Amy History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The origins of this surname lie in the Old French word "ami," meaning "friend," or from the French personal name Amé, which comes from the Latin Amatus, meaning "beloved."

Early Origins of the Amy family

The surname Amy was first found in Cornwall where they held a family seat as Lords of the Botienne Castle in Cornwall. "In the thirteenth century Richard Amy held from Henry de la Pomeray in Cornwall. His descendants were to be found there till the middle of last century. Mr. Amy, Sheriff of the county in 1714, inherited Botreaux Castle from his uncle Sir John Cotton, and was the father of Cotton Amy, the last heir male, who left only two daughters." [1] Since then, their influence has moved east into Devon, Somerset and Dorset. The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list Simone and John Ame in Essex temp. Edward I.

Early History of the Amy family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Amy research. Another 110 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 161 and 1619 are included under the topic Early Amy History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Amy Spelling Variations

Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Amy, Amie, Amey, Ammy, L'Amie, L'Amy, L'Amey, Lamey, Lamie and many more.

Early Notables of the Amy family (pre 1700)

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


United States Amy migration to the United States +

A look at the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name Amy:

Amy Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Amy, who arrived in Virginia in 1642
  • William Amy, who landed in Virginia in 1642 [2]
  • Cher Amy, who settled in Virginia in 1677
  • John Amy, who settled in Barbados in 1679
  • Anne Amy, who arrived in Virginia in 1695 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Amy Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Amy, who arrived in Virginia in 1700 [2]
  • Humphry Amy, who landed in Virginia in 1714 [2]
  • Humphry Amy, who received a land patent in Virginia in 1714

Australia Amy migration to Australia +

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

Amy Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. James Amy, (b. 1854), aged 24, Cornish farmer travelling aboard the ship "Lochee" arriving in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia on 24th February 1878 [3]
  • Mrs. Emma Amy, (b. 1848), aged 30, Cornish settler travelling aboard the ship "Lochee" arriving in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia on 24th February 1878 [3]
  • Mr. Alexander Amy, (b. 1877), aged 1, Cornish settler travelling aboard the ship "Lochee" arriving in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia on 24th February 1878 [3]
  • Miss Lucy G. Amy, (b. 1878), aged Infant, Cornish settler travelling aboard the ship "Lochee" arriving in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia on 24th February 1878 [3]
  • Miss Amelia Amy, (b. 1858), aged 20, Cornish general servant travelling aboard the ship "Lochee" arriving in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia on 24th February 1878 [3]

New Zealand Amy 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:

Amy Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Amy, aged 22, a farm labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bebington" in 1872
  • Rachael Amy, aged 23, who arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Apelles" in 1874

Contemporary Notables of the name Amy (post 1700) +

  • Heather Amy Matarazzo (b. 1982), American actress, known for her role in the film Welcome to the Dollhouse (1995)
  • Edna Amy Iles (1905-2003), English pianist
  • Elma Amy Yerburgh (1864-1946), née Thwaites, English owner and then chairman of the Thwaites Brewery Company from 1888 to 1946
  • Amy J. Budish, American Democrat politician, Member, Platform Committee, Democratic National Convention, 2008 [4]
  • Amy Corzine, American fiction and non-fiction writer and poet
  • Amy Charity (b. 1976), American professional racing cyclist who rode for the Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies team
  • Amy Birnbaum, American voice actress and singer, who works on the properties of 4Kids Entertainment
  • Amy Lynn Hartzler (b. 1981), née Lee, known professionally as Amy Lee, an American singer, songwriter, pianist, and record producer
  • Amy Kenefick, American producer of Newton's Apple (1983-1987)
  • Amy Beth Schumer (b. 1981), American Writers Guild of America Award and Golden Globe Award nominated stand-up comedian, writer, actress, and producer from New York City


  1. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 1 of 3
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 19). Emigrants to Australia NSW 1860 -88 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/nsw_passenger_lists_1860_88.pdf
  4. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 3) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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