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Airy is one of the thousands of new names that the Norman Conquest brought to England in 1066. The Airy family lived in the Castle of Airey, or Arey in Normandy. The earliest record of the name was in 1198 of Goisbert de Arreio in Normandy. In England, the family settled mostly in the counties of Cumberland and Westmorland (now part of Cumbria) having derived from the word eyrara which means gravel-banked stream. [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)


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The surname Airy was first found in the northern English counties of Cumberland and Westmorland where they held a family seat from very ancient times, probably long before the Norman Conquest of England by the Duke of Normandy in 1066 A.D.

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Airy are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Airy include Airey, Airy, Airie, Arey, Array, Aireys, Aries, Areys and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Airy research. Another 219 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1301, 1332, 1611, 1833 and 1911 are included under the topic Early Airy History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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More information is included under the topic Early Airy Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Some of the Airy 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 and printed products wherever possible.

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Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Airy, or a variant listed above:

Airy Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Robert Airy settled in Boston, in 1765
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  • Emery Earl Airy (1884-1979), American Republican politician, Grocer; Mayor of Maryville, Missouri, 1945
  • D. W. Airy, American Republican politician, Candidate for Missouri State House of Representatives from Atchison County, 1924
  • Sir George Biddell Airy (1801-1892), English astronomer
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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: Je le tiendrai
Motto Translation: I will possess.

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Citations



  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)

Other References

  1. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  2. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  3. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  5. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  7. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  8. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  9. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  10. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  11. ...

The Airy Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Airy 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 2 February 2016 at 09:56.

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