Amesbury History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Amesbury comes from the ancient Norman culture that was established in Britain after the Conquest of 1066. It was a name for a good friend or beloved one. The name was originally derived from the Old French given name or nickname Amis or Ami, which means friend. Alternatively the name could have been derived from the "descendant of Amos (burden-bearer.)" [1]

Early Origins of the Amesbury family

The surname Amesbury was first found in the county of Northumberland, where they were granted lands by King William after the Norman Conquest in 1066. They originated from Exmes, a town in the department of Orne, in Normandy.

"Amos, like Amias or Amyas, represents popular forms of the Norman-French Aimee, or Amys. " [2] Kirby's Quest had the first listing for the family: Thomas Amys, Somerset, 1 Edward III (during the first year of King Edward III's reign.) [3]

Another sources notes: "the present family of Amos, established in the Faversham district, [in Kent] probably can claim an ancestor in Thomas Amos, a well - to - do yeoman of Ospringe, who in 1769 bequeathed £100 for the poor of Molash." [4]

Early History of the Amesbury family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Amesbury research. Another 178 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1889, 1640, 1692, 1721, 1576, 1633, 1619, 1695, 1689, 1759, 1641, 1721 and 1692 are included under the topic Early Amesbury History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Amesbury Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Ames, Amess, Amies, Amis, Amiss, Amos, Hames, Haymes, Eames, Emmes and many more.

Early Notables of the Amesbury family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was William Ames (Latin: Guilielmus Amesius) (1576-1633), an English Protestant divine, philosopher, and controversialist; Henry Metcalfe Ames, of Lynden, Northumberland; Joseph Ames (1619-1695), an English naval commander from Norfolk who commanded several ships of war, and made repeated voyages to...
Another 46 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Amesbury Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Australia Amesbury migration to Australia +

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

Amesbury Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Joseph Amesbury, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Forfarshire" in 1848 [5]

New Zealand Amesbury 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:

Amesbury Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Henry Amesbury (Armstrong), (b. 1840), aged 20, Scottish farmer from Somerset travelling from Bristol aboard the ship "William Miles" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 21st August 1860 [6]


The Amesbury 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: Fama candida rosa dulcior
Motto Translation: Fame is sweeter than the white rose.


  1. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  4. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  5. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) FORFARSHIRE 1848. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1848Forfarshire.htm
  6. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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