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An excerpt from archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Cornwall in southwestern England provides the original birthplace of the surname Embry. As populations grew, people began to assume an extra name to avoid confusion and to further identify themselves. Unlike most Celtic peoples, who favored patronymic names, the Cornish predominantly used local surnames. This was due to the heavy political and cultural influence of the English upon the Cornish People at the time that surnames first came into use. Local surnames were derived from where a person lived, held land, or was born. While many Cornish surnames of this sort appear to be topographic surnames, which were given to people who resided near physical features such as hills, streams, churches, or types of trees, many are actually habitation surnames derived from lost or unrecorded place names. The name Embry history began at the town of Embrough in Devon. The name is also classified as a baptismal name as in the son of Emery.


The surname Embry was first found in Devon where they held a family seat from very early times.

Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Embree, Embray, Embury, Embrey and others.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Embry research. Another 161 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1258, 1300, 1363, and 1379 are included under the topic Early Embry History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


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


Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Embry Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • William Embry, English convict from Herefordshire, who was transported aboard the "Andromeda" on November 13, 1832, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • Thomas Embry, aged 26, arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Omega"

  • Norris Embry (1921-1981), American neo-expressionist artist
  • Talton Higbee Embry (1897-1946), American aviation enthusiast and co-founder of the company leading to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Aaron Embry (b. 1975), American songwriter and record producer
  • Patrick "Paddy" Embry (b. 1942), former Australian politician
  • Air Chief Marshal Sir Basil Edward Embry GCB, KBE, DSO & Three Bars, DFC, AFC (1902-1977), much decorated Allied Forces leader awarded the Croix de Guerre in World War II

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    Other References

    1. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
    2. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
    3. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
    4. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
    5. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
    6. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
    7. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
    8. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
    9. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    10. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    11. ...

    The Embry Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Embry 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 27 November 2014 at 09:43.

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