Audrey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Audrey family

The surname Audrey was first found in Wiltshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William, Duke of Normandy, having prevailed over King Harold, granted most of Britain to his many victorious Barons. It was not uncommon to find a Baron, or a Bishop, with 60 or more Lordships scattered throughout the country. These he gave to his sons, nephews and other junior lines of his family and they became known as under-tenants. They adopted the Norman system of surnames which identified the under-tenant with his holdings so as to distinguish him from the senior stem of the family. After many rebellious wars between his Barons, Duke William, commissioned a census of all England to determine in 1086, settling once and for all, who held which land. He called the census the Domesday Book, [1] indicating that those holders registered would hold the land until the end of time. Hence, conjecturally, the surname is descended from the tenant of the lands of Norton, held by William de Audrieu, a Norman Baron from Audrieu near Caen in Normandy who was recorded in the Domesday Book census of 1086.

Early History of the Audrey family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Audrey research. Another 103 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1183 and 1830 are included under the topic Early Audrey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Audrey Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries. For that reason, spelling variations are common among many Anglo-Norman names. The shape of the English language was frequently changed with the introduction of elements of Norman French, Latin, and other European languages; even the spelling of literate people's names were subsequently modified. Audrey has been recorded under many different variations, including Awdry, Audrey, Audrie, Awdrie, Awdree, Audree and many more.

Early Notables of the Audrey family (pre 1700)

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


United States Audrey migration to the United States +

To escape the uncertainty of the political and religious uncertainty found in England, many English families boarded ships at great expense to sail for the colonies held by Britain. The passages were expensive, though, and the boats were unsafe, overcrowded, and ridden with disease. Those who were hardy and lucky enough to make the passage intact were rewarded with land, opportunity, and social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families went on to be important contributors to the young nations of Canada and the United States where they settled. Audreys were some of the first of the immigrants to arrive in North America:

Audrey Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Ellen Audrey, who settled in Virginia in 1652
  • Ellin Audrey, who arrived in Virginia in 1652 [2]
  • William Audrey, who landed in Virginia in 1652 [2]

New Zealand Audrey 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:

Audrey Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • A. Audrey, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Tongariro" in 1888

Contemporary Notables of the name Audrey (post 1700) +

  • Phillip Audrey, Scottish noted educator and researcher
  • Armelia Audrey McQueen (1952-2020), American actress, best known for her roles in the Broadway musical Ain't Misbehavin' (1978–1982, 1988–1989)
  • Elizabeth Audrey Withers OBE (1905-2001), English journalist
  • Lianne Audrey Dalziel (b. 1960), member of the New Zealand Parliament and was Minister of Immigration
  • Dame Marion Audrey Roe DBE (b. 1936), Conservative politician in the United Kingdom
  • Audrey Hepburn (born Audrey Kathleen Ruston) (1929-1993), born Audrey Kathleen Ruston, British (Belgian born) actress and humanitarian and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Ms. Audrey Cumberford M.B.E., FRSE, British former Principal and Chief Executive for West College Scotland. was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire on 29th December 2018 for services to Further Education and the community in the West of Scotland [3]
  • Ms. Audrey Joyce Hockey M.B.E. (b. 1925), British lady tracer, was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire on 29th December 2018 for services to the community in Wallasey, Merseyside [3]
  • Audrey Mary Shuey (1910-1977), American academic, Chair of the Department of Psychology at Randolph-Macon College
  • Audrey Waple, American scenic painter, known for Rock of Ages (2012), Spring Breakers and Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (2016)


  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  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. ^ "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018, www.thegazette.co.uk/honours-lists


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