey de Montbray (d. 1093,) bishop of Coutances was a warrior, administrator and close assistant of William. After the death of William, Geoffrey settled in Bristol, (as listed in the Domesday book) where he built a strong castle but frequently feuded with William II.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Membry research. Another 417 words(30 lines of text) covering the years 1297, 1366, 1399, 1377, 1396, 1444, 1476, 1475, 1225, 1314, 1365, 1399 and 1397 are included under the topic Early Membry History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 37 words(3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Membry Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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The unstable environment in England at this time caused numerous families to board ships and leave in search of opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad in places like Ireland, Australia, and particularly the New World. The voyage was extremely difficult, however, and only taken at great expense. The cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels caused many to arrive diseased and starving, not to mention destitute from the enormous cost. Still opportunity in the emerging nations of Canada and the United States was far greater than at home and many went on to make important contributions to the cultures of their adopted countries. An examination of many early immigration records reveals that people bearing the name Membry arrived in North America very early: Thomas Moubray, who came to West Indies in 1678; William and Hannah Mowbury, who arrived in North Carolina in 1680; William Moubray, who settled in Maryland in 1716.

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  1. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  2. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  3. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  4. 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.
  5. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  6. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  7. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  8. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  9. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  10. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  11. ...

The Membry Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Membry 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 15 July 2013 at 10:45.

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