Show ContentsArmistead History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the name Armistead date back to the days of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from their residence near or at a hermit's cell. The surname Armistead is derived from the Old French word ermite, which means hermit, and the Old English word stede, which means place. [1] [2]

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 Armistead family

The surname Armistead 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. [3] [2]

"This has been a Yorkshire surname for five centuries at least." [3]

Later in Norfolk we found William Armistead, was vicar of Berwick Parva, Norfolk in 1587. [4]

Early History of the Armistead family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Armistead 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 Armistead History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Armistead Spelling Variations

Armistead has been spelled many different ways. Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Many variations of the name Armistead have been found, including Armistead, Armitstead, Armystead, Armstead, Olmstead, Ormstead, Ampstead and many more.

Early Notables of the Armistead 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 Armistead Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Armistead Ranking

In the United States, the name Armistead is the 9,749th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [5]

United States Armistead migration to the United States +

In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Armisteads to arrive on North American shores:

Armistead Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Armistead, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [6]
Armistead Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Joseph Armistead who settled in Savannah, Georgia in 1775
Armistead Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Francis Armistead, who landed in New York in 1847 [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Armistead (post 1700) +

  • W. T. Armistead, American politician, Member of Texas State Senate 4th District, 1887-88 [7]
  • W. W. Armistead, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Georgia, 1928 [7]
  • Spencer Armistead, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Hawaii, 1972 [7]
  • L. C. Armistead, American politician, Delegate to Florida State Constitutional Convention from Jackson County, 1868 [7]
  • H. B. Armistead, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Arkansas, 1884; Secretary of State of Arkansas, 1893-96 [7]
  • George D. Armistead, American Democratic Party politician, Postmaster at San Antonio, Texas, 1914-21 [7]
  • Dan Armistead, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Michigan, 1988 [7]
  • Charles S. Armistead (1914-1997), American Democratic Party politician, Member of West Virginia State House of Delegates from Monongalia County, 1959-60, 1965-68 [7]
  • Bill Armistead (b. 1944), American Republican politician, Presidential Elector for Alabama, 1996; Delegate to Republican National Convention from Alabama, 2004, 2012; Alabama Republican State Chair, 2012 [7]
  • William Martin Armistead (1873-1955), American advertising executive credited with inventing the modern style of advertising
  • ... (Another 5 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

The Armistead 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

  1. Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. 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)
  4. Rye, Walter, A History of Norfolk. London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, 1885. Print
  5. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  6. 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)
  7. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 18) . Retrieved from on Facebook