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


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The surname Arms was first found in Surrey where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. The Saxon influence of English history diminished after the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The language of the courts was French for the next three centuries and the Norman ambience prevailed. But Saxon surnames survived and the family name was first referenced in the year 1150 when Walter Harm held the estates.

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Arms have been found, including Harm, Harme, Harmes, Harms, Armes, Arms, Arme and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Arms research. Another 166 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1235, 1327, 1455, 1487, and 1797 are included under the topic Early Arms History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Arms Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Arms, or a variant listed above:

Arms Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Henry Arms, who landed in Maryland in 1646
  • William Arms, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1676

Arms Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Elizabeth Arms arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Stebonheath" in 1849

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  • Brigadier-General Thomas Seelye Arms (1893-1970), American Commanding General Replacement & Training Command (1945)
  • Willard B. Arms, American Republican politician, Member of Michigan State Senate, 1855-58, 1867-68
  • Martha Arms, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Missouri, 1944
  • Jena Beth Arms, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Tennessee, 1972
  • Clifford S. Arms, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Otsego County 2nd District, 1869


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  1. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  2. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  3. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  4. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  5. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  7. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  8. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  9. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  11. ...

The Arms Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Arms 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 18 January 2016 at 11:32.

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