Crisp History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Crisp was brought to England by the Normans when they conquered the country in 1066. It comes from the Old English given name Crispin, which derives from a Latin nickname which means curly-haired. [1] Much of the popularity of the name in the early Middle Ages is a result of the popularity of St. Crispin, who was martyred at Soissons in 285 AD.

Early Origins of the Crisp family

The surname Crisp was first found in Oxfordshire where they had been granted the lands of Cowley by William the Conqueror for their assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The source Old English Bynames lists the name in the Latin form: Benedictus Crispus c.1030 as the first record of the family. Almost two hundred years later, Walter Crips was listed in the source Early London Personal Names as living there c. 1200. [2] Later the family became well established in Norfolk, where they are to this day well known.

In Norfolk, the family goes back at least as far as the 14th century. "In 1388, Richard Crispe was patron of the living of Cockthorp, to which he presented one of the family; another Richard Crispe was buried in Erenze church in 1517." [3] The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list the following: Robert le Crespe in Oxfordshire; Thomas le Crespe in Somerset; and Gilbert le Crispe in Oxfordshire. [1]

Early History of the Crisp family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Crisp research. Another 242 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1066, 1533, 1603, 1788, 1749, 1599, 1666, 1625, 1600, 1643, 1599, 1666, 1630, 1628 and 1692 are included under the topic Early Crisp History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Crisp Spelling Variations

Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Crisp family name include Crisp, Cripps, Crispin, Crispe, Crisppin, Crispp and many more.

Early Notables of the Crisp family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir Nicholas Crisp (1599?-1666), English Royalist, descended from a family possessing estates in Gloucestershire and engaged in trade in London; Ellis Crisp (died 1625), Sheriff of London; Tobias Crisp D.D. (1600-1643), an English clergyman and reputed antinomian; and Sir Nicholas Crispe, 1st Baronet (c.1599-1666), an English Royalist and a wealthy merchant who pioneered the...
Another 61 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Crisp Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Crisp Ranking

In the United States, the name Crisp is the 2,214th most popular surname with an estimated 14,922 people with that name. [4]

Ireland Migration of the Crisp family to Ireland

Some of the Crisp family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Crisp migration to the United States +

To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Crisp family to immigrate North America:

Crisp Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Benjamin Crisp, who arrived at Waterdown, Massachusetts in 1630
  • Benjamin Crisp, who landed in Watertown, Massachusetts in 1639 [5]
  • Francis Crisp, a servant sent to Virginia in 1659
  • Anth Crisp, who arrived in Virginia in 1663 [5]
  • Christopher Crisp, who arrived in Virginia in 1677 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Crisp Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Edward Crisp, who arrived in Rappahannock, VA in 1727
Crisp Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Downing Crisp, who settled in Galveston, TX in 1836
  • George Crisp, aged 35, who arrived in New York, NY in 1855 [5]

Australia Crisp migration to Australia +

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

Crisp Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Benjamin Crisp, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Arab" on July 3, 1822, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [6]
  • Mr. Samuel Crisp, English convict who was convicted in Leeds, Yorkshire, England for life, transported aboard the "Chapman" on 6th April 1824, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [7]
  • Mr. Samuel Crisp, (b. 1805), aged 21, British Convict who was convicted in Essex, England for life, transported aboard the "Earl St Vincent" on 20th April 1826, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [8]
  • Emma Crisp, English convict from Warwick, who was transported aboard the "America" on December 30, 1830, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [9]
  • Mr. George Crisp, English convict who was convicted in Ipswich, Suffolk, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Emma Eugenia" on 2nd November 1837, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [10]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Crisp 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:

Crisp Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Crisp, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Simlah" arriving in Otago, South Island, New Zealand in 1851 [11]
  • Thomas Crisp, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Nimroud" in 1860
  • Mary Crisp, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Nimroud" in 1860
  • W. S. Crisp, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Nimroud" in 1860
  • Elizabeth Crisp, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Nimroud" in 1860
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Crisp 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. [12]
Crisp Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • John Crisp, who settled in Barbados in 1678

Contemporary Notables of the name Crisp (post 1700) +

  • Covelli Loyce "Coco" Crisp (b. 1979), American Major League Baseball center fielder
  • Charles Frederick Crisp (1845-1896), American Democratic politician, Representative from Georgia (1883-1896) and Speaker of the House (1891-1895)
  • Quentin Crisp (1908-1999), born Denis Charles Pratt, an English writer and raconteur
  • George William "Donald" Crisp (1882-1974), English Academy Award winning film actor for his supporting role in How Green Was My Valley (1941)
  • Frank Crisp (1843-1919), English lawyer and microscopist
  • Clement Andrew Crisp OBE (1926-2022), British dance critic for the Financial Times from 1956 to 2020
  • Norman James "N.J." Crisp (1923-2005), British television writer, dramatist and novelist
  • Terry Crisp (b. 1943), Canadian NHL ice hockey center, member of two Stanley Cup championship teams
  • Thomas Crisp (1876-1917), recipient of the Victoria Cross
  • Ruth Crisp (d. 1960), New Zealand poet, philanthropist
  • ... (Another 1 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Albert Hector Crisp (d. 1912), aged 35, English Saloon Steward from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [13]


Suggested Readings for the name Crisp +

  • Ancestors and Descendants of James Milton Crisp (1834-1925) and Wife, Sarah Catherine (James) Crisp (1841-1911)..

  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. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  4. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  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. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Arab voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1822 with 155 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/arab/1822
  7. ^ Convict Records of Australia (Retreived 26th January 2021, retreived from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/chapman)
  8. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th September 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/earl-st-vincent
  9. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 26) America voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1830 with 135 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/america/1830
  10. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 29th March 2022). https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/emma-eugenia
  11. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  12. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  13. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


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