Christopher History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The history of the name Christopher begins with the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It is derived from Christopher, an ancient and popular personal name which has been popular for many years as literally, the name means 'Bearer of Christ'.

"I have been told that all who bear the somewhat rare name of Christopherson hail from Furness, in North Lancashire. Anyway it is a native, and owes its origin to the treacherous sands of Morecombe and Duddon. The legend of St. Christopher is that he found an occupation in guiding passengers across a wide stream. One night he bare unawares the child Christ, and was about to sink under an ever-increasing weight, when the Saviour said, 'Thou bearest Him who beareth the sins of the world.' No doubt there would be a shrine to the Saint for belated travellers on Chapel Isle, opposite Conishead Priory. Many a babe would be dedicated to him in gratitude for some hairbreadth escape his father had experienced. " [1]

Early Origins of the Christopher family

The surname Christopher was first found in North Lancashire at Furness (now known as Dalton-In-Furness. "The town derived its principal importance from the erection of the magnificent Abbey of Furness, founded in 1127, by Stephen, afterwards king of England, for monks of the Cistercian order, whom he removed from Tulketh, in Amounderness, to this valley, where, obtaining valuable grants, they continued for more than four centuries. " [2]

Early History of the Christopher family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Christopher research. Another 69 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1558, 1613, 1225, 1245, 1295 and 1659 are included under the topic Early Christopher History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Christopher Spelling Variations

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. Christopher has been recorded under many different variations, including Christopher, Cristopher and others.

Early Notables of the Christopher family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include John Christopherson (d. 1558), Bishop of Chichester, "a native of Ulverstone in Lancashire, and was educated in the university of Cambridge, first at Pembroke...
Another 30 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Christopher Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Christopher family to Ireland

Some of the Christopher family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 57 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Christopher migration to the United States +

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 Christopher or a variant listed above:

Christopher Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Christopher Christopher, who settled in Nantucket in 1630
  • Christopher Christopher, who arrived in Maryland in 1661 [3]
  • John Christopher, who landed in Maryland in 1662 [3]
  • William and Katherine Christopher who arrived in Barbados in 1679 with their servants
  • Nathaniel Christopher, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1686
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Christopher Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Nich Christopher, who landed in Virginia in 1704 [3]
  • Nicholas Christopher, who arrived in Virginia in 1740 [3]
  • Adam Christopher, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1750 [3]
  • Thomas Christopher, aged 27, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1776 [3]
Christopher Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Frederick Christopher, aged 50, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1870 [3]
  • Henry C Christopher, aged 38, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1872 [3]

Canada Christopher migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Christopher Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • William Christopher, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749-1752
  • Mrs. Rachael Christopher U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1783 [4]
Christopher Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Patrick Christopher, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1802

Australia Christopher migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Christopher Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • William Christopher, English convict from Southampton, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 17, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [5]
  • Mr. Samuel Christopher (b. 1814), aged 20, Cornish settler convicted in Cornwall, UK on 27th March 1834, sentenced for 7 years for housebreaking, transported aboard the ship "Augusta Jessie" on 27th September 1834 to Van Diemen's Land, Tasmania, Australia [6]
  • Mr. Robert Christopher, (b. 1812), aged 22, English convict who was convicted in Stafford, Staffordshire, England for 7 years for highway robbery, transported aboard the "Bengal Merchant" on 27th September 1834, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died in 1842 [7]
  • John J. Christopher, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Aden" in 1849 [8]
  • William Christopher, aged 24, who arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Samuel Boddington" [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Christopher migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Christopher Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Christopher, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Josephine Willis" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 5th February 1855 [10]
  • Mrs. Christopher, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Josephine Willis" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 5th February 1855 [10]
  • Mr. Matthew Christopher, (b. 1834), aged 40, Cornish farm labourer departing on 7th May 1874 aboard the ship "Eastern Monarch" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 22nd July 1874 [11]
  • Mr. Christopher, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Mallowdale" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 9th March 1875 [10]
  • Mr. Andrew Christopher, (b. 1855), aged 23, Cornish farm labourer departing on 15th October 1878 aboard the ship "Maraval" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 17th January 1879 [12]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Christopher (post 1700) +

  • Theodore "Ted" Christopher (1958-2017), American racing driver, known for competing in NASCAR's Whelen Modified Tour where he has over 40 victories and a championship in 2008
  • William H. Christopher, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Putnam County, 1875 [13]
  • Wilbur V. Christopher, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1956 [13]
  • Warren D. Christopher, American Republican politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Arkansas 2nd District, 1988 [13]
  • Warren Minor Christopher (1925-2011), American Democrat politician, Deputy U.S. Secretary of State, 1977-81; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from California, 1964; U.S. Secretary of State, 1993-97 [13]
  • Tom Christopher, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Texas, 1952 [13]
  • T. S. Christopher, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Alabama, 1928 [13]
  • Stanley P. III Christopher, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Missouri, 1960 [13]
  • Royce D. Christopher, American Republican politician, Postmaster at Arlington, Texas, 1954-55 [13]
  • Rosemarie E. Christopher, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from California, 1972 [13]
  • ... (Another 14 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Flight TWA 800
  • Ms. Janet Louise Wolf Christopher (1948-1996), from Stamford Heights, Pennsylvania, USA, American TWA crew member flying aboard flight TWA 800 from J.F.K. Airport, New York to Leonardo da Vinci Airport, Rome when the plane crashed after takeoff ; she died in the crash [14]
Halifax Explosion
  • Mr. William  Christopher (1892-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [15]


  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  4. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  5. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Albion voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1823 with 200 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/albion/1823
  6. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 30th May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_australia_convicts.pdf
  7. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 7th October 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/bengal-merchant
  8. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Aden from London via Plymouth Adealide Arriving September 12th 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849AdenRegister.htm
  9. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) SAMUEL BODDINGTON 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849SamuelBoddington.htm
  10. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  11. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to Lyttelton 1858-84 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/new_zealand_assisted.pdf
  12. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to Auckland 1872-80 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/new_zealand_assisted.pdf
  13. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 25) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  14. ^ The Washington Post Passenger List TWA Flight 800. (Retrieved 2018, February 15th). Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/national/longterm/twa800/list01.htm
  15. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance


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