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An excerpt from archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: Dutch, English

The name Custer is tied to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of England. It comes from the baptismal name which means Custance. Baptismal names began to appear as surnames relatively late in the growth of the naming tradition. This is a little surprising, given the popularity of biblical figures in the Christian countries of Europe. Nevertheless, surnames derived from baptismal names grew in popularity during the Middle Ages, and have become one of the foremost sources for surnames.


The surname Custer was first found in Norfolk where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. Their family seat later emerged at Weston House in Norwich in that shire. From their early beginnings, for the next few centuries, the family name also acquired other estates or manors as branches established themselves throughout England. The major conflicts of the eras, such as the War of the Roses, the English Reformation, and the English Civil War sometimes found them to be in opposing camps, with conflicting interests. For instance, the ancient, most popular form of the name was Constance.

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 Custer has undergone many spelling variations, including Custerson, Custer, Custance, Constance, Custeson and others.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Custer research. Another 229 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1379, 1629, 1801, and 1881 are included under the topic Early Custer History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Another 40 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Custer Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


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 Custer were among those contributors:

Custer Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Emanuel Custer, who came to Maryland in 1811
  • Catherine Custer, who landed in New York, NY in 1812
  • Fergus Custer, who arrived in New York, NY in 1812
  • James Custer, who settled in New York in 1832
  • Ernst Custer, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • ...

Custer Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Henry Custer, who arrived in Illinois in 1917

  • Levitt Luzern Custer (1888-1962), American inventor of the statoscope
  • Levitt Ellsworth Custer (1863-1924), American Ohio dentist and balloonist
  • Stephen Custer, American cellist
  • David Luke Custer (b. 1980), American journalist and television anchor and reporter
  • Willard Ray Custer (1899-1985), American engineer and aircraft visionary
  • Bob Custer (1898-1974), American film actor
  • John Custer, American record producer
  • Boston Custer (1848-1876), American youngest brother of U.S. Army General George Armstrong Custer
  • Elizabeth Bacon Custer (1842-1933), American wife of General George Armstrong Custer
  • Thomas Ward Custer (1845-1876), United States Army officer and two-time recipient of the Medal of Honor
  • ...

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: Appetitus rationi pareat
Motto Translation: Let your desires obey your reason.


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    Other References

    1. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
    2. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
    3. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
    4. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    5. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
    6. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
    7. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
    8. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
    9. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
    10. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    11. ...

    The Custer Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Custer Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

    This page was last modified on 2 July 2016 at 10:27.

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