Carpenter History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Carpenter is part of the ancient legacy of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name was taken on by someone who worked as a carpenter derived from the Old French word carpentier. [1]

The name was quite popular in Normandy as seen in the Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae which listed Robert, Gaufrid, Ansketel, Richard, William, Bernard Carpentarius, of Normandy, 1180-95. This Latin form of the name continued into England where Reiner, Adam, Roger, William Carpentarius, of England were listed in the Pipe Rolls of 1189. In fact the Domesday Book of 1086 included Durand Carpentarius, a tenant in capite, Norfolk, and Rabel and Roger Carpentarius at the same time. The latter gave lands to Stoke-Clare Priory, 1090. William Carpentarius was father of Henry and Manasser Biset, Barons t. Henry II. [2]

Early Origins of the Carpenter family

The surname Carpenter was first found in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 which listed Ricardus Carpentarius, Cambridgeshire; and Hugh le Charpenter, Wiltshire. Later the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed: Johannes Carpenter, wryght; and Willelmus Wryght, carpenter. [3]

Moving ahead two centuries, researchers found John Carpenter (1370?-1441?), Town Clerk of London, son of Richard Carpenter, a citizen of London. "On 20 April 1417 he was chosen town clerk or common clerk of the city, after having held an inferior post in the town clerk's office for some years previously. " [4]

John Carpenter (d. 1476), Bishop of Worcester was born probably at Westbury-on-Trym, Gloucestershire. [4]

Early History of the Carpenter family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Carpenter research. Another 122 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1121, 1429, 1516, 1582, 1621, 1570, 1575, 1627, 1575, 1589, 1628, 1591, 1588, 1589, 1667, 1732, 1657, 1671, 1649, 1714, 1673 and 1683 are included under the topic Early Carpenter History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Carpenter Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Carpenter include Carpenter, Carpentar, Carpenters, Carpentier and many more.

Early Notables of the Carpenter family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Alexander Carpenter, Latinized as Fabricius ( fl. 1429), author of the 'Destructorium Vitiorum,' a treatise which enjoyed a considerable popularity in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, was six times printed before 1516, and was finally reprinted (at Venice) as late as 1582. [4] John Carpenter (d. 1621), was a divine, born in Cornwall, it is believed at Launceston, and entered as a batler at Exeter College about 1570. [4] Richard Carpenter (1575-1627), was a divine, born in Cornwall in 1575. Nathaniel Carpenter (1589-1628?), was an author and philosopher, son of John Carpenter (d. 1591), rector of Northleigh, Devonshire...
Another 128 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Carpenter Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Carpenter World Ranking

In the United States, the name Carpenter is the 189th most popular surname with an estimated 131,811 people with that name. [5] However, in Canada, the name Carpenter is ranked the 928th most popular surname with an estimated 5,848 people with that name. [6] And in Newfoundland, Canada, the name Carpenter is the 689th popular surname with an estimated 63 people with that name. [7] Australia ranks Carpenter as 498th with 7,668 people. [8] New Zealand ranks Carpenter as 678th with 1,048 people. [9] The United Kingdom ranks Carpenter as 444th with 14,574 people. [10]

Ireland Migration of the Carpenter family to Ireland

Some of the Carpenter 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 Carpenter migration to the United States +

A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:

Carpenter Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Agnes Carpenter, who landed in America in 1620 [11]
  • Alexander Carpenter, who landed in America in 1620 [11]
  • Dillen Carpenter, who arrived in America in 1620 [11]
  • Julia Ann Carpenter, who landed in America in 1620 [11]
  • Priscilla Carpenter, who landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621 [11]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Carpenter Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Carpenter was living in the town of Saco, Maine during the 17th century
  • Emanuel Carpenter, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1706 [11]
  • Samuel Carpenter, who landed in New England in 1715 [11]
  • Win Carpenter, who arrived in Virginia in 1717 [11]
  • Soho Carpenter, who arrived in Georgia in 1733 [11]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Carpenter Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Philip Carpenter was a fisherman at Cape Elizabeth
  • Ambrose Carpenter was a merchant in Hampton
  • Mr. Carpenter, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1822 [11]
  • Mr. James Carpenter, (b. 1810), aged 27, Cornish miner departing from Falmouth aboard the ship"Royal Adelaide" arriving in the United States on 8th May 1837 [12]
  • Mr. J. Carpenter, (b. 1799), aged 42, Cornish mechanic departing from Falmouth aboard the ship "Royal Adelaide" arriving in the United States on 25 May 1841 [12]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Carpenter Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Harold Frederick Carpenter, who landed in Colorado in 1904 [11]

Canada Carpenter migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Carpenter Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • John Carpenter, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Steph Carpenter, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1760
  • Sgt. Archelaus Carpenter U.E. from North Castle, Westchester County, New York USA who settled in Canada c. 1783 he served in the King's American Regiment [13]
  • Mr. Archillis Carpenter U.E. who settled in New Brunswick c. 1783 listed as a passenger aboard the ship "Cyrus", picked up on August 21, 1783 at New York [13]
  • Mr. Coles Carpenter U.E. who settled in New Brunswick c. 1783 listed as a passenger aboard the ship "Cyrus", picked up on August 21, 1783 at New York [13]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Carpenter Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Brian Carpenter, who arrived in Canada in 1834
  • L. Carpenter, aged 26, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the ship "Edwin" from Dublin, Ireland
  • Patrick Carpenter, aged 29, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the ship "Edwin" from Dublin, Ireland
  • Ann Carpenter, aged 24, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the ship "Edwin" from Dublin, Ireland
  • Margaret Carpenter, aged 21, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the ship "Edwin" from Dublin, Ireland
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Carpenter migration to Australia +

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

Carpenter Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mrs. Mary Carpenter, (b. 1785), aged 29, English convict who was convicted in London, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Broxbournebury" in January 1814, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, listed as died in 1831 [14]
  • Mr. John Carpenter, (b. 1804), aged 24, English groom who was convicted in Bristol, England for 14 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Countess of Harcourt" on 29th April 1828, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died in 1864 [15]
  • Mr. James Carpenter, English convict who was convicted in Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Claudine" on 19th August 1829, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [16]
  • Mr. Henry Carpenter who was convicted in London, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Circassian" on 4th November 1832, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [17]
  • John Carpenter, English convict from Dorset, who was transported aboard the "Andromeda" on November 13, 1832, settling in New South Wales, Australia [18]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Carpenter 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:

Carpenter Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Robert Holt Carpenter, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • Robert Holt Carpenter, aged 23, a carpenter, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Birman" in 1842
  • Harriet Carpenter, aged 23, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Birman" in 1842
  • Mr. William Carpenter, (b. 1834), aged 21, British labourer travelling from London aboard the ship "Grasmere" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 4th May 1855 [19]
  • William Carpenter, aged 23, a labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Oliver Lang" in 1856
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Carpenter 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]
Carpenter Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Mr. Thomas Carpenter, (b. 1614), aged 20, British settler travelling from London, UK arriving in St Christopher (St. Kitts) on 5th January 1634 [11]
  • Elias Carpenter, aged 20, who landed in Barbados in 1635 [11]
  • William Carpenter, aged 19, who landed in Barbados in 1635 [11]
  • Mr. Elias Carpenter, (b. 1615), aged 20, British settler travelling from Gravesend, England aboard the ship "Falcon" arriving in Barbados in 1636 [21]
  • Mr. William Carpenter, (b. 1616), aged 19, British settler travelling aboard the ship "Expedition" arriving in Barbados in 1636 [22]

Contemporary Notables of the name Carpenter (post 1700) +

  • Robert Ruliph Morgan "Ruly" Carpenter III (1940-2021), American baseball executive who was the principal owner and president of the Philadelphia Phillies from 1972 to 1981
  • Rene Carpenter (1928-2020), American newspaper columnist and television personality, wife of Scott Carpenter, one of the Mercury Seven astronauts
  • Marj Carpenter (1926-2020), American reporter and mission interpreter for the Worldwide Ministries division of the Presbyterian Church USA
  • Jake Burton Carpenter (1954-2019), also known as Jake Burton, an American snowboarder and founder of Burton Snowboards
  • William T. Carpenter, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Louisiana, 1960
  • William S. Carpenter, American Republican politician, Candidate in primary for U.S. Representative from Michigan 6th District, 1934
  • William Randolph Carpenter (1894-1956), American Democratic Party politician, Served in the U.S. Army during World War I; Lawyer; Member of Kansas State House of Representatives, 1929-32; U.S. Representative from Kansas 4th District, 1933-37;
  • William Leland Carpenter (1854-1936), American Republican politician, Law partner of Flavius L. Brooke, John Atkinson, and Henry A. Haigh, from 1889; Circuit Judge in Michigan 3rd Circuit, 1894-1902; Justice of Michigan State Supreme Court, 1902-08;
  • William J. Carpenter, American Republican politician, Postmaster at Bridgeport, West Virginia, 1866, 1881-85, 1889-93
  • William C. Carpenter Jr., American politician, U.S. Attorney for Delaware, 1985-93
  • ... (Another 232 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Halifax Explosion
  • Mrs. Jane Colmer  Carpenter (1878-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [23]
HMS Dorsetshire
  • Ray Carpenter, British aboard the HMS Dorsetshire when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he survived the sinking [24]
HMS Hood
  • Mr. Robert S Carpenter (b. 1919), English Marine serving for the Royal Marine from Bream, Gloucestershire, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [25]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Albert G Carpenter, British Petty Officer, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [26]
HMS Royal Oak
  • Edwin George Carpenter (1911-1939), British Shipwright 4th Class with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [27]
Senghenydd colliery
  • Mr. John Carpenter (b. 1890), Welsh coal miner from Caerphilly, Wales who was working at the Senghenydd colliery when there was an explosion on the 14th October 1913; he died
SS Newfoundland
  • Mr. George Carpenter (1879-1914), Newfoundlander from Little Catalina, who on the 30th March 1914 he was part of the Seal Crew of the "SS Newfoundland" leaving the ship to intercept the Stephano which took him to the hunting grounds, he disembarked to begin sealing, but was caught in a thickening storm, attempting to return to the Newfoundland he and the 132 crew made camp for two days the sealers were stranded on the ice in a blizzard attempting to return to the ship, he died during this time
USS Arizona
  • Mr. Robert Nelson Carpenter, American Mess Attendant First Class from Virginia, 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 Carpenter 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: Per acuta belli
Motto Translation: Through the asperities of war.


Suggested Readings for the name Carpenter +

  • Carpenter and Related Family Members Migrating from England by James Carpenter.
  • Carpenters a Plenty by Robert C. Carpenter.

  1. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-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. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  5. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  6. ^ https://forebears.io/surnames/
  7. ^ 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)
  8. ^ https://forebears.io/australia/surnames
  9. ^ https://forebears.io/new-zealand/surnames
  10. ^ https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
  11. ^ 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)
  12. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to New York 1820 - 1891 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_new_york_1820_1891.pdf
  13. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  14. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 3rd November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/broxbournebury
  15. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 19th April 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/countess-of-harcourt
  16. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 18th February 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/claudine
  17. ^ Convict Records of Australia (Retrieved 8th February 2021, retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/circassian)
  18. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 27) Andromeda voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1832 with 186 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/andromeda/1832
  19. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  20. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  21. ^ Pilgrim Ship Lists Early 1600's retrieved 28th September 2021. (Retrieved from https://www.packrat-pro.com/ships/shiplist.htm)
  22. ^ Pilgrim Ship Lists Early 1600's retrieved 29th September 2021. (Retrieved from https://www.packrat-pro.com/ships/shiplist.htm)
  23. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance
  24. ^ Force Z Survivors HMS Dorsetshire Crew List, (Retrieved 2018, February 13th), https://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listdorsetshirecrew.html
  25. ^ 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
  26. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  27. ^ 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
  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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