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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

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

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 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.

First found in Worcestershire, where they held a family seat from ancient times, long before the Norman Conquest in 1066.


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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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  • John Peale Bishop (1892-1944), American poet and man of letters
  • Isabel Bishop (1902-1988), Award-winning American painter and graphic artist
  • Jim Bishop (1907-1987), American newspaper columnist and historian
  • Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979), American Pulitzer Prize winning poet
  • John Michael Bishop (b. 1936), American biologist, who shared the 1989 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
  • Elvin Bishop (b. 1942), American blues/rock guitarist
  • Kelly Bishop (b. 1944), American stage, TV and film actress
  • Joey Bishop (1918-2007), born Joseph Abraham Gottlieb, American entertainer who was perhaps best known for being a member of the "Rat Pack"
  • 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
  • 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

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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. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  2. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  3. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  4. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  5. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  6. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  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. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  9. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  10. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. 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 22 June 2015 at 00:22.

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