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

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

The surname Cress is a topographic surname, which was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree. Habitation names form the other broad category of surnames that were derived from place-names. They were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. Other local names are derived from the names of houses, manors, estates, regions, and entire counties. As a general rule, the greater the distance between an individual and their homeland, the larger the territory they were named after. For example, a person who only moved to another parish would be known by the name of their original village, while people who migrated to a different country were often known by the name of a region or country from which they came. The name Cress is derived from the Old French word "creste," meaning the peak of a hill and indicated that the original bearer lived at or near such a place.


Spelling variations of this family name include: Crest, Cret, Crests, Crets, Creste, Crete, Crête, Crestes, Cretes, du Crest, Ducrest, du Cret, Ducret, Crais, Crait, Crez, Ducrais, Ducrait, Ducrez, Cray, Crey and many more.

First found in Burgundy (French: Bourgogne), an administrative and historical region of east-central France, where the family has held a family seat since ancient times.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cress research. Another 244 words(17 lines of text) covering the years 1435 and 1632 are included under the topic Early Cress History in all our PDF Extended History products.


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


Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Cress Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Ulrich Cress, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1743
  • Joh Peter Cress, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1752
  • Johan Henrich Cress, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1752
  • Niclas Cress, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1752
  • Henry Cress, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1763

Cress Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Ephraim Cress, who landed in Canada in 1831
  • Jacob Cress, who landed in Canada in 1831

Cress Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Sophia Cress arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Candahar" in 1851

Cress Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Samuel Cress, aged 27, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Shamrock" in 1855
  • Louisa Cress, aged 21, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Shamrock" in 1855


  • Roman William Cress (b. 1977), American two-time gold, five-time sliver medalist track athlete
  • Walker James "Foots" Cress (1917-1996), American Major League Baseball pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds in 1948 and 1949
  • Frederick Harold Cress AM (1938-2009), British-born, Australian painter, awarded the Archibald Prize in 1988 for his portrait of John Beard
  • Paul H. Cress (1939-2004), Canadian computer scientist, known for creating WATFOR (WATerloo FORtran), for the IBM System/360 family of computers



  1. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  2. Rolland, and H.V. Rolland. Illustrations to the Armorial general by J. B. Rietstap 6 volumes in 3. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1976. Print.
  3. D'Hozier Charles. Armorial Général de France. Paris: Dillon, 1875. Print.
  4. Rietstap, Johannes Baptist. Armorial Général. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  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. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  7. Bentley, Elizabeth P. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of New York 1820-1829. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1999. Print.
  8. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  9. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  10. Guérard, Albert Léon. France: a Modern History. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1959. Print.
  11. ...

The Cress Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Cress 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 23 June 2014 at 08:09.

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