Bastard History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Bastard is one of the most ancient names to come from the Norman culture that arrived in Britain soon after the Norman Conquest of 1066. It is a name for a person who was a child of illegitimate birth but such references are in jest.

Early Origins of the Bastard family

The surname Bastard was first found in Devon, where they are descended from "Robert Bastard, who held several manors in this county in the reign of William I. For several generations Efford, in the parish of Egg-Buckland, was the seat of this family. " [1]

"In Norman times illegitimacy was not regarded with the same contempt as now. The Conqueror himself, though illegitimate, not only succeeded to his father’s duchy, but frankly avowed himself as a bastard in official writings." [2]

"The church [of West Alvington in Devon] contains some good screen-work in carved oak, and a beautiful monument to a member of the Bastard family, whose ancient seat has been converted into a farmhouse." [3]

Early History of the Bastard family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bastard research. Another 338 words (24 lines of text) covering the years 1066, 1201, 1273, 1273, 1379, 1566, 1700, 1721, 1779, 1784, 1816, 1832, 1565, 1618, 1598 and 1847 are included under the topic Early Bastard History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bastard Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Bastard are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Bastard include Bastard, Basstard, Bostard, Bosstard, Baisterd, Bestard, Bastert, Basteder and many more.

Early Notables of the Bastard family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Thomas Bastard (c. 1565-1618) an English clergyman famed for his published English language epigrams. He was born in Blandford Forum, Dorset, England and is best known for seven books of 285...
Another 38 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bastard Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Bastard migration to the United States +

Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Bastard, or a variant listed above:

Bastard Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Henry Bastard, who sailed to Virginia in 1657
  • Henry Bastard, who landed in Virginia in 1657 [4]
  • William Bastard, who arrived in Virginia in 1657 [4]
  • Roger Bastard, who landed in Newport, Rhode Island in 1666 [4]
  • Joseph Bastard, who arrived in Fairfield, Connecticut in 1686 [4]
Bastard Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Hernando Bastard, who landed in Venezuela in 1834 [4]
  • P F Bastard, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 [4]
  • Juan Bastard, who landed in Puerto Rico in 1860 [4]

Canada Bastard migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Bastard Settlers in Canada in the 17th Century
  • Yves Bastard, who arrived in Montreal in 1653
  • Francois Bastard, who landed in Canada in 1664
Bastard Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • John Pollexfen Bastard was living in Leeds County, Ontario in 1878

Australia Bastard migration to Australia +

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

Bastard Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Stephen Bastard, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Slains Castle" arriving in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on 25th January 1851, en route to Adelaide [5]
  • Thomas Barnabas Bastard, aged 34, a shoemaker, who arrived in South Australia in 1853 aboard the ship "William Stuart" [6]

New Zealand Bastard 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:

Bastard Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Bastard, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Harwood" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 4th November 1858 [7]

Contemporary Notables of the name Bastard (post 1700) +

  • John Pollexfen Bastard (1756-1816), English politician, born in 1756 at Kitley, near Plymouth Member of parliament for Devon; his family, settled in Devonshire since the Conquest, obtained the Kitley property about the end of the seventeenth century [8]
  • Segar Bastard (1854-1921), English international footballer and referee
  • John Bastard (1787-1835), of Sharpham, Ashprington, Devon, British officer of the Royal Navy who saw service during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, and the War of 1812
  • Edmund Pollexfen Bastard (1784-1838), British Tory politician, Member of Parliament for Dartmouth from 1812 to 1816, older brother of John Bastard
  • Edward William Bastard (1862-1901), British cricket player
  • John Horatio Bastard (1817-1848), British cricket player
  • Benjamin Bastard (d. 1772), British architect

The Bastard 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: Pax potior bello
Motto Translation: Peace preferable to war.

  1. ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
  2. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ The Argus News Paper 27th January 1852 Page 2 (Retrieved 26th April 2019). Retrieved from
  6. ^ South Australian Register Friday 15 July 1853. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) William Stuart 1853. Retrieved
  7. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from
  8. ^ Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 6 June 2019 on Facebook
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