Crissmess History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Crissmess comes from a name for 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 Crissmess family

The surname Crissmess 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 Crissmess family

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

Crissmess Spelling Variations

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Crissmess include Christmas, Cristmas, Cristmus, Christmus and many more.

Early Notables of the Crissmess 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 Crissmess Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Crissmess family

Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Crissmess 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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