Show ContentsAger History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The earliest origins of the name Ager date back to the time of the Anglo-Saxons. The name is derived from a group of baptismal surnames which all mean the son of Eggar or the son of Agar. "Probably a form of Algar, a Domesday personal name, and very popular for several centuries." [1]

"Aighear signifies gladness, joy, gayety. If from the Latin ager, it denotes a field or land." [2]

In Scotland, "Aeggar was king of the Scots a. 1189." [3]

Early Origins of the Ager family

The surname Ager was first found in the counties of Yorkshire and Northumberland, where they held a family seat from ancient times.

"The Agars, an old York family of the 17th and 18th centuries, gained considerable estate by trade and founded a hospital in that city. Thomas Agar, tanner, was lord mayor of York in 1618, and the same office was filled by Thomas Agar, woollen draper, in 1724. Agar is still a York name." [4]

Early History of the Ager family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ager research. Another 35 words (2 lines of text) covering the years 1782, 1672, 1733, 1703, 1713, 1713, 1714, 1715, 1727, 1727 and 1733 are included under the topic Early Ager History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ager Spelling Variations

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Ager include Agar, Algar, Alger, Algore, Augar, Auger, Elger, Elgar, Eager, Eagar, Etches, Eaches and many more.

Early Notables of the Ager family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: John Eager, born 1782 at Norwich, where his father was a musical instrument maker and organ builder. Having learned from his father the rudiments of music, he was at twelve years old taken under the care of the Duke of Dorset, an amateur violinist, who carried him to his seat at Knole, where free access to the library enabled him to repair the defects of his early education. His patron...
Another 78 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ager Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ager Ranking

In the United States, the name Ager is the 16,657th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [5]

Ireland Migration of the Ager family to Ireland

Some of the Ager family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 76 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Ager migration to the United States +

Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Ager or a variant listed above:

Ager Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Ager, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1631 [6]
  • William Ager, who landed in Massachusetts in 1659 [6]
  • Robert Ager, who arrived in Maryland in 1675 [6]
Ager Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William Ager, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1844 [6]
  • Jose Ager, who landed in Puerto Rico in 1854 [6]
  • John Ager, who arrived in Mississippi in 1877 [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Ager (post 1700) +

  • Waldemar Ager (1869-1941), Norwegian-born, American newspaperman and author
  • Maurice Ager (b. 1984), American basketball player
  • Cecilia Ager (1902-1981), American film critic
  • Milton Ager (1893-1979), American composer
  • Nikolaus Ager (1568-1634), French botanist born in Alsace
  • James Ager Worthy (b. 1961), retired Hall of Fame American college and professional basketball player

The Ager Motto +

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: Spectemur agendo
Motto Translation: Let us be judged by our actions.

  1. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  3. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  4. Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  5. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  6. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8) on Facebook