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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: English, French, Irish

Where did the English Charles family come from? What is the English Charles family crest and coat of arms? When did the Charles family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Charles family history?

The Anglo-Saxon name Charles comes from Carl, derived from the personal name which means man.

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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.

First found in Suffolk where they held a family seat from very ancient times.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Charles research. Another 259 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1208, 1253 and 1550 are included under the topic Early Charles History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Charles Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Charles family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 87 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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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
  • John Charles settled in Virginia in 1634
  • Dorothie Charles settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Wm Charles, aged 21, arrived in Virginia in 1635
  • Dorothie Charles, aged 20, landed in Virginia in 1635


Charles Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Peter Charles, who arrived in Virginia in 1701
  • Jean Charles, aged 30, arrived in Louisiana in 1719
  • Patrick Charles, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1746

Charles Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • William Charles, who landed in America in 1806
  • Andrew Charles, who landed in New York in 1833
  • Robert Charles, who landed in New York in 1837
  • David Charles, who arrived in New York in 1848
  • S M Charles, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850


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

Charles Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Charles Delage was married in 1723 in St-Laurent-Isle-D'Orleans
  • Mr. Claudius Charles U.E who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1783

Charles Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Thomas Charles, aged 24, arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Samuel Boddington"
  • Joseph Charles, aged 20, arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Indian"
  • Joseph Charles arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Indian" in 1849
  • Robert Charles arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "John Mitchell" in 1849
  • Thomas Charles, aged 24, arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Samuel Boddington" in 1849


Charles Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • John Charles arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Pegasus" in 1865
  • Robert Charles arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Armstrong" in 1865
  • John Charles arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Chile" in 1866
  • Mary A. Charles, aged 30, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Chile" in 1874
  • Margaret Charles, aged 28, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Chile" in 1874


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  • 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
  • Miss Eleanor Charles (d. 1915), American 2nd Class passenger from New York, New York, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking
  • Ray Charles (1930-2004), born Ray Charles Robinson, American pioneer in the genre of soul music during the 1950s
  • E. W. Charles, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from South Carolina, 1860
  • David Charles, American Republican politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Tennessee 6th District, 2000
  • D. K. Charles, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Michigan, 1888
  • D. J. Charles, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Montana, 1912
  • Bernard Charles, American politician, Candidate for Mayor of Spring Valley, New York, 2013
  • Anne Hanlon Charles (1941-1999), American politician, Candidate for California State Assembly, 1980
  • Edgar U. Charles, American politician, Postmaster at Darlington Court House, South Carolina, 1821-22

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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.

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  1. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  2. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  3. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  4. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  5. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  7. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  8. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  9. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  10. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
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The Charles Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Charles Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 17 January 2016 at 12:42.

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