Ambrose History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The vast movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of England in 1066 brought the Ambrose family name to the British Isles. Ambrose comes from the medieval given name Ambrose, which was in turn derived from the Latin Ambrosius, which means immortal. [1] [2] [3]

The name Ambrose was extremely popular and spread rapidly because of devotion to Saint Ambrose, who lived during the 4th century and was one of the four Fathers of the Western Christian church.

Some say that this name is descended from the Greek, meaning "immortal or divine," but it is more likely that the name is Norman and is taken from one of the great fathers of the Latin Church. Pierre de Ambroise was the Seigneur of Chaumont in Normandy and was living in 1440, apparently the surviving Norman branch of the family name. This family intermarried with the descendants of King Charles VII of France and is directly descended from Jacqueline, the King's mistress.

"No doubt the fair amount of popularity obtained in England for this fontal name was due to the great St. Ambrose, Archbishop of Milan." [4]

Early Origins of the Ambrose family

The surname Ambrose was first found in Norfolk where the Latin form Ambrosius was recorded 1168-1175 at Holme. [5]

Almost one hundred years later, the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 included many different early spelling throughout ancient Britain: William Ambroys, Bedfordshire; Robert Ambros , Huntingdonshire; Richard Ambrosie, Huntingdonshire; and Henry Ambreis, Oxfordshire. [4]

Later, William Ambroys was recorded in the Subsidy Rolls for Sussex in 1332. [5]

Later in Scotland, "William Ambrosij (gen.) was burgess of Glasgow in 1488; and in 1499 a payment of eight bolls of wheat was made to Alexander Ambrose and his wife. Alexander Ambroise was minister at Newbotle, 1609. John Ambrose of Graystain was charged with assault in 1628, Jean Ambrois was a resident in Dunkeld in 1675, and four individuals of this name are recorded in Edinburgh in the seventeenth century." [6]

Early History of the Ambrose family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ambrose research. Another 92 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1488, 1499, 1662, 1604, 1662 and 1604 are included under the topic Early Ambrose History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ambrose Spelling Variations

Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Ambroase, Ambrose, Ambross, Ambroyse, Ambrusious, Ambrusius, Ambros, Ambroise, Ambrorrows, Ambroroughs, Ambury, Amburys, Amborows, Ambroraes, Ambesace, MacAmbrose, McAmbrose and many more.

Early Notables of the Ambrose family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Joshua Ambrose, curator and rector of the Church of West Derby, Lancashire in 1662. [7] Isaac Ambrose (1604-1662), was a Lancashire divine...
Another 28 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ambrose Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ambrose Ranking

In the United States, the name Ambrose is the 1,969th most popular surname with an estimated 14,922 people with that name. [8]

Ireland Migration of the Ambrose family to Ireland

Some of the Ambrose 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.


United States Ambrose migration to the United States +

To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Ambrose or a variant listed above:

Ambrose Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Mr. Ambrose, who settled in Virginia in 1621
  • Isaack Ambrose, who settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Joshua Ambrose, who settled in New England in 1635
  • Isaac Ambrose, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [9]
  • Isack Ambrose, aged 18, who landed in Virginia in 1635 [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Ambrose Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Henry Ambrose, who was a bonded passenger, arriving in America in 1700
  • Mathies Ambrose, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1732 [9]
  • Johann Ambrose, who landed with his wife Elizabeth in Georgia in 1733-34
  • Jo and Eliz Ambrose, who settled in Georgia with their daughter in 1733
  • Mateas Ambrose, who settled in Maryland in 1734
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Ambrose Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Lewis Ambrose, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Maryland in 1840 [9]
  • William C Ambrose, who arrived in New York in 1843 [9]
  • G Ambrose, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [9]
  • Nicholas Ambrose, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1857 [9]
  • Charles Ambrose, who landed in Arkansas in 1861 [9]

Canada Ambrose migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Ambrose Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

Australia Ambrose migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Ambrose Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Francis Ambrose, (Ginger), (b. 1813), aged 15, Irish labourer born in Cork, Ireland who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 14 years for pick pocketing, transported aboard the "Bussorah Merchant" on 24th March 1828, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [11]
  • Miss Margaret Ambrose, English laundress who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Earl of Liverpool" in December 1830, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [12]
  • Mr. Ambrose Thompson, English convict who was convicted in Devon, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Bengal Merchant" on 27th September 1834, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [13]
  • Mr. Ambrose Harman, English convict who was convicted in Wiltshire, England for life, transported aboard the "Bardaster" on 7th September 1835, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [14]
  • Mr. John Ambrose, (b. 1821), aged 27, English convict who was convicted in London, England for 7 years for felony, transported aboard the "Bangalore" on 1st January 1850, arriving in Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia [15]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Ambrose migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Ambrose Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Ambrose, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship 'Merchantman' arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 6th September 1855 [16]
  • Mr. Thomas Benjamin Ambrose, (b. 1822), aged 38, Scottish carpenter from Lanark travelling from Bristol aboard the ship "William Miles" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 21st August 1860 [17]
  • Mrs. Mary Ambrose, (b. 1833), aged 27, Scottish settler from Lanark travelling from Bristol aboard the ship "William Miles" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 21st August 1860 [17]
  • Mr. Thomas William Ambrose, (b. 1855), aged 5, Scottish settler from Lanark travelling from Bristol aboard the ship "William Miles" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 21st August 1860 [17]
  • Mr. John Andrew Ambrose, (b. 1859), aged 1, Scottish settler from Lanark travelling from Bristol aboard the ship "William Miles" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 21st August 1860 [17]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Ambrose (post 1700) +

  • Professor Warren Ambrose (1914-1995), American mathematician at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Sharon Ambrose (1939-2017), American politician, member of the Council of the District of Columbia (1997–2007)
  • Stephen Edward Ambrose (1936-2002), American historian and biographer of U.S. Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and Richard Nixon
  • Lauren Ambrose (b. 1978), born Lauren Anne D'Ambruoso, American actress
  • Ashley Ambrose (b. 1970), retired American NFL football player
  • Charles Edward Ambrose, American Artist and Educator
  • Elizabeth Z. Ambrose, American Republican politician, Candidate for Pennsylvania State House of Representatives from Beaver County 2nd District, 1954 [18]
  • Donetta W. Ambrose (b. 1945), American politician, U.S. District Judge for the Western District of Pennsylvania, 1993- [18]
  • Daniel Webster Ambrose Jr. (1896-1992), American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from West Virginia, 1936, 1940, 1944, 1948 [18]
  • Daniel W. Ambrose, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Virgin Islands, 1956, 1960 [18]
  • ... (Another 24 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Hood
  • Mr. John Ambrose (b. 1922), English Able Seaman serving for the Royal Navy from Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [19]


Suggested Readings for the name Ambrose +

  • The Blake-Ambrose Family History by Irma Ruth M. Anderson.

  1. ^ Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  2. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  6. ^ 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)
  7. ^ 'Townships: Scarisbrick', in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3, ed. William Farrer and J Brownbill (London, 1907), pp. 265-276. British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/lancs/vol3/pp265-276 [accessed 21 January 2017].
  8. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  9. ^ 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)
  10. ^ 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
  11. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 5th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/bussorah-merchant
  12. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 20th August 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/earl-of-liverpool
  13. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 7th October 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/bengal-merchant
  14. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/bardaster
  15. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 11th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/australasia
  16. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  17. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  18. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 4) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  19. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm


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