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

Origins Available: English, French, Irish


The surname Terry is a ancient name whose history on English soil dates back to the wave of emigration that followed the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. The name comes from the Norman given name Theodoric. In Ireland, the names was rendered "Tuiridh." There are also thought to be instances of this name in Ireland that derive from Mac Toirdealbhaigh.

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The surname Terry was first found in the county and city of Cork (Irish: Corcaigh) the ancient Kingdom of Deis Muin (Desmond), located on the southwest coast of Ireland in the province of Munster, where records show them since the 13th century.

Spelling variations of this family name include: Terry, Terrie, Therry, Tyrry, Tirry, MacTerye, O'Terry and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Terry research. Another 213 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1500, 1646, 1641, 1660, 1725, 1622 and 1640 are included under the topic Early Terry History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 59 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Terry Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Terry family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 77 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Terry Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Stephen Terry and Jane Hardey Terry, who came to New England in 1630, aboard the "Mary & John"
  • Stephen Terry, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1631
  • Tho Terry, aged 28, landed in New England in 1635
  • Thomas Terry, who arrived in Braintree, Massachusetts in 1635
  • Rich Terry, aged 17, landed in New England in 1635


Terry Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Wm Terry, who arrived in Georgia in 1733
  • John Terry, who arrived in Georgia in 1742

Terry Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • James Terry, aged 25, arrived in South Carolina in 1812
  • George Terry, aged 48, arrived in South Carolina in 1812
  • J Terry, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • H Terry, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • T Terry, aged 25, arrived in New Orleans, La in 1859


Terry Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • James Terry, who came to Newfoundland in 1706
  • Thomas Terry, who settled in Harbour Grace Newfoundland in 1760
  • Paul Terry, a British Loyalist, who arrived in Canada from America in 1796

Terry Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Charles Terry, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1827
  • Benjamin Terry, who landed in Canada in 1831
  • Mary Terry, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1832
  • David Terry, who arrived in Canada in 1841

Terry Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Alfred Terry arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Buckinghamshire" in 1839
  • Mary Terry arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Buckinghamshire" in 1839
  • Mary Ann Terry arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Buckinghamshire" in 1839
  • Dorias Terry arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Buckinghamshire" in 1839
  • Ester Terry arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Buckinghamshire" in 1839


Terry Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Henry Terry, aged 27, a bricklayer, arrived in Hawkes Bay aboard the ship "Clarence" in 1875
  • Mary A. Terry, aged 26, arrived in Hawkes Bay aboard the ship "Clarence" in 1875
  • Henry W. Terry, aged 7, arrived in Hawkes Bay aboard the ship "Clarence" in 1875

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  • Wallace Houston Terry (1938-2003), African-American journalist and oral historian
  • Captain Seymour W Terry (1918-1945), American Army officer awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1945
  • Charles L Terry Jr. (1900-1970), American politician, attorney, judge, and Governor of Delaware from 1965 to 1969
  • Nigel Terry (1945-2015), English stage and film actor, best known for his portrayal of King Arthur in Excalibur (1981)
  • Mr. Benjamin J Terry, British Stoker, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking
  • Mr. Hunter Terry, British Lieutenant Commander, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking
  • Mr. John Terry (d. 1914), British Assistant Steward from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking on May 29th 1914
  • Simon Terry (b. 1974), British Olympic archer and gold medalist at the World Championships (2007)
  • Samuel Terry (1776-1838), Australian landowner, merchant and philanthropist
  • Sir Joseph Terry (1828-1898), English industrialist, co-founder of Joseph Terry & Sons Ltd (1895), a chocolate and confectionery maker, better known as Terry's Chocolates

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  • All About Terrys: A Genealogy of the Surname Terry by Paul Terry Thompson.
  • The Story of a Family by Henry Vernon Hall.
  • Terry and Allied Families of Virginia, Kentucky, Illinois, Texas by Frances Terry Ingmire.
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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: Ex cruce leo
Motto Translation: From the cross a lion.

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  1. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  2. Land Owners in Ireland. Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1203-3).
  3. Woodham-Smith, Cecil. The Great Hunger Ireland 1845-1849. New York: Old Town Books, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-385-3).
  4. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  5. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
  6. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  7. Rasmussen, Louis J. . San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists 4 Volumes Colma, California 1965 Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1978. Print.
  8. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  9. 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.
  10. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  11. ...

The Terry Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Terry 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 5 December 2015 at 19:10.

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