Chrismas History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The history of the name Chrismas goes back those Anglo-Saxon tribes that once ruled over Britain. Such a name was given to a person born at Christmas. During the Middle Ages, many nicknames referred to various religious festivals, medieval name days, or the particular day of the week when feudal services were fulfilled.

"Camden thinks, as a baptismal name, in consequence of the individual having been born on the day of the festival. In like manner in France, Noel was first a Christian, afterwards a family name." [1]

Early Origins of the Chrismas family

The surname Chrismas was first found in Essex where Geoffrey Cristesmasse was first listed in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273. The same rolls included: Felicia Cristemasse, Huntingdonshire; and Hugh Cristemasse, Cambridgeshire. [2]

"It is an ancient name in the eastern counties, and in the 13th century it was still established in the form of Cristemasse in Cambridgeshire and Hunts, and there were a few of the name in Essex. In 1433 John Crystmasse was a gentleman of Morden - Steeple in this county." [3]

Early History of the Chrismas family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Chrismas research. Another 101 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1185, 1191, 1308, 1602 and 1634 are included under the topic Early Chrismas History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Chrismas Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Chrismas family name include Christmas, Cristmas, Cristmus, Christmus and many more.

Early Notables of the Chrismas family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Gerard or Garrett Christmas (d. 1634), who "enjoyed a high reputation as a carver and statuary in the reign of James I. His origin is uncertain, but there would appear to be a connection between him and a family of the same name at Colchester. According to Vertue he designed Aldersgate, and carved on the northern side of it an equestrian figure of James...
Another 71 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Chrismas Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Chrismas family

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, the Canadas, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Investigation of the origins of family names on the North American continent has revealed that early immigrants bearing the name Chrismas or a variant listed above: Isobel Christmas who settled in Virginia in 1642; Richard settled in Virginia in 1647; and H. Christmas arrived with his wife and two children in New York in 1820..



  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.


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