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

Origins Available: English, French, Irish

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

The name Terry was brought to England by the Normans when they conquered the country in 1066. It comes from the Norman given name Theodoric.


Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Terry family name include Terry, Terrie and others.

First found in Kent where they held a family seat from ancient times, where Thierry, son of Deorman of London was granted lands by Gilbert, Earl of Pembroke between 1138 and 1149. Thierry continued to be an under tenant of Richard FitzGilbert of Clare.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Terry research. Another 223 words(16 lines of text) covering the years 1172 and 1190 are included under the topic Early Terry History in all our PDF Extended History products.


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


Some of the Terry family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 115 words(8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Terry family to immigrate North America:

Terry Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Stephen Terry and Jane Hardey Terry, who came to New England in 1630, aboard the "Mary & John"
  • Stephen Terry, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1631
  • Tho Terry, aged 28, landed in New England in 1635
  • Thomas Terry, who arrived in Braintree, Massachusetts in 1635
  • Rich Terry, aged 17, landed in New England in 1635

Terry Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Wm Terry, who arrived in Georgia in 1733
  • John Terry, who arrived in Georgia in 1742

Terry Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • James Terry, aged 25, arrived in South Carolina in 1812
  • George Terry, aged 48, arrived in South Carolina in 1812
  • J Terry, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • H Terry, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • T Terry, aged 25, arrived in New Orleans, La in 1859


  • Charles L Terry Jr. (1900-1970), American politician, attorney, judge, and Governor of Delaware from 1965 to 1969
  • Captain Seymour W Terry (1918-1945), American Army officer awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1945
  • Wallace Houston Terry (1938-2003), African-American journalist and oral historian
  • Charles Sanford Terry (1864-1936), English historian and Bach scholar
  • Air Marshall Peter Terry (b. 1926), English Royal Air Force commander, Governor of Gibraltar (19851989)
  • Dame Ellen Alicia Terry (1848-1928), distinguished English Actress probably best known for her role as Beatrice in "Much Ado about Nothing"
  • Daniel Terry (1780-1829), English actor
  • Edward O'Connor Terry (1844-1912), English comedian
  • Fred Terry (1863-1933), English actor
  • John George Terry (b. 1980), English professional footballer



  • All About Terrys: A Genealogy of the Surname Terry by Paul Terry Thompson.
  • The Story of a Family by Henry Vernon Hall.
  • Terry and Allied Families of Virginia, Kentucky, Illinois, Texas by Frances Terry Ingmire.

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  1. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  2. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  3. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  4. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  5. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  6. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  7. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  8. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  9. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  10. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  11. ...

The Terry Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Terry 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 October 2014 at 19:23.

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