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

The founding heritage of the Childs family is in the Anglo-Saxon culture that once dominated in Britain. The name Childs comes from when one of the family worked as a military officer in the 10th century, probably comparable to a modern sergeant. In the Old English, it was rendered cild, which meant child. It was applied to the rank above the common soldier in that period, probably because they were in charge of "children." Later, in the 13th and 14th centuries, it came to denote a young man in training for the knighthood.


The surname Childs was first found in Hertfordshire. However, some of the family were found at Wanstead in Essex in later years. "The village is situated on the borders of Waltham Forest, near the main road from London to Cambridge; and is principally worthy of note as the site of Wanstead House, built in 1715, by Sir Richard (son of Sir Josiah) Child, created Viscount Castlemain in 1718, and Earl of Tylney in 1731. This splendid mansion was considerably enlarged and embellished by his descendants, and was surrounded by a very extensive park, laid out with great taste, and interspersed with gardens, pleasure-grounds, and grottos." [1]

The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Childs has been spelled many different ways, including Child, Childe, Childs, Childes and others.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Childs research. Another 295 words (21 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1280, 1379, 1784, 1606, 1697, 1660, 1697, 1690, 1630, 1699, 1673, 1677, 1703, 1702, 1703, 1642, 1713, 1698, 1702, 1705, 1708, 1674, 1721, 1713, 1715 and 1715 are included under the topic Early Childs History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 249 words (18 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Childs Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Thousands of English families in this era began to emigrate the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. Although the passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe, those who made the voyage safely were rewarded with opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Childss to arrive in North America:

Childs Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Benjamin Childs, who landed in Roxbury, Massachusetts in 1630
  • Tho Childs, aged 30, arrived in Virginia in 1635
  • Rich Childs, who arrived in Virginia in 1637
  • Richard Childs, who landed in Virginia in 1639
  • Joseph Childs who settled in Watertown, Massachusetts, and became a freeman in 1654

Childs Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Robert Childs, aged 27, arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1774
  • William Childs, aged 21, arrived in Maryland in 1775

Childs Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • James Childs, who landed in Ohio in 1809
  • Charles Childs, who landed in America in 1810
  • G Childs, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • C W Childs, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • W Childs, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851

Childs Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • John Childs, Welsh convict from Monmouth, who was transported aboard the "Agamemnon" on April 22, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • James Childs, English convict from Dorset, who was transported aboard the "Argyle" on March 5th, 1831, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Austraila
  • Joseph Childs a seaman, arrived in Kangaroo Island aboard the ship "Rapid" in 1836
  • William Childs arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Buckinghamshire" in 1839
  • James Childs arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Trafalgar" in 1849

Childs Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Charles Childs, aged 21, a baker, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Olympus" in 1842


  • William "Billy" Edward Childs (b. 1957), American composer and jazz pianist
  • Roy A. Childs Jr. (1949-1992), American critic and essayist
  • Toni Childs (b. 1957), American singer/songwriter, best known for her Emmy Award winning "Because You're Beautiful"
  • Ozro W. Childs (1824-1890), American horticulturalist
  • Mary Ellen Childs (b. 1957), American composer, founder of the ensemble Crash
  • Mary Louise Milliken Childs (1873-1936), American philanthropist
  • Marquis William Childs (1903-1990), American journalist, winner of the 1970 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary
  • John Childs, American pioneer aviator, nicknamed "Flying Man" performed the first known flight in America on September 13, 1757
  • George William Childs (1829-1894), American publisher, co-owner of the Philadelphia Public Ledger
  • Earle Childs (1893-1918), U.S. Navy submarine officer in World War I, eponym of the destroyer USS Childs (DD-241)



  • Genealogy of the Child, Childs, and Childe Families: of the Past and Present in the United States and the Canadas, from 1630 to 1881 by Elias Child.
  • Harris, Vredenburg, Child and Allied Families (including the Childs Family) by Marian J. Newell.

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  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Other References

  1. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  2. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  3. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  4. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  5. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  6. 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.
  7. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  8. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  9. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  10. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  11. ...

The Childs Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Childs 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 4 March 2016 at 08:31.

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