Charles History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Anglo-Saxon name Charles comes from Carl, derived from the personal name which means man. Alternatively, the name could have been derived from the German (Saxon) word "carl" meaning "strong, stout, courageous, and valiant." [1] "It is rarely found as a forename before the reign of Charles I.' [2]

Early Origins of the Charles family

The surname Charles was first found in Suffolk where Edward Charles was recorded the 1273. The same Hundredorum Rolls also included Charles (without surname), Kent; William Charle, Norfolk; Alan Charle, Cambridgeshire; Ida Carle, Cambridgeshire; Ralph Carles, Cambridgeshire; and William Carolus, Norfolk. [3]

Early History of the Charles family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Charles research. Another 150 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1208, 1253, 1482, 1550, 1569, 1688, 1613 and are included under the topic Early Charles History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Charles Spelling Variations

One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Charles has appeared include Charles, Carles, St. Charles and others.

Early Notables of the Charles family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Nicholas Charles or Carles (d. 1613), English herald, stated by Noble to have been son of a London butcher named George Carles, and grandson of Richard...
Another 34 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Charles Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Charles World Ranking

In the United States, the name Charles is the 537th most popular surname with an estimated 54,714 people with that name. [4] However, in Canada, the name Charles is ranked the 758th most popular surname with an estimated 7,029 people with that name. [5] And in Quebec, Canada, the name Charles is the 547th popular surname. [6] France ranks Charles as 106th with 27,035 people. [7] Australia ranks Charles as 633rd with 6,165 people. [8] The United Kingdom ranks Charles as 589th with 11,058 people. [9] South Africa ranks Charles as 1,000th with 6,846 people. [10]

Ireland Migration of the Charles family to Ireland

Some of the Charles family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 50 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Charles migration to the United States +

At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Charles arrived in North America very early:

Charles Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Mildreth Charles, who arrived in America in 1620 [11]
  • John Charles, who settled in Virginia in 1634
  • Dorothie Charles, who settled in Virginia in 1635
  • William Charles, aged 21, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [11]
  • Dorothie Charles, aged 20, who landed in Virginia in 1635 [11]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Charles Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Peter Charles, who arrived in Virginia in 1701 [11]
  • Jean Charles, aged 30, who arrived in Louisiana in 1719 [11]
  • Patrick Charles, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1746 [11]
Charles Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William Charles, who landed in America in 1806 [11]
  • Andrew Charles, who landed in New York in 1833 [11]
  • Robert Charles, who landed in New York in 1837 [11]
  • David Charles, who arrived in New York in 1848 [11]
  • S M Charles, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850 [11]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Charles migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Charles Settlers in Canada in the 17th Century
  • Catherine Charles, who arrived in Montreal in 1659
  • Sieur De Charles, who arrived in Montreal in 1659
  • Michel Charles, son of Etienne and Madeleine, who married Jeanne Cadieu, daughter of Jean and Marie, in Boucherville, Quebec on 16th June 1698 [12]
Charles Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Clément Charles, son of Étienne and Madeleine, who married Marie Dupré, daughter of Antoine and Élisabeth, in Quebec on 4th January 1700 [12]
  • Jean-Baptiste Charles, son of Etienne and Madeleine, who married Marie-Anne Bourdon, daughter of Jacques and Marie, in Boucherville, Quebec on 29th October 1715 [12]
  • Louis Charles, son of André and Marie, who married Marie-Anne Bonier, daughter of Jacques and Geneviève, in Quebec on 17th January 1718 [12]
  • Charles Delage was married in 1723 in St-Laurent-Isle-D'Orleans
  • Antoine Charles, son of Clément and Marie, who married Marie-Françoise Beaumont, daughter of Vincent and Françoise, in Terrebonne, Quebec on 21st February 1735 [12]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Charles migration to Australia +

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

Charles Settlers in Australia in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Charles Beazley, (Beasley), (b. 1776), aged 21, English weaver who was convicted in London, England for life for highway robbery, transported aboard the "Barwell" in September 1797, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died in 1837 [13]
  • Mr. Charles Cooper, (b. 1773), aged 24, English groom who was convicted in Leicester, Leicestershire, England for life for theft, transported aboard the "Barwell" in September 1797, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died in 1820 [13]
  • Mr. Charles Davis, English convict who was convicted in Surrey, England for life, transported aboard the "Barwell" in September 1797, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [13]
  • Mr. Charles Heath, English convict who was convicted in Warwick, Warwickshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Barwell" in September 1797, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [13]
  • Mr. Charles Scoldwell, (b. 1755), aged 42, English black smith who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Barwell" in September 1797, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died in 1821 [13]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Charles Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Charles Dyche, English convict who was convicted in Derby, Derbyshire, England for life, transported aboard the "Baring" in April 1815, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [14]
  • Mr. Charles Hollingshead, English convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Baring" in April 1815, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [14]
  • Mr. Charles Logan, English convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for life, transported aboard the "Baring" in April 1815, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [14]
  • Mr. Charles Martin, English convict who was convicted in Essex, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Baring" in April 1815, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [14]
  • Mr. Charles Riley, English convict who was convicted in Lancashire, England for life, transported aboard the "Baring" in April 1815, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [14]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Charles 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:

Charles Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • John Charles, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Pegasus" in 1865
  • Robert Charles, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Armstrong" in 1865
  • Mrs. Charles, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "England" arriving in Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 22nd September 1865 [15]
  • John Charles, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Chile" in 1866
  • Mary A. Charles, aged 30, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Chile" in 1874
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Charles 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. [16]
Charles Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Phillip Charles was banished to Barbados in 1680 taking his servants with him

Contemporary Notables of the name Charles (post 1700) +

  • Midwin Charles (1973-2021), Haitian-American defense attorney, legal analyst for American television channels CNN and MSNBC
  • RuPaul Andre Charles (b. 1960), known as RuPaul an American drag queen, actor, model, singer, songwriter, and television personality. Best known for RuPaul's Drag Race which has received eight Primetime Emmy Awards. In 2017, he was included in the annual Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world. In 1994, he became a spokesperson for MAC Cosmetics, raising money for the Mac AIDS Fund and becoming the first drag queen to land a major cosmetics campaign
  • Edwin Douglas Charles (1933-2018), American Major League Baseball third baseman who played from 1962 to 1969
  • Robert Edwin "Bob" Charles (1936-2016), American-born, Australian politician, Member of the Australian Parliament for La Trobe (1990-2004), Australian Consul-General in Chicago (2005-2008)
  • Ray Charles (1918-2015), born Charles Raymond Offenberg, an American musician, singer, songwriter, vocal arranger and conductor who is best known as organizer and leader of the Ray Charles Singers
  • Ray Charles (1930-2004), born Ray Charles Robinson, American pioneer in the genre of soul music during the 1950s
  • Jamaal RaShaad Jones Charles (b. 1986), American football running back
  • Tina Charles (b. 1988), American women's basketball player
  • Edgar U. Charles, American politician, Postmaster at Darlington Court House, South Carolina, 1821-22 [17]
  • E. W. Charles, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from South Carolina, 1860 [17]
  • ... (Another 37 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Hillcrest Coal Mine
  • Mr. Charles Sydney Charles (1891-1914), Welsh Miner from Wrexlam, Clwyd, Wales, United Kingdom who worked in the Hillcrest Coal Mine, Alberta, Canada and died in the mine collapse [18]
HMS Dorsetshire
  • Giraldus Baker Charles, British Captain's Steward aboard the HMS Dorsetshire when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he survived the sinking [19]
  • Gerald Charles, British aboard the HMS Dorsetshire when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he survived the sinking [19]
RMS Lusitania
  • Miss Eleanor Charles, American 2nd Class passenger from New York, New York, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [20]
  • Mr. Joseph Henry Charles, Canadian 1st Class Passenger from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking [21]
  • Miss Doris Maud Charles, Canadian 1st Class Passenger from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking [21]


The Charles 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: Virtus auget honores
Motto Translation: Virtue increases honour.


  1. ^ Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  2. ^ 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)
  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. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  5. ^ https://forebears.io/surnames/
  6. ^ https://statistique.quebec.ca/fr/document/noms-de-famille-au-quebec/tableau/les-1-000-premiers-noms-de-famille-selon-le-rang-quebec
  7. ^ http://www.journaldesfemmes.com/nom-de-famille/nom/
  8. ^ https://forebears.io/australia/surnames
  9. ^ https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
  10. ^ https://forebears.io/south-africa/surnames
  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. ^ Internoscia, Arthur E., and Claire Chevrier. Dictionnaire National des Canadiens Français 1608-1760. Vol. 1, Institut Drouin, 1958.
  13. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 29th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/barwell
  14. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/baring
  15. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  16. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  17. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 1) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  18. ^ List Of Miners - Hillcrest Mine Disaster Data. (Retrieved 2014, June 24) . Retrieved from http://www.hillcrestminedisaster.com/data/index.php?title=List_Of_Miners
  19. ^ Force Z Survivors HMS Dorsetshire Crew List, (Retrieved 2018, February 13th), https://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listdorsetshirecrew.html
  20. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 7) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/
  21. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/


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