Bishop History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Bishop is a name whose history dates far back into the mists of early British times to the days of the Anglo-Saxon tribes. It is a name for a person who portrayed a bishop in a medieval play, a person with an ecclesiastical bearing, or one who had been elected as a boy-bishop for the festival of St. Nicholas' Day. [1] [2]

Early Origins of the Bishop family

The surname Bishop was first found in an area "confined south of a line drawn from the Wash to the Dee. It is at present most numerous in the western half of this area, the county of Dorset containing the greatest number." [3]

Biscop was listed in Northumberland in the Domesday Book and later, Bissop was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Norfolk in 1195. [2]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed a wide variety of early spellings found throughout this area: John le Bissup, Oxfordshire; William Bisscop, Norfolk; Henry Biscop, Lincolnshire; Elvena, relicta Peter Bissop, Cambridgeshire; and Alice Bissop, Oxfordshire. [1]

Later, Bissop atte Combe was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Somerset in 1327 and the Pipe Rolls listed Lefwinus Bissop in Northumberland in 1166. [2]

Further to the north in Scotland, the first record of the family was in 1291 when "a receipt was granted to William called 'Bissope' on behalf of Sir Dovenald, Earl of Mar." [4]

The Biscoe variant was principally found in Yorkshire where William Birscowe and Robert Biscowe were listed in 1463. [2]

Early History of the Bishop family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bishop research. Another 182 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1400, 1426, 1551, 1610, 1624, 1627, 1628, 1676, 1684, 1786, 1855, 1554, 1624, 1601, 1554, 1612, 1675, 1661, 1611, 1691, 1665, 1737, 1682, 1692, 1625, 1691, 1634, 1681, 1683, 1632, 1692, 1692, 1660, 1687 and 1679 are included under the topic Early Bishop History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bishop Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore, spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Bishop has been recorded under many different variations, including Bishop, Bisshop, Bisshope, Bishope, Bishoppe, Bischoppe and many more.

Early Notables of the Bishop family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include William Bishop (1554-1624), Bishop of Chalcedon, the son of John Bishop, who died in 1601 at the age of ninety-two; he was born of a 'genteel family' at Brailes in Warwickshire in or about 1554. [5] Humphrey Bishop (c. 1612-1675), was an English landowner and politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1661; and Henry Bishopp (Bishop, Bisshopp), (1611-1691), was Postmaster General of England from Henfield, Sussex. John Bishop (1665-1737), was an English musical composer, and educated under Daniel Roseingrave, but, as the latter was organist of Winchester Cathedral from June 1682...
Another 112 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bishop Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bishop World Ranking

In the United States, the name Bishop is the 217th most popular surname with an estimated 119,376 people with that name. [6] However, in Canada, the name Bishop is ranked the 373rd most popular surname with an estimated 12,398 people with that name. [7] And in Newfoundland, Canada, the name Bishop is the 38th popular surname with an estimated 572 people with that name. [8] Australia ranks Bishop as 229th with 14,896 people. [9] New Zealand ranks Bishop as 160th with 3,210 people. [10] The United Kingdom ranks Bishop as 198th with 28,765 people. [11]

Ireland Migration of the Bishop family to Ireland

Some of the Bishop family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Bishop migration to the United States +

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Bishop or a variant listed above:

Bishop Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Henry Bishop, who settled in Maryland in 1633
  • Townsend Bishop, who landed in Salem, Massachusetts in 1635 [12]
  • Thomas Bishop, who arrived in Ipswich, Massachusetts in 1636 [12]
  • Nathaniel Bishop, who landed in Ipswich Massachusetts in 1638 [12]
  • Joseph Bishop, who settled in Virginia in 1644
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Bishop Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • William Bishop, who arrived in Virginia in 1705 [12]
  • Thomas Bishop, who landed in Virginia in 1714 [12]
  • Philip Bishop, who landed in Georgia in 1732 [12]
  • Hendrick Bishop, aged 20, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1733 [12]
  • Mr. Bishop, who landed in Georgia in 1735 [12]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Bishop Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Sarni Bishop, who landed in America in 1805 [12]
  • Robert H Bishop, who landed in Kentucky in 1811 [12]
  • Henry Bishop, who landed in America in 1811 [12]
  • Mark Bishop, who landed in Maryland in 1819 [12]
  • Richard Bishop, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1821 [12]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Bishop Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Mr. Richard Bishop, (b. 1875), aged 30, Cornish miner, from Truro, Cornwall, UK, travelling aboard the ship "New York" arriving at Ellis Island, New York in 1905 en route to Calumet, Michigan, USA [13]

Canada Bishop migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Bishop Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Benj Bishop, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Richard Bishop, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Benjamin Bishop, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • James Bishop, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • John Bishop, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Bishop Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Charles Bishop, aged 5 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Free Trader" departing 22nd June 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 14th August 1847 but he died on board [14]
  • Charles Bishop, aged 28, who arrived in Montreal in 1849
  • Edwin Bishop, aged 2, who landed in Montreal in 1849
  • Mary Bishop, aged 27, who arrived in Montreal in 1849
  • Robert Bishop, who landed in Montreal in 1849
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Bishop migration to Australia +

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

Bishop Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Samuel Bishop, British Convict who was convicted in Hereford, Herefordshire, England for life, transported aboard the "Earl Cornwallis" in August 1800, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [15]
  • Mr. John Bishop, Canadian covict who was convicted in Kingston, Ontario, Canada for life, transported aboard the "Atlas" on 16th January 1816, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [16]
  • Mr. William Bishop, English convict who was convicted in Warwick, Warwickshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Canada" on 23rd April 1819, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [17]
  • Mr. James Bishop, English convict who was convicted in Oxford, Oxfordshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Chapman" on 6th April 1824, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [18]
  • John Bishop, a carpenter, who arrived in New South Wales, Australia sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Bishop 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:

Bishop Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • James Bishop, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • Joseph Bishop, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • William Bishop, who landed in Nelson, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship London
  • Mr. John Tiddby Bishop, (b. 1806), aged 34, British labourer, born in Dorset travelling from Plymouth aboard the ship "Oriental" arriving in New Plymouth, Taranaki, North Island, New Zealand via Wellington on 7th November 1841 [19]
  • Mrs. Charlotte Bishop née Green, (b. 1805), aged 35, British settler, born in Dorset travelling from Plymouth aboard the ship "Oriental" arriving in New Plymouth, Taranaki, North Island, New Zealand via Wellington on 7th November 1841 [19]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Bishop migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [20]
Bishop Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Bishop, who settled in Barbados with his wife and servants in 1680

Contemporary Notables of the name Bishop (post 1700) +

  • James Daniel Bishop (1927-2021), American painter who was granted a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1970
  • Jerry Bishop (1935-2020), American announcer, radio host and radio personality, best known as the announcer for the American courtroom television show, Judge Judy, for 24 years
  • Richard Bishop (1950-2016), American NFL and CFL football defensive tackle
  • Kelly Bishop (b. 1944), American stage, TV and film actress
  • Elvin Bishop (b. 1942), American blues/rock guitarist
  • John Michael Bishop (b. 1936), American biologist, who shared the 1989 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
  • Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979), American Pulitzer Prize winning poet
  • Jim Bishop (1907-1987), American newspaper columnist and historian
  • Isabel Bishop (1902-1988), Award-winning American painter and graphic artist
  • John Peale Bishop (1892-1944), American poet and man of letters
  • ... (Another 135 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Empress of Ireland
  • Mr. Thomas Henry Bishop, British Assistant Cook from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and survived the sinking [21]
  • Mr. Thomas George Tetley Bishop (1897-1914), Canadian Second Class Passenger from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [22]
HMS Hood
  • Mr. Edward J P Bishop (b. 1919), English Petty Officer serving for the Royal Navy from Portsmouth, Hampshire, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [23]
  • Mr. Charles J Bishop (b. 1919), English Chief Stoker serving for the Royal Navy from Worcester, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [23]
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Leslie Bishop, British Able Bodied Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [24]
  • Mr. George F Bishop, British Stoker 1st Class, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [24]
  • Mr. C H Bishop, British Able Bodied Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [24]
HMS Royal Oak
  • Thomas G. Bishop, British Seaman with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he survived the sinking [25]
RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. Joseph Bishop, Canadian 3rd Class passenger from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [26]
  • Mrs. Alice Bishop, Canadian 3rd Class passenger from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [26]
  • Mr. William Bishop, Canadian 3rd Class passenger from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [26]
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Walter Alexander Bishop (d. 1912), aged 34, English First Class Bedroom Steward from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [27]
  • Mrs. Helen Bishop, (née Walton), aged 19, American First Class passenger from Dowagiac, Michigan who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping in life boat 7 [27]
  • Mr. Dickinson H. "Dick" Bishop, aged 25, American First Class passenger from Dowagiac, Michigan who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping in life boat 7 [27]
Senghenydd colliery
  • Mr. William Bishop (b. 1876), Welsh coal miner from Senghenydd, Caerphilly, Wales who was working at the Senghenydd colliery when there was an explosion on the 14th October 1913; he died
SS Caribou
  • Mr. Eli Maxwell Bishop (b. 1923), Newfoundland passenger who was Royal Navy able bodied seaman from Cavendish, Trinity Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador was travelling aboard the railway ferry "SS Caribou" when it was struck by a German submarine torpedo on 14th October 1942, the most significant sinking in Canadian waters at that time, he died in the sinking
SS Southern Cross
  • Mr. John Bishop (1874-1914), Newfoundlander from Kelligrews who was aboard the "SS Southern Cross" when it is suspected she sank between the 31st March 1914 and early April during the storm with a heavy load of pelts; no survivors were ever found
USS Arizona
  • Mr. Wesley Horner Bishop Jr., American Radioman Third Class from New Jersey, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [28]
  • Mr. Millard Charles Bishop, American Fireman Third Class from Alabama, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [28]
  • Mr. Grover Barron Bishop, American Machinist's Mate First Class from Texas, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [28]


The Bishop 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: Pro Deo et ecclesia
Motto Translation: For God and the Church.


Suggested Readings for the name Bishop +

  • Ancestors and Descendants of David Bishop by Virginia Miller Leasure.
  • Ancestors and Descendants of Lewis Conley Bishop by Winnie Branen.

  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  4. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  5. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  6. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  7. ^ https://forebears.io/surnames/
  8. ^ The order of Common Surnames in 1955 in Newfoundland retrieved on 20th October 2021 (retrieved from Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland by E.R. Seary corrected edition ISBN 0-7735-1782-0)
  9. ^ https://forebears.io/australia/surnames
  10. ^ https://forebears.io/new-zealand/surnames
  11. ^ https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
  12. ^ 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)
  13. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retreived 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_ellis_island_1892_on.pdf
  14. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 65)
  15. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 13th August 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/earl-cornwallis
  16. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th July 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/atlas
  17. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 9th December 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/canada
  18. ^ Convict Records of Australia (Retreived 26th January 2021, retreived from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/chapman)
  19. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  20. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  21. ^ Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 17) . Retrieved from http://www.empress2014.ca/seclangen/listepsc1.html
  22. ^ Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 16) . Retrieved from http://www.empress2014.ca/seclangen/listepsc1.html
  23. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  24. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html
  25. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html
  26. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 7) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/
  27. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html
  28. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from http://pearl-harbor.com/arizona/casualtylist.html


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