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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

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

The name Chichester reached England in the great wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Chichester family lived in the city of Chichester in Sussex.


Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Chichester family name include Chichester, Chister, Chichestere, Chichister and others.

First found in Devon where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Raleigh in that shire. Conjecturally, the family name is descended from the holder of the lands of Raleigh at the time of the taking of the Domesday Book survey, a census initiated by Duke William of Normandy in 1086 after his conquest of England at Hastings in 1066 A.D. One of the first records of the name was Hilary of Chichester (c.1110-1169), a medieval Bishop of Chichester. Richard of Chichester (1197-1253), also known as Richard de Wych, is an English saint (canonized 1262) and former Bishop of Chichester; his translated saint's day of 16 June has been celebrated as Sussex Day since 2007.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Chichester research. Another 291 words(21 lines of text) covering the years 1369, 1519, 1569, 1550, 1547, 1563, 1625, 1605, 1616, 1598, 1669, 1624, 1623, 1667, 1661, 1667, 1568, 1648, 1624, 1613, 1606 and 1675 are included under the topic Early Chichester History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 187 words(13 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Chichester Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Chichester family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 239 words(17 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Chichester family to immigrate North America:

Chichester Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • James Chichester who settled in Massachusetts in 1635
  • William Chichester, who landed in Marblehead, Massachusetts in 1648
  • James Chichester, who landed in Salem, Massachusetts in 1651
  • Wm Chichester, who arrived in Virginia in 1652
  • William Chichester settled in Virginia in 1652

Chichester Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Richard Chichester, who arrived in Virginia in 1702

Chichester Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • J. W. Chichester settled in San Francisco, California in 1850


  • Sir Edward Chichester (1849-1906), English Royal Navy Rear Admiral, succeeded to the title of 9th Baronet Chichester, of Raleigh, co. Devon on 13 July 1898, Companion of the Orders of St. Michael and St. George, and Aide-de-Camp to HM Queen Victoria and HM Edward VII (1899-1902)
  • Sir Edward John Chichester (1916-2007), llth Baronet, formerly Captain, Royal Scots Fusiliers and Lieutenant RNVR, residing in Hants
  • Sir Francis Charles Chichester KBE (1901-1972), British adventurer, who completed an around-the-world solo trip in his yacht in 1967
  • Sir John Chichester (1721-1784), 5th Baronet
  • Sir John Chichester (1752-1808), 6th Baronet
  • Sir Arthur Chichester (1790-1842), 7th Baronet
  • Sir Arthur Chichester (1822-1898), 8th Baronet
  • Sir Edward Chichester (1849-1906), 9th Baronet
  • Sir Edward George Chichester (1888-1940), 10th Baronet


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: Firm en foi
Motto Translation: Firm in faith.


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  1. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  2. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  4. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  6. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  7. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  8. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  9. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  10. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  11. ...

The Chichester Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Chichester 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 15 January 2015 at 15:20.

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