Devenish History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Devenish has a long Anglo-Saxon heritage. The name comes from when a family lived near a body of water derived from the Old English word that means deep waters.

Early Origins of the Devenish family

The surname Devenish was first found in Sussex where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.

Early History of the Devenish family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Devenish research. Another 70 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Devenish History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Devenish Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Devenish have been found, including Devenish, Devonish, Devanay, Devenay, Deveney, Devenney, Devenny, O'Devanny, O'Devenish, O'Devonish and many more.

Early Notables of the Devenish family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Devenish Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Devenish family to Ireland

Some of the Devenish family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 54 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Devenish migration to the United States +

Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Devenish, or a variant listed above:

Devenish Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Devenish, who settled in New England in 1678

Australia Devenish migration to Australia +

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

Devenish Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • A Sydney Devenish, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Baboo" in 1848 [1]
  • Elias Devenish, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Baboo" in 1848 [1]
  • Thomas Devenish, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Susannah" in 1849 [2]

New Zealand Devenish 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:

Devenish Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Devenish, (b. 1819), aged 23, English gentleman, born in Dorset travelling from Plymouth aboard the ship "Timandra" arriving in New Plymouth, Taranaki, North Island, New Zealand on 24th February 1842 [3]
  • Mrs. Sarah Devenish, (b. 1820), aged 21, British settler travelling from Plymouth aboard the ship "Timandra" arriving in New Plymouth, Taranaki, North Island, New Zealand on 24th February 1842 [3]
  • Miss Devenish, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Norfolk" arriving in Wellington, North Island, New Zealand on 18th June 1880 [4]

West Indies Devenish 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. [5]
Devenish Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • John Devenish who settled in Barbados in 1680 with his wife, two children, and servants

Contemporary Notables of the name Devenish (post 1700) +

  • Carl E. Devenish, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Washington, 1944 [6]
  • Nicolle Devenish, appointed January 5, 2005, by President George W. Bush to be Assistant to the President for Communications
  • Frank Devenish Meares (1873-1952), Australian sportsman who played both cricket and Australian rules football


The Devenish 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: Spero et captivus nitor
Motto Translation: I hope, and though a captive I strive.


  1. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) BABOO 1848. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1848Baboo.htm
  2. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) SUSANNAH 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Susannah.htm
  3. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  4. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  5. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  6. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 16) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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