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The name James was brought to England in the great wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. It comes from the personal name Jacob, the Latin Jacobus via the Late Latin Jacomus. The Latin Jacobus is derived from the Hebrew name Yaakov which is traditionally interpreted as coming from the Hebrew akev, which means heel.

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The surname James was first found in Surrey where they were granted lands by William the Conqueror after the Norman Conquest in 1066. Anciently they held lands in Normandy as St. James.

A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include James, Fitzjames, St. James, Jaimes, Geames and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our James research. Another 397 words (28 lines of text) covering the years 1210, 1610, 1681, 1653, 1620, 1700, 1661, 1679, 1689, 1690, 1619, 1670, 1654, 1656, 1624, 1705, 1659, 1626, 1685, 1659, 1673, 1702, 1644 and 1719 are included under the topic Early James History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John James ( c. 1610-1681), an English politician who sat in the House of Commons in 1653 who served in the Parliamentary army in the English Civil War; Roger James (c 1620-1700), an English landowner and politician, Member of Parliament for Reigate (1661-1679) and...

Another 81 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early James Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Some of the James family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 43 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name James or a variant listed above:

James Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Edmund James, who settled in Salem Massachusetts in 1630
  • Edmund James, who landed in New England in 1630
  • Thomas James, who arrived in Charlestown, Massachusetts in 1632
  • Henry James, who arrived in Maryland in 1633
  • Ursula James, aged 19, landed in Virginia in 1635
  • ...

James Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Sarah James, who landed in Virginia in 1702
  • James James, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1703
  • Abra James, who landed in Virginia in 1713
  • Harry James, who landed in Virginia in 1718
  • Henry James, who settled in Maryland in 1739
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James Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Simon James, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1802
  • Anthony James, aged 28, arrived in New York in 1812
  • Daniel James, aged 39, arrived in New York in 1812
  • Jane James, who arrived in New York, NY in 1816
  • Mary James, who arrived in New York, NY in 1816
  • ...

James Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Gus James, who arrived in Alabama in 1915

James Settlers in Canada in the 17th Century

  • Henry James who settled in Harbour Grace, Newfoundland in 1681

James Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Mr. Jonas James U.E. who arrived at Port Roseway [Shelburne], Nova Scotia on December 13, 1783 was passenger number 471 aboard the ship "HMS Clinton", picked up on November 14, 1783 at East River, New York [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
    Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  • Mr. Robert James U.E. who settled in Carleton [Saint John City], New Brunswick c. 1784 son of Benjamin and Sarah James [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
    Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  • Mrs. Sarah James U.E., "Whitney" (née Whitney) who settled in Carleton [Saint John City], New Brunswick c. 1784 [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
    Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  • Mr. Stephen James U.E. who settled in Carleton [Saint John City], New Brunswick c. 1784 son of Benjamin and Sarah James [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
    Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  • Mr. Benjamin James U.E. born in Connecticut, USA from Darien, Connecticut, USA who settled in Carleton [Saint John City], New Brunswick c. 1784 married to Sarah Whitney having 8 children [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
    Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  • ...

James Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Jane James, aged 34, arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the barque "Alchymist" from Falmouth, Cornwall, England
  • Thomas James, aged 20, arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the barque "Alchymist" from Falmouth, Cornwall, England
  • Ann James, aged 9, arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the barque "Alchymist" from Falmouth, Cornwall, England
  • Caroline James, aged 7, arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the barque "Alchymist" from Falmouth, Cornwall, England
  • George James, aged 36, a merchant, arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the ship "Lord Goderich" from London, England
  • ...

James Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century

  • Fred James, who landed in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1907
  • Walter L James, who landed in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1907

James Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Charles James, English convict from London, who was transported aboard the "Ann" on August 1809, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • Richard James, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on September 3rd, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Austraila
  • Thomas James, English convict from London, who was transported aboard the "Agamemnon" on April 22, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • John James, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Adamant" on March 16, 1821, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • Joseph James, English convict from Plymouth, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 17, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
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James Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • John James landed in Bay of Islands, New Zealand in 1836
  • John Charles James landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • William James landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Martha Ridgway
  • Joseph James landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1841 aboard the ship Catherine Stuart Forbes
  • Hannah James, aged 25, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Catherine Stewart Forbes" in 1841
  • ...
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  • Sonny James (1928-2016), stage name of James Hugh Loden, an American country music singer and songwriter best known for his 1957 hit, "Young Love," inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame
  • no first name Alex-St. James, American Republican politician, Candidate for Governor of California, 2003
  • Overton James (1925-2015), American educator, Governor of the Chickasaw Nation (1963-1987)
  • Miles James (1829-1871), Union Army soldier during the American Civil War, recipient of the Medal of Honor for his actions at the Battle of Chaffin's Farm
  • Richard St. James, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from New York, 2004
  • Jesse Woodson James (1847-1882), American outlaw and folk hero
  • Edmund Janes James (1855-1925), American educator and political scientist, founder and 1st president of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
  • Arthur Horace James (1883-1973), American politician, governor of Pennsylvania from 1939-1943
  • Harry Haag James (1916-1983), American jazz bandleader, musician, and trumpeter
  • William Hartford James (1831-1920), American politician best known as the second Governor of Nebraska
  • ...
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James Historic Events



Halifax Explosion

  • Mr. John Thomas  James (1881-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion on 6th December 1917

HMAS Sydney II

  • Mr. Martin Curtis James (1921-1941), Australian Able Seaman from Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II on the 19th November 1941 and died during the sinking

HMS Hood

  • Mr. Phillip A James (b. 1922), English Ordinary Seaman serving for the Royal Navy from Radford, Coventry, England, who sailed into battle on the HMS Hood and died on 24th May 1941 in the sinking
  • Mr. Leonard A James (b. 1917), English Leading Stoker serving for the Royal Navy from Leonard, Cheshire, Coventry, England, who sailed into battle on the HMS Hood and died on 24th May 1941 in the sinking

HMS Prince of Wales

  • Mr. William Kenneth James, British Bandboy, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking
  • Mr. Ray James (b. 1917), "Jimmie" English Ordinary Seaman from England, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking
  • Mr. C James, British Able Seaman, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking
  • Mr. A James, British Leading Stoker, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking

HMS Repulse

  • Mr. Ernest W James, British Ordinary Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking
  • Mr. William Trevor James, British Able Bodied Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and died during the sinking

RMS Lusitania

  • Mr. Oswald James, English 1st Class Steward from Clubmoor, Liverpool, England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking
  • Miss Violet Isabel James, Canadian 3rd Class passenger from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking

RMS Titanic

  • Mr. Thomas James (d. 1912), aged 27, English Fireman/Stoker from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
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  • James Families of America Since 1630 by Wynne James.
  • The James Family of Wales and Bucks County, Pennsylvania, 1638-1974 by Wynne James.
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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: J'aime à jamais
Motto Translation: I love forever.

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Citations



  1. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X

Other References

  1. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  2. 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.
  3. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  5. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  6. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  7. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  8. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  9. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  10. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  11. ...

The James Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The James 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 21 June 2016 at 08:36.

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