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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: English, French


The ancestors of the Archer family brought their name to England in the wave of migration after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name Archer is for a bowman, and derives from the French L'Archer of the same meaning.

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Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence in the eras before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate regularly changed the spellings of their names as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Archer have been found, including Archer, Archar, Arsher, Arsher, Arshire, Archere and many more.

First found in Warwickshire, where "Fulbert L'Archer, the patriarch of the Lords Archer of Umberslade, in the county of Warwick, appears among the warriors at Hastings, who received recompense from the victor. His son, Robert L'Archer, obtained additions to his territorial possessions by grant from Henry I., whose tutor he had been, and still further increased his patrimony by marrying Sebit, daughter of Henry of Villiers, and thus acquiring the lands of Umberslade." [1] Robert Larchier was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Hampshire and Warwickshire in 1166. Hugh le Archer was listed in the Feet of Fines of Cheshire in 1199. [2] Odo le Archer was listed in Devon during the reign of Henry III and John le Archer was listed in Yorkshire in the reign of Edward I. The Hundredorum Rolls of 1237 list Thomas le Archer in Derbyshire. [3]


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Archer research. Another 547 words (39 lines of text) covering the years 1166, 1210, 1214, 1273, 1350, 1296, 1856, 1861, 1598, 1682, 1581, 1662, 1640, 1619, 1685, 1659 and 1660 are included under the topic Early Archer History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 105 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Archer Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Archer family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 105 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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For many English families, the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. For such families, the shores of Ireland, Australia, and the New World beckoned. They left their homeland at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. Many arrived after the long voyage sick, starving, and without a penny. But even those were greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. Numerous English settlers who arrived in the United States and Canada at this time went on to make important contributions to the developing cultures of those countries. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Archer were among those contributors:

Archer Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Gabriel Archer, who arrived in New England in 1602
  • Georg Archer, who landed in Virginia in 1618
  • Samuel Archer, who arrived in Salem, Massachusetts in 1630
  • Jo Archer, who arrived in Virginia in 1635
  • Geo Archer, who landed in Virginia in 1635


Archer Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Robert Archer, who landed in Virginia in 1700
  • Michael Archer, who landed in Virginia in 1726
  • Thomas Archer, who arrived in Georgia in 1747
  • George Archer, who landed in New Jersey in 1764
  • Alexander Archer, his wife Jane, and four children, settled in Charles Town [Charleston], South Carolina in 1767


Archer Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Vincent Archer, aged 10, landed in Key West, Fla in 1839
  • Mary Archer, aged 6, landed in Key West, Fla in 1839
  • Augustus Archer, aged 12, landed in Key West, Fla in 1839
  • Benj Archer, aged 35, arrived in Key West, Fla in 1839
  • Charlotte Archer, aged 32, landed in Key West, Fla in 1839


Archer Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Christopher Archer settled at St. John's, Newfoundland, in 1703
  • Richard Archer was a Constable in Trinity, Newfoundland, in 1730
  • Hy Archer, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749

Archer Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • James Archer, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1826
  • Margaret Archer arrived in Saint John aboard the ship "Eleanor" in 1834
  • Thomas Archer arrived in Saint John aboard the ship "Eleanor" in 1834
  • Ellen Archer, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1844

Archer Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • William Archer, English convict from Oxford, who was transported aboard the "Arab" on July 3, 1822, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Austraila
  • James Archer arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "John" in 1840
  • Elizabeth Archer arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "John" in 1840
  • Henry Archer, English convict from Suffolk, who was transported aboard the "Anson" on September 23, 1843, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
  • William Archer arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Sir Edward Parry" in 1849


Archer Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • John Archer arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Annie Wilson" in 1863
  • William Archer, aged 34, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Celaeno" in 1872
  • Harriet Archer, aged 33, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Celaeno" in 1872
  • William J. Archer, aged 13, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Celaeno" in 1872
  • Alice J. Archer, aged 11, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Celaeno" in 1872


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  • Anne Archer (b. 1947), American actress named Miss Golden Globe in 1971
  • Mr. Joseph Archer, English 1st Class Waiter from England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking
  • Mr. Ernest Edward Archer, aged 36, English Able Seaman from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping on life boat 3
  • Jeffrey Howard Archer (b. 1940), Baron Archer of Weston-super-Mare, English author and politician
  • William Archer (1856-1924), Scottish author, critic, and translator
  • Thomas Archer (1668-1743), English architect
  • Frederick James Archer (1857-1886), English jockey
  • Bertram Stuart Trevelyan Archer GC, OBE, ERD (1915-2015), British soldier awarded the George Cross Medal for extensive work on defusing German bombs dropped on United Kingdom during World War II, the first recipient of the Victoria Cross or the George Cross to reach 100 years of age
  • Mrs. Mary Ruth Archer (1881-1914), née Congdon Canadian Second Class Passenger from Elbow, Saskatchewan, Canada who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking on May 29th 1914
  • Mr. Tracey Harley Archer (1881-1914), Canadian Second Class Passenger from Elbow, Saskatchewan, Canada who survived the sinking on the Empress of Ireland on May 29th 1914

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  • The Archer Family Genealogical Record by Julia Mallison Murden.
  • Growing up Black in Rural Mississippi: Memories of a Family, Heritage of a Place by Chalmers Archer.
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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: Sola bona quae honesta
Motto Translation: Those things only are good which are honest.

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  1. ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)

Other References

  1. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  2. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  3. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  5. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  6. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  7. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  8. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  9. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  10. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  11. ...

The Archer Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Archer 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 17 April 2016 at 00:03.

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