Cunard History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Cunard name has descended through the generations from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. Their name comes from having lived in a small valley. The surname Cunard is derived from the Old English word cumb, which means valley. The surname Cunard belongs to the large class of Anglo-Saxon topographic surnames, which were given to people who resided near physical features such as hills, streams, churches, or types of trees.

Alternatively, the name could have been an occupational name for 'the comber,' as in 'the wool comber.' [1] "The early importance of this occupation was bound to create and preserve this surname. " [2]

Early Origins of the Cunard family

The surname Cunard was first found in various counties an shires throughout ancient Britain. By example, the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed: Richard le Cumbere in Cambridgeshire; and John le Cumbur in Oxfordshire. [2]

William le Combere was listed in the Assize Rolls of Cheshire in 1260 and later, John Comber was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex in 1296. [3]

Early History of the Cunard family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cunard research. Another 72 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1260, 1296, 1575, 1653, 1631, 1645, 1575, 1645, 1699, 1689, 1644, 1660 and 1649 are included under the topic Early Cunard History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cunard 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 Cunard has undergone many spelling variations, including Comber, Comer, Commber, Commer, Combers, Commers and others.

Early Notables of the Cunard family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Thomas Comber (1575-1653), an English linguist, Dean of Carlisle and Master of Trinity College, Cambridge (1631-1645.) He was born at Shermanbury, Sussex, on 1 Jan. 1575, being the twelfth son of his father, who was a barrister-at-law. [4] Thomas Comber (1645-1699), was an English churchman from Barkham, Sussex, Dean of Durham from 1689. He "was descended from an ancient family at Barkham, Sussex. His father, James Comber, was the fourth son of John Comber, who was uncle to Thomas Comber, Dean of Carlisle. Thomas was born at Westerham on 19 March 1644-5...
Another 98 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cunard Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Cunard family to Ireland

Some of the Cunard family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 48 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Cunard 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 Cunard were among those contributors:

Cunard Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • J M Cunard, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [5]

Canada Cunard migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Cunard Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Robert Cunard U.E. born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA who settled in Portland [North End], Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1783 Grandfather of the Cunarda Line S.S. projectors [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Cunard (post 1700) +

  • Sir Samuel Cunard (1787-1865), 1st Baronet, Canadian-born British shipping magnate from Halifax, Nova Scotia who founded Cunard Steamships Limited, now a prestigious branch of the Carnival Line cruise empire [7]
  • Lance Cunard (1910-1995), American actor, known for The Doctors (1963) and The Last Ride of the Dalton Gang (1979)
  • Mina Cunard (1894-1978), American actress, known for her work on Graft (1915), The Broken Coin (1915) and What Love Can Do (1916), sister of Grace Cunard
  • Grace Cunard (1893-1967), American actress from Columbus Ohio, known as "The Serial Queen," for her work with Francis Ford
  • Basil Cunard (1903-1964), English actor from Harlesden, London, known for Chance of a Lifetime (1950), Hell Below Zero (1954) and Charley's Aunt (1938)
  • Sir Guy Cunard (1911-1989), 7th Baronet of Bush Hill, Nova Scotia, British peer
  • Sir Henry Cunard (1909-1973), 6th Baronet of Bush Hill, Nova Scotia, British peer
  • Sir Edward Cunard (1891-1962), 5th Baronet of Bush Hill, Nova Scotia, British peer
  • Sir Gordon Cunard (1857-1933), 4th Baronet of Bush Hill, Nova Scotia, British peer
  • Sir Bache Cunard (1851-1925), 3rd Baronet of Bush Hill, Nova Scotia, British peer
  • ... (Another 2 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


The Cunard 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: Sapiens dominabitur astris
Motto Translation: A wise man can rule the stars.


  1. ^ Lower, 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. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  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. ^ Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 30 June 2020


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