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

Where did the English St James family come from? What is the English St James family crest and coat of arms? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the St James family history?

The ancestors of the St James family migrated to England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The surname St James is based on the personal name Jacob, the Latin Jacobus via the Late Latin Jacomus. The Latin Jacobus is derived from the Hebrew name Yaakov which is traditionally interpreted as coming from the Hebrew akev, which means heel.

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Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname St James include James, Fitzjames, St. James, Jaimes, Geames and many more.

First found in Surrey where they were granted lands by William the Conqueror after the Norman Conquest in 1066. Anciently they held lands in Normandy as St. James.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our St James research. Another 397 words(28 lines of text) covering the years 1210, 1610, 1681, 1653, 1620, 1700, 1661, 1679, 1689, 1690, 1619, 1670, 1654, 1656, 1624, 1705, 1659, 1626, 1685, 1659, 1673, 1702, 1644 and 1719 are included under the topic Early St James History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 247 words(18 lines of text) are included under the topic Early St James Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the St James family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 43 words(3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first St Jamess to arrive on North American shores: Edmund James, who settled in Salem Massachusetts in 1630; Blanch James, a servant sent to Barbados in 1658; David James, who came to Nevis in 1661; Abel James, who arrived in Maryland in 1670.

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  • Lyn St. James (b. 1947), born Evelyn Gene Cornwall, American retired professional IndyCar driver


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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: J'aime jamais
Motto Translation: I love forever.

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  1. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  2. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  3. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  5. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  6. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  7. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  8. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  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. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
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The St James Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The St James 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 1 November 2013 at 13:35.

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