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

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

The ancestors of the West surname lived among the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. The name comes from when they lived in Devon. The name West is derived from the fact that the original bearer of the name came from the west. This rather general nickname could be an indication that the person moved from the west to where he received the name, or that he lived in the western portion of some area such as a county or parish.


Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname West include West, Weste and others.

First found in Devon, where they held a family seat from very ancient times.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our West research. Another 237 words(17 lines of text) covering the years 1365, 1405, 1312, 1386, 1386, 1399, 1401, 1399, 1402, 1642, 1636, 1674, 1660, 1556, 1601, 1590, 1659, 1635, 1637, 1632, 1691, 1670, 1716, 1710 and are included under the topic Early West History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 511 words(36 lines of text) are included under the topic Early West Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the West family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 141 words(10 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:

West Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Francis West, who arrived in Jamestown, Va in 1607
  • Francis West settled in Virginia in 1608
  • Anthony West settled in Virginia in 1622 along with Henry, John, Nathaniel
  • Anthony West, who landed in Jamestown, Va in 1624
  • Grace West, who arrived in Virginia in 1636

West Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Dorcas West, who arrived in Virginia in 1701
  • Giles West, who arrived in Virginia in 1719
  • Anne West, who arrived in Virginia in 1719
  • Caspar West, aged 32, landed in Pennsylvania in 1740
  • Charles West, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1745

West Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Gobbs West, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1805
  • David West, aged 26, landed in New York in 1812
  • Bartholomew West, aged 25, arrived in New York in 1812
  • Beale West, aged 47, landed in New York in 1812
  • John West, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1852


  • Oswald West (1873-1960), American Democrat politician, who served as the 14th Governor of Oregon
  • James Edward Maceo West (b. 1931), American inventor co-developer of the foil electret microphone in 1962
  • Jerry Alan West (b. 1938), American basketball player
  • Nathanael West (1903-1940), American novelist
  • First Sergeant Chester Howard West (1888-1935), soldier in the United States Army who received the Medal of Honor for his actions during World War I
  • Adam West (b. 1928), born William West Anderson, American actor, best known for his role as Batman, the television series (1966 to 1968)
  • Mary Jane "Mae" West (1893-1980), American actress, playwright, screenwriter and sex symbol whose career spanned seven decades
  • Martin Litchfield West (b. 1937), English scholar in classics, classical antiquity and philology awarded a Balzan Prize in 2000
  • Simon West (b. 1961), English-born film director
  • Gordon West (1943-2012), English professional football goalkeeper



  • A Chart of Some Ancestors of Benjamin Holmes West, 1861-1919 by William J. Harrison.
  • Hill-West, Fisher-Beauchamp and Related Families by Olive M. Fisher.
  • Some Descendants of Anthony West of Accomack, Virginia by Elmer D. West.

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: Jour de ma vie
Motto Translation: Day of my life, i.e. “Most glorious day of my life.”.


Popular Family Crest Products
West Armorial History With Coat of Arms
West Coat of Arms & Surname History Package
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West Framed Surname History and Coat of Arms
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  1. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  2. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  3. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  4. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  5. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  6. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  7. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  8. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  9. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  10. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  11. ...

The West Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The West 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 25 August 2014 at 22:30.

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