Amstead History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
Amstead is a name whose history is connected to the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the Amstead family once lived near or at a hermit's cell. The surname Amstead is derived from the Old French word ermite, which means hermit, and the Old English word stede, which means place.  
The name may also be an Anglicized form of the German surname Darmstädter, which is derived from the settlement of Darmstadt in Hesse, a former landgraviate of Germany.
Early Origins of the Amstead family
The surname Amstead was first found in Yorkshire where the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 include some of the first listings of the family: Laurencius del Armetsted; Johannes de Armetstede who both held lands there at that time.  
"This has been a Yorkshire surname for five centuries at least." 
Later in Norfolk we found William Armistead, was vicar of Berwick Parva, Norfolk in 1587. 
Early History of the Amstead family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Amstead research. Another 137 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1527, 1618, 1645, 1726, 1676, 1680, 1693, 1696, 1699, 1783, 1845, 1780, 1818, 1812, 1817, 1863 and 1863 are included under the topic Early Amstead History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Amstead Spelling Variations
Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Amstead family name include Armistead, Armitstead, Armystead, Armstead, Olmstead, Ormstead, Ampstead and many more.
Early Notables of the Amstead family (pre 1700)
Notables of the family at this time include Captain Anthony Armistead (1645-1726), British Justice of the Peace in the British Colony and Dominion of Virginia. He was born in Elizabeth City County, Virginia, the son of William Armistead. He assisted Sir William Berkeley's courts-martial in 1676 to try the Bacon insurgents and was a justice of the peace and Captain of Horse in 1680. He was a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses in 1693, 1696, 1699. He married Hannah Ellyson and had five children; the...
Another 87 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Amstead Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Amstead family
For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, Canada, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Amstead surname or a spelling variation of the name include: Joseph Armistead who settled in Savannah, Georgia in 1775; Charity Armstead settled in Maryland in 1774; Hannah Armstead came to New England in 1780; James Olmstead settled in Boston, Massachusetts in 1632.
Related Stories +
The Amstead 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: Ever ready
Motto Translation: Always prepared
- ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- ^ Rye, Walter, A History of Norfolk. London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, 1885. Print