Devorthy History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Devorthy name, which is a very unique Celtic origin, came from the rugged landscape of Wales. This Brythonic Celtic name is from the personal name David, which means darling or friend. This name was common in England and Scotland from the 12th century onward, but was particularly popular in Wales even earlier.

One of the most famous bearers of this personal name in Wales was David ap Gryffydd, the last Prince of North Wales, who was executed c. 1276 by King Edward I of England.

Early Origins of the Devorthy family

The surname Devorthy was first found in Cheshire, where they held a family seat from very ancient times. The name is conjecturally descended from David ap Gryffydd, the last Prince of North Wales who was executed by King Edward I of England about 1276.

"St. David, is said to have been a Welsh Briton, born about the year 480, and bred up in the Christian religion. Coming to years of maturity, he became learned in all the liberal arts and sciences, and was finally constituted bishop of Menevia near Anglesea. From this place he went on pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and after his return was the reputed metropolitan of all the British churches." [1]

David ap Gwilym (14th cent.), the celebrated Welsh bard, was born, according to one tradition, at Bro Gynin in the parish of Llanbadarn Vawr, Cardiganshire, about 1340, and dying there about 1400, was buried in the abbey of Ystrad Flur in the same county. [2]

Early History of the Devorthy family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Devorthy research. Another 63 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1680, 1647 and 1690 are included under the topic Early Devorthy History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Devorthy Spelling Variations

Although there are not an extremely large number Welsh surnames, there are an inordinately large number of spelling variations of those surnames. This variety of spellings began almost immediately after the acceptance of surnames within Welsh society. As time progressed, these old Brythonic names were eventually were recorded in English. This process was problematic in that many of the highly inflected sounds of the native language of Wales could not be properly captured in English. Some families, however, did decide to modify their own names to indicate a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even a patriotic affiliation. The name Devorthy has seen various spelling variations: David, Dafydd, Dewi, Davith and others.

Early Notables of the Devorthy family (pre 1700)

Prominent amongst the family during the late Middle Ages was David ap Gryffydd, Prince of North Wales. Thomas Daffy (d. 1680), was the inventor of Daffy's 'elixir salutis,' and a clergyman, who in 1647...
Another 32 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Devorthy Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Devorthy family to Ireland

Some of the Devorthy family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 31 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Devorthy family

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, many people from Wales joined the general migration to North America in search of land, work, and freedom. These immigrants greatly contributed to the rapid development of the new nations of Canada and the United States. They also added a rich and lasting cultural heritage to their newly adopted societies. Investigation of immigration and passenger lists has revealed a number of people bearing the name Devorthy: John David who settled in Boston in 1649; John David settled in Virginia in 1635; another John settled in Virginia in 1663; along with Joseph, Lewis, Rendall, and William.



The Devorthy 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: Pax et copia
Motto Translation: Peace and plenty.


  1. ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  2. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print


Houseofnames.com on Facebook