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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Embry family come from? What is the English Embry family crest and coat of arms? When did the Embry family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Embry family history?

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.


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.

First found in Devon where they held a family seat from very early times.


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.


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


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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  1. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  2. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  3. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  4. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  5. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  6. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  7. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  8. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  10. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  11. ...

The Embry Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com 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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