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An excerpt from archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: English, German

The ancestors of the name Epps date back to the days of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from their residence near one or more notable aspen trees. The surname Epps is derived from the Old English word ępse, which means aspen. The surname may also be a nickname in jest, for a timid person, referring to the trembling leaves of the tree.


Epps has been spelled many different ways, including Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Apps, Apse, Abbs, Abb, App, Apsey, Epps, Ebbs, Epsey, Epp and many more.

First found in the county of Middlesex in southern England where they held a family seat from very ancient times. During the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, unlike many Saxon families, bearers of this name managed to hold onto much of their holdings and these are recorded in the Domesday Book, [1] a census taken in 1086 by King William of all land holders.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Epps research. Another 302 words (22 lines of text) covering the year 1307 is included under the topic Early Epps History in all our PDF Extended History products.


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


In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Eppss to arrive on North American shores:

Epps Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Mrs. Epps, who landed in Virginia in 1623
  • Peter Epps, who landed in Virginia in 1623
  • William Epps, who landed in Virginia in 1623
  • Elizabeth Epps, aged 13, arrived in America in 1635

Epps Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Margarethe Epps, aged 17, arrived in New York, NY in 1876
  • Peter Epps landed in New York with his wife and five children in 1876

Epps Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Moses Epps arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Buckinghamshire" in 1839

Epps Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Thomas Epps, aged 32, a gardener, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "London" in 1842
  • Mary Epps, aged 32, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "London" in 1842
  • Eliza Epps, aged 7, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "London" in 1842
  • George Epps, aged 5, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "London" in 1842
  • Martha Ann Epps, aged 3, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "London" in 1842


  • H. Van Epps, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from South Carolina, 1964
  • Shareeka Epps (b. 1989), award-winning American actress
  • Sheldon Epps (b. 1952), American television and theatre director
  • Omar Hashim Epps (b. 1973), American actor, singer, songwriter, and record producer
  • Garrett Epps (b. 1950), American legal scholar, novelist, and journalist
  • Jeanette J. Epps (b. 1970), American CIA intelligence officer, and NASA astronaut candidate
  • Michael Eugene "Mike" Epps (b. 1970), American actor, producer, writer, stand-up comedian, and singer


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: In Te Domine Speravi
Motto Translation: In thee, O Lord, I have placed my hope.


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  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)

Other References

  1. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  2. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  3. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  4. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  5. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  6. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  7. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  8. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  9. 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).
  10. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  11. ...

The Epps Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Epps 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 21 November 2015 at 12:04.

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