Show ContentsClose History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Close name has descended through the generations from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. Their name comes from having lived as inhabitants by the enclosed place. Another origin may be derived from the Old English word close, that referred to worker in the farm-yard.

Early Origins of the Close family

The surname Close was first found in Yorkshire where the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 make the first mention of the family. There we found Johannes del Clos and Willelmus del Clos both listed as holding lands at that time. [1]

However one notes source states: "some families of this name are of Yorkshire origin and some are Gaelic-Ó Cluasaigh; both are found in Antrim and adjacent counties." [2]

Early History of the Close family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Close research. Another 117 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1452, 1450, 1452, 1452, 1453, 1443, 1447, 1448, 1585, 1579, 1581, 1585, 1640, 1659, 1660, 1854, 1857 and 1878 are included under the topic Early Close History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Close Spelling Variations

Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Close has undergone many spelling variations, including Close, Cloase, Cloise, Clowse, Clovse, Cloace, Cloce, Cloose and many more.

Early Notables of the Close family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include Nicholas Close (died 1452), English priest, Bishop of Carlisle (1450 to 1452) and Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield (1452 to 1453). He was "one of the six original fellows of King's College, Cambridge, appointed by the founder, Henry VI, in 1443. Of his previous life nothing has as yet been discovered. The accounts of King's College show that he was frequently employed on important business, and in 1447 he became overseer of the building works ('magister operum')...
Another 84 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Close Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Close Ranking

In the United States, the name Close is the 3,191st most popular surname with an estimated 9,948 people with that name. [3] However, in Australia, the name Close is ranked the 998th most popular surname with an estimated 3,960 people with that name. [4]

Ireland Migration of the Close family to Ireland

Some of the Close family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 180 words (13 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Close migration to the United States +

To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Close were among those contributors:

Close Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Phettiplace Close, who settled in Virginia in 1608, twelve years before the "Mayflower"
  • Phettiplace Close, who arrived in Virginia in 1608 [5]
  • John Close, who settled in Virginia in 1670
Close Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Henry Close, his wife Hannah, and daughter Ann, settled in Georgia in 1732
  • Henry Close, who arrived in Savanna(h), Georgia in 1733 [5]
Close Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Jacob Close, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County Pennsylvania in 1830 [5]
  • Langford P H Close, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1844 [5]
  • S Close, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 [5]
  • James A Close, who landed in St Clair County, Illinois in 1878 [5]
  • Edward, Jacob, James, John, Robert, Thomas, Close, who settled in Pennsylvania between 1839 and 1880

Canada Close migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Close Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. David Close U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1783 [6]

Australia Close migration to Australia +

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

Close Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. George Robert Close, (b. 1812), aged 21, English carpenter who was convicted in Hereford, Herefordshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Fairlie" on 14th October 1833, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died in 1897 [7]
  • Mr. Thomas Close, (b. 1827), aged 18, Irish tailor who was convicted in Armagh, Ireland for 7 years for larceny, transported aboard the "Elizabeth and Henry" on 15th February 1845, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [8]
  • Eliza Close, aged 27, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1853 aboard the ship "Mary Green" [9]

New Zealand Close 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:

Close Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Stephen Close, aged 34, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Mary Ann" in 1842
  • Mary Close, aged 25, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Mary Ann" in 1842
  • Eliza Close, aged 8, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Mary Ann" in 1842
  • Elizabeth Close, aged 7, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Mary Ann" in 1842
  • Albion Close, aged 2, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Mary Ann" in 1842
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Close migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [10]
Close Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Daniel Close, who settled in Jamaica in 1670

Contemporary Notables of the name Close (post 1700) +

  • Charles Thomas "Chuck" Close (1940-2021), American painter and photographer, recipient of the National Medal of Arts from President Clinton in 2000
  • Eric Close (b. 1967), American film and television actor from Staten Island, New York
  • Del P. Close (1934-1999), American actor, writer, and teacher who coached many of the best-known comedians and comic actors of the late twentieth century
  • Glenn Close (b. 1947), American Academy Award-nominated film and stage actress
  • Elliot Springs Close (b. 1953), American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for U.S. Senator from South Carolina, 1996 [11]
  • Edwin T. Close, American politician, Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from Greenwich, 1839 [11]
  • Charles F. Close, American Republican politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Dutchess County 2nd District, 1931-33 [11]
  • Carl B. Close, American politician, Mayor of Alexandria, Louisiana, 1950-53 [11]
  • Betsy L. Close (b. 1950), American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Oregon, 2004 [11]
  • Benjamin M. Close, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Cayuga County 1st District, 1864-65 [11]
  • ... (Another 24 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. H Close, British Stoker 2nd Class, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales (1941) and survived the sinking [12]

The Close 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: Fortis et fidelis
Motto Translation: Brave and faithful.

Suggested Readings for the name Close +

  • The Closes, 1700-1982, from Ohio-Kansas by Bernice Close Shackelton.
  • John Clowes, Jr., 1730-1790 (including the Close Family Genealogy) by Hazel Brittingham.

  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. MacLysaght, Edward, Supplement to Irish Families. Baltimore: Genealogical Book Company, 1964. Print.
  3. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  4. "Most Common Last Names in Australia." Forebears,
  5. 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)
  6. 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
  7. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 21st September 2022).
  8. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 11th March 2022). Retrieved from
  9. South Australian Register Monday 20 June 1853. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) MARY GREEN 1853. Retrieved
  11. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 15) . Retrieved from
  12. HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from on Facebook