Show ContentsEmpey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

In ancient Anglo Saxon England, the Empey family lived in the area that was referred to as Impey in the county of Essex. This place-name was originally derived from the Old English word "imphaga" which denoted "an enclosure that housed young trees." In this case the original bearers most likely lived near an area where there were young trees or saplings. [1]

Early Origins of the Empey family

The surname Empey was first found in Sussex where John atte Imphage was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of 1327. The same ancient English rolls also listed John de Impey in Suffolk. [1]

"This name is or has been numerous in Buckinghamshire, Surrey, and Essex, in which last county stands Impey Hall." [2]

Early History of the Empey family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Empey research. Another 74 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Empey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Empey Spelling Variations

Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Empey has undergone many spelling variations, including Impey, Impy, Impie and others.

Early Notables of the Empey family (pre 1700)

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

United States Empey migration to the United States +

To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Empey were among those contributors:

Empey Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • S Empey, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 [3]

Canada Empey migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Empey Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Adam Empey U.E. who settled in Osnabruck [South Stormont], Stormont County, Ontario c. 1784 [4]
  • Mr. Adam Empey U.E. who settled in Eastern District [Cornwall], Ontario c. 1784 [4]
  • Mr. Christopher Empey U.E. who settled in Eastern District [Cornwall], Ontario c. 1784 [4]
  • Mr. Henry Empey U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784 [4]
  • Mr. Jacob Empey U.E. who settled in Eastern District [Cornwall], Ontario c. 1784 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Empey (post 1700) +

  • Arthur Guy Empey (1883-1963), American soldier in the British and American armies of World War I, author, screenwriter, actor and movie producer
  • James W. Empey, American fighter pilot and flying ace in the U.S. Army Air Forces, during World War II, credited with 5 aerial victories
  • Richard Empey, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Oneida County, 1844 [5]
  • Walton Newcombe Frances Empey (b. 1934), Irish clergyman, Archbishop of Dublin (1996-2002), Bishop of Meath and Kildare (1985-1996), Bishop of Limerick and Killaloe (1981-1985)
  • Reginald Norman Morgan Empey OBE (b. 1947), Baron Empey, a British politician, Chairman of the Ulster Unionist Party (2012-), twice Lord Mayor of Belfast
  • Ralph Empey (1904-1960), Australian rules footballer

  1. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. 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)
  4. Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  5. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 10) . Retrieved from on Facebook