Show ContentsEagar History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient Anglo-Saxon surname Eagar came from a group of baptismal surnames which all mean the son of Eggar or the son of Agar. "Probably a form of Algar, a Domesday personal name, and very popular for several centuries." [1]

"Aighear signifies gladness, joy, gayety. If from the Latin ager, it denotes a field or land." [2]

In Scotland, "Aeggar was king of the Scots a. 1189." [3]

Early Origins of the Eagar family

The surname Eagar was first found in the counties of Yorkshire and Northumberland, where they held a family seat from ancient times.

"The Agars, an old York family of the 17th and 18th centuries, gained considerable estate by trade and founded a hospital in that city. Thomas Agar, tanner, was lord mayor of York in 1618, and the same office was filled by Thomas Agar, woollen draper, in 1724. Agar is still a York name." [4]

Early History of the Eagar family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Eagar research. Another 35 words (2 lines of text) covering the years 1782, 1672, 1733, 1703, 1713, 1713, 1714, 1715, 1727, 1727 and 1733 are included under the topic Early Eagar History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Eagar Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Eagar family name include Agar, Algar, Alger, Algore, Augar, Auger, Elger, Elgar, Eager, Eagar, Etches, Eaches and many more.

Early Notables of the Eagar family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: John Eager, born 1782 at Norwich, where his father was a musical instrument maker and organ builder. Having learned from his father the rudiments of music, he was at twelve years old taken under the care of the Duke of Dorset, an amateur violinist, who carried him to his seat at Knole, where free access to the library enabled him to repair the defects of his early education. His patron...
Another 78 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Eagar Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Eagar family to Ireland

Some of the Eagar family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 76 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Eagar migration to the United States +

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, the Canadas, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Eagar surname or a spelling variation of the name include:

Eagar Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Charles Eagar, aged 24, who landed in New York in 1812 [5]

Australia Eagar migration to Australia +

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

Eagar Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

New Zealand Eagar 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:

Eagar Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Richard Eagar, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1842
  • Miss Mary Eagar, (b. 1855), aged 20, Irish dairy maid from County Kerry travelling from London aboard the ship "Waimate" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 4th December 1875 [7]

Contemporary Notables of the name Eagar (post 1700) +

  • Thomas Eagar, American politician, Member of California State Assembly (1862-1863) and (1865-1867)
  • Thomas Eagar, American politician, Member of California State Assembly, 1862-63, 1865-67 [8]
  • Edward Desmond Russell Eagar (1917-1977), English cricketer, Hampshire cricket Captain (1946-1957)
  • Michael Eagar (b. 1934), English cricketer who played for Gloucestershire from 1956 to 1961
  • Edward Eagar (1787-1866), Irish lawyer, merchant and criminal who was transported to New South Wales in 1811 aboard the Providence, Australia's first liberal political agitator for Australian convict rights
  • Geoffrey Eagar (1818-1891), Australian accountant and Treasurer of the Government of New South Wales
  • Margaretta "Margaret" Alexandra Eagar (1863-1936), Irish nanny to the four daughters of Emperor and Empress Nicholas II and Alexandra Feodorovna of Russia
  • Michael Eagar (b. 1973), Australian former rugby league player who played from 1994 to 2005, member of the Ireland National Team in 2000

Halifax Explosion
  • Miss Jessie  Eagar (1841-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who survived the Halifax Explosion (1917) but later died due to injuries [9]
HMAS Sydney II
  • Mr. Alexander Vinrace Eagar (1917-1941), Australian Sub-Lieutenant from Toowong, Queensland, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II and died in the sinking [10]

The Eagar 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: Spectemur agendo
Motto Translation: Let us be judged by our actions.

  1. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  3. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  4. Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. 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. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 19th November 2021). Retrieved from
  7. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from
  8. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 29) . Retrieved from
  9. Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from
  10. HMAS Sydney II, Finding Sydney Foundation - Roll of Honour. (Retrieved 2014, April 24) . Retrieved from on Facebook