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

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

We must look to France for the early origins of the name Mortimer. For it is here that early records this family descends from Walter, Lord of St. Martin, Normandy who married a niece of the Duchess Gunnora c. 980. Roger, Sire de Mortimer was a leader of the army of Duke William and helped defeat the French in 1054. His son Roger de Mortimer was a leader at the Battle of Hastings and was granted a great barony for his efforts. From him, descended the Lords Mortimer of Wigmore, Earls of March. The name, however, is a reference to the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, Moretemer, in the Seine-Maritime region of Normandy. Mortemer derives from the Old French "mort," meaning "dead," and "mer," meaning "sea."


Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence in the eras before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate regularly changed the spellings of their names as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Mortimer have been found, including Mortimer, Mortimor and others.

First found in Herefordshire where they were recorded as a family of great antiquity seated as Lords of the manor and estates in that shire. Ranulph de Mortimer (before 1070), accompanied William the Conqueror and was granted Wigmore Castle in Hereford. They became the Lords of Wigmore.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Mortimer research. Another 153 words(11 lines of text) covering the years 1328, 1827, 1287, 1330, 1321, 1324, 1376, 1409, 1390 and 1411 are included under the topic Early Mortimer History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 197 words(14 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Mortimer Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


For many English families, the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. For such families, the shores of Ireland, Australia, and the New World beckoned. They left their homeland at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. Many arrived after the long voyage sick, starving, and without a penny. But even those were greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. Numerous English settlers who arrived in the United States and Canada at this time went on to make important contributions to the developing cultures of those countries. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Mortimer were among those contributors:

Mortimer Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Tho Mortimer, aged 20, arrived in Virginia in 1635
  • Rowland Mortimer, who landed in Virginia in 1639
  • Margaret Mortimer, who came to Pennsylvania in 1683
  • James Mortimer, who came to Pennsylvania in 1696

Mortimer Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Alexander Mortimer who settled in Maryland in 1716
  • Alexander Mortimer, who landed in Maryland in 1716
  • Edward Mortimer, who arrived in Maryland in 1726
  • Isabel Mortimer, who was banished to America in 1758
  • Robert Mortimer, who settled in Philadelphia in 1773

Mortimer Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • John Mortimer, who landed in America in 1809
  • Benjamin Mortimer, aged 45, arrived in New York in 1812
  • Charlotte Mortimer, who landed in New York in 1831
  • Edmund Mortimer, who arrived in New York in 1831
  • Martha Mortimer, who landed in New York in 1831

Mortimer Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century

  • Alfred G. Mortimer, who emigrated to the United States, in 1903
  • Allan L. Mortimer, aged 24, who emigrated to America from Bradford, England, in 1907
  • Aileci Mortimer, aged 3, who settled in America from Bradford, England, in 1907
  • Alex Mortimer, aged 42, who emigrated to the United States from Aberdeen, Scotland, in 1908
  • Alfred James Mortimer, aged 40, who landed in America from Reading, England, in 1908


  • Sir John Clifford Mortimer CBE, QC (1923-2009), English barrister, dramatist, screenwriter and author
  • Robert "Bob" Renwick Mortimer (b. 1959), English comedian and actor
  • Carole Mortimer (b. 1960), English novelist of over 150 romance novels
  • Emily Kathleen A. Mortimer (b. 1971), English actress
  • Favell Lee Mortimer (1802-1878), born Favell Lee Bevan, an English Evangelical author of educational books for children
  • Gary Mortimer (b. 1967), English aeronaut who holds the South African Hot Air Balloon Altitude record
  • Penelope Mortimer, British Novelist
  • Robert Mortimer, Anglican Clergyman
  • Chris Mortimer (b. 1958), Australian former professional rugby league player
  • Daniel Mortimer (b. 1989), Australian professional rugby league player



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  1. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  2. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  3. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  4. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  5. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  6. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  7. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  8. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  9. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  10. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  11. ...

The Mortimer Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Mortimer 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 July 2014 at 14:22.

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