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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016


Bishop is a name whose history dates far back into the mists of early British times to the days of the Anglo-Saxon tribes. It is a name for a person who portrayed a bishop in a medieval play, a person with an ecclesiastical bearing, or one who had been elected as a boy-bishop for the festival of St. Nicholas' Day.

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The surname Bishop was first found in Worcestershire, where they held a family seat from ancient times, long before the Norman Conquest in 1066.

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore, spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Bishop has been recorded under many different variations, including Bishop, Bisshop, Bisshope, Bishope, Bishoppe and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bishop research. Another 197 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1400, 1786, 1855, 1612, 1675, 1661, 1611, 1691, 1625, 1691, 1634, 1681, 1683, 1632, 1692 and 1692 are included under the topic Early Bishop History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 141 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bishop Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Bishop family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Bishop or a variant listed above:

Bishop Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Henry Bishop settled in Maryland in 1633
  • Townsend Bishop, who landed in Salem, Massachusetts in 1635
  • Thomas Bishop, who arrived in Ipswich, Massachusetts in 1636
  • Nathaniel Bishop, who landed in Ipswich Massachusetts in 1638
  • Joseph Bishop settled in Virginia in 1644


Bishop Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Wm Bishop, who arrived in Virginia in 1705
  • Thos Bishop, who landed in Virginia in 1714
  • Philip Bishop, who landed in Georgia in 1732
  • Hendrick Bishop, aged 20, arrived in Pennsylvania in 1733
  • Mr. Bishop, who landed in Georgia in 1735


Bishop Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Sarni Bishop, who landed in America in 1805
  • Robert H Bishop, who landed in Kentucky in 1811
  • Henry Bishop, who landed in America in 1811
  • Mark Bishop, who landed in Maryland in 1819
  • Richard Bishop, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1821


Bishop Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Benj Bishop, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Richd Bishop, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Benjn Bishop, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Benjamin Bishop, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Mr. John Bishop U.E who settled in Eastern District [Cornwall], Ontario c. 1783

Bishop Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Edwin Bishop, aged 2, landed in Montreal in 1849
  • Robert Bishop, who landed in Montreal in 1849

Bishop Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Thomas Bishop, English convict from Hereford, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 29, 1828, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • Thomas Bishop, English convict from Leicester, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 29, 1828, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • John Bishop, English convict from Lincoln, who was transported aboard the "America" on April 4, 1829, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • John Bishop, English convict from Somerset, who was transported aboard the "Argyle" on March 5th, 1831, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Austraila


Bishop Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • James Bishop landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • Joseph Bishop landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • William Bishop landed in Nelson, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship London
  • Joseph Bishop, aged 24, a gardener, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Clifton" in 1842
  • Eliza Bishop, aged 24, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Clifton" in 1842


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  • Mrs. Helen Bishop, (née Walton), aged 19, American First Class passenger from Dowagiac, Michigan who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping in life boat 7
  • Mr. Dickinson H. "Dick" Bishop, aged 25, American First Class passenger from Dowagiac, Michigan who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping in life boat 7
  • J. A. Bishop, American politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Illinois 19th District, 1918
  • Mrs. J. M. Bishop, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Minnesota, 1924
  • J. R. Bishop, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Michigan, 1884
  • J. W. Bishop, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Tennessee, 1924
  • Jack Randy Bishop, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New Jersey, 2008
  • Jackie Bishop, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Iowa, 1972
  • James Bishop, American politician, Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from Watertown, 1828-29
  • James Bishop (1816-1895), American politician, Member of New Jersey State House of Assembly from Middlesex County, 1849-50; U.S. Representative from New Jersey 3rd District, 1855-57

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  • Ancestors and Descendants of David Bishop by Virginia Miller Leasure.
  • Ancestors and Descendants of Lewis Conley Bishop by Winnie Branen.
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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: Pro Deo et ecclesia
Motto Translation: For God and the Church.

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  1. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  2. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  3. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  4. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  5. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  6. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  7. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  8. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  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. 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.
  11. ...

The Bishop Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Bishop 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 6 April 2016 at 20:53.

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