Church History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Anglo-Saxon name Church comes from the family having resided near a church. The surname Church is derived from the old English word cyrice, which is itself derived from the Late Greek word kyrikon, which means house of the Lord. Church therefore belongs to the class of topographic surnames, which were given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree. The Aglish surname is only found in Ireland where it is one of the few times an English name has been translated into Irish (eaglais, pronounced aglish, Gaelic for a church)

Early Origins of the Church family

The surname Church was first found in principally in Somerset but also many counties of England. One of the first records of the name was Thomas Attechurche who was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Worcester in 1296. The "atte" prefix was quite popular for this surname at that time. Henry atte Churche was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex in 1368. Henry of the Chirche was listed in 1368. In Norfolk, records there show John Atte-cherch was rector of Metton in 1338.

Early History of the Church family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Church research. Another 122 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1338, 1388, 1639, 1718, 1676, 1675, 1741, 1675, 1580, 1572, and 1903 are included under the topic Early Church History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Church Spelling Variations

Church has been spelled many different ways. Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Spelling variants included: Church, Churche, Churchey, Aglish (Ireland) and others.

Early Notables of the Church family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Colonel Benjamin Church (c.1639-1718), captain of the first Ranger force in America (1676) and is considered the father of American ranging. John Church (1675?-1741), was an English musician, "said to have been born at Windsor in 1675, and educated as a chorister at New College, Oxford. " [1] William Charke ( fl. 1580), was...
Another 57 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Church Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Church family to Ireland

Some of the Church family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 141 words (10 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Church migration to the United States +

In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Churchs to arrive on North American shores:

Church Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Richard Church who settled in Plymouth in the year 1630, who arrived in the fleet with Winthrop in 1630. He was admitted as a freeman of the Colony in 1633 and built the first Church of Dover in 1662. He was taken by Indians, escaped and was finally killed twenty years later by Indians in his own home
  • Richard Church, who settled in Virginia in 1630
  • John Church, who settled in Barbados in 1635
  • Garrett Church, who arrived in Watertown, Massachusetts in 1636 [2]
  • Richard Church, who arrived in Hartford, Connecticut in 1636 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Church Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • George Church, who arrived in New England in 1732 [2]
  • Oliver Church, aged 19, who arrived in New York in 1775 [2]
  • Benjamin Church, who arrived in New York in 1796 [2]
  • William, Church Jr., who arrived in America in 1797 [2]
Church Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Lapil Church, aged 19, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1807 [2]
  • James Church, aged 24, who arrived in New York in 1812 [2]
  • Robert Church, aged 30, who arrived in New York in 1812 [2]
  • Mr. Church, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1821 [2]
  • William Church, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1832 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Church migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Church Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Constant Church, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1760
  • Edward Church, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1760
  • Edward Church, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1760
  • Jonathan Church, who arrived in Anapolis (Annapolis), Nova Scotia in 1760
  • William Church, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1760
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Church Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Edwin Church, who arrived in Canada in 1831
  • William Church, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Daniel O'Connell" in 1834
  • Munson Church, who landed in Canada in 1834

Australia Church migration to Australia +

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

Church Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Church, English convict who was convicted in London, England for life, transported aboard the "Atlas" on 16th January 1816, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [3]
  • William Church, English convict from Essex, who was transported aboard the "Andromeda" on November 13, 1832, settling in New South Wales, Australia [4]
  • Mary Church, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Inconstant" in 1849 [5]
  • George Church, aged 20, who arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Gloucester" [6]
  • Thomas Church, aged 29, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Punjab"

New Zealand Church 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:

Church Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • William Church, who landed in Tamaki, Auckland, New Zealand in 1840
  • Thomas Church, who landed in Tamaki, Auckland, New Zealand in 1840
  • Mr. Charles Church, (b. 1842), aged 21, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Huntress" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 21st April 1863 [7]
  • Mr. Henry Church, (b. 1842), aged 21, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Huntress" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 21st April 1863 [7]
  • Mr. George Church, (b. 1828), aged 36, British labourer travelling from London aboard the ship "Glenmark" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 21st January 1865 [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Church (post 1700) +

  • George W. Church Sr. (1903-1956), American founder of Church's Chicken, a chain of franchised fried chicken restaurants in 1952
  • George McDonald Church (b. 1954), American geneticist, molecular engineer, and chemist, founder of the Personal Genome Project
  • Frederick Stuart Church (1842-1924), American artist
  • Frank Forrester Church III (1924-1984), American lawyer and politician, United States Senator from Idaho (1957-1981), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations (1979-1981)
  • Frederick A. Church (1878-1936), American engineer and early roller coaster designer
  • Francis Pharcellus Church (1839-1906), American publisher and editor
  • Kenneth Eric Church (b. 1977), American country music singer and songwriter
  • Ellen Church (1904-1965), American pioneer, the first female flight attendant
  • Doug Church (b. 1968), American computer game designer and producer
  • Dr. Benjamin Church (1734-1778), American physician, Chief Physician & Director General of the Medical Service of the Continental Army in 1775, essentially the first Surgeon General of the U.S. Army
  • ... (Another 16 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Royal Oak
  • Ovidio Church (1921-1939), Maltese Assistant Steward with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [8]


The Church Motto +

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:
Motto Translation: Virtue


Suggested Readings for the name Church +

  • 525 "The Man Who Owned the Pistols: John Barker Church and His Family" by Helene C. Phelan, "A Record of an Old-Established Retail and Glass Business" by Wilfred Spencer Church, "The Browns and Churchmans of Nottingham: Chester County, Pennsylvania and Cecil County, Maryland" by Amos Day Bradley.

  1. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th July 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/atlas
  4. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 27) Andromeda voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1832 with 186 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/andromeda/1832
  5. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The INCONSTANT the Voyage - 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Inconstant.htm
  6. ^ South Australian Register Tuesday 3 February 1852. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) GLOUCESTER 1852. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/anglia1852.shtmL
  7. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  8. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html


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