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An excerpt from archives copyright 2000 - 2016

The Anglo-Saxon name Childress comes from when the family resided in or near an orphanage; the location of the specific orphanage that gave rise to the surname Childress is not known in modern times. The surname Childress may have also been a nickname for an orphan, or an occupational name applied to someone who ran an orphanage. Further research showed the name was derived from the Old English word cildra-hus, which means children's house or orphanage.


The surname Childress was first found in Yorkshire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.

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. Childress has been recorded under many different variations, including Childers, Childress, Childres and others.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Childress research. Another 217 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 160 and 1607 are included under the topic Early Childress History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


More information is included under the topic Early Childress Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Some of the Childress family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 227 words (16 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


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 Childress or a variant listed above:

Childress Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • T. J. and W. J. Childress who arrived in San Francisco, California, in 1850
  • O. H. Childress, aged 40, who settled in America, in 1893
  • William Childress, aged 19, who settled in America, in 1897
  • Maria Childress, aged 3, who arrived in America from Cornwall, England in 1899

Childress Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Mary Childress, aged 60, who landed in America, in 1909
  • Ollie H. Childress, aged 39, who landed in America, in 1911
  • Louis A. Childress, aged 24, who landed in America, in 1919
  • Vance Childress, aged 9, who settled in America in 1922
  • Clyde E. Childress, aged 37, who arrived in America in 1922
  • ...

  • Brandon "Bam" Childress (b. 1982), American CFL and NFL football wide receiver
  • William Childress (b. 1933), American writer, author, poet, and photojournalist
  • Ross Childress, American guitarist and songwriter, best known as the former lead guitarist and co-songwriter of rock band Collective Soul (1993 to 2001)
  • George Campbell Childress (1804-1841), American lawyer, statesman, best known as the main author of the Texas Declaration of Independence
  • Mark Childress (b. 1957), American novelist and southern writer
  • Alvin Childress (1907-1986), African-American actor, best known for his role as the cabdriver Amos Jones in the 1950s television comedy series Amos 'n Andy
  • Alice Childress (1912-1994), American playwright, actor, and author from Charleston, South Carolina
  • Raymond Clay Childress Jr. (b. 1962), former American NFL football defensive lineman, inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame
  • Fred "Freddie" Childress (b. 1966), American NFL and CFL former all-star offensive lineman, nicknamed "the Big Chill" for his 6 feet 4 inch and 345 pound size
  • James Franklin Childress (b. 1940), American philosopher and theologian at the University of Virginia
  • ...

  • Notes on the Childress, Hickman, Smith and Cabler Families by William Cabler Moore.

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    Other References

    1. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
    2. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
    3. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
    4. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
    5. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
    6. 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.
    7. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
    8. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
    9. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
    10. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
    11. ...

    The Childress Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Childress 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 19 January 2016 at 10:16.

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