Heather History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient roots of the Heather family name are in the Anglo-Saxon culture. The name Heather comes from when the family lived on a heath, which is an area of level, uncultivated land with poor, coarse, undrained soil and rich deposits of peat or peaty humus. The surname Heather belongs to the class of topographic surnames, which were given to people who resided near physical features such as hills, streams, churches, or types of trees.

Early Origins of the Heather family

The surname Heather was first found in Durham where it was first listed as Atte-Hethe, Apud Hethe and Del la Hethe in the Rotuli Hundredorum of 1279. [1] The name was denoted for someone who lived on or by a heath, typically filled with heather. [2] Kirby's Quest for Somerset listed Adam atte Hethe and John atte Hethe during the reign of Edward III. [3]

Later in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379, Robert del Heth was listed. Thomas Atte-Hethe was rector of Ringstead Parva, Norfolk in 1376 and Ralph atte Heythe was rector of Rockland Tofts, Norfolk in 1398. [4]

Early History of the Heather family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Heather research. Another 105 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1577, 1585, 1575, 1649, 1501, 1578, 1629, 1664 and 1661 are included under the topic Early Heather History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Heather Spelling Variations

One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Heather has appeared include Heath, Hethe and others.

Early Notables of the Heather family (pre 1700)

Another 50 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Heather Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Heather family to Ireland

Some of the Heather family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Heather migration to the United States

At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Heather arrived in North America very early:

Heather Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Richard Heather, who arrived in Virginia in 1640 [5]
  • Edward Heather, aged 25, who arrived in Barbados in 1683 [5]
Heather Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William Heather, aged 20, who landed in New York in 1812 [5]
  • John Heather, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County Pennsylvania in 1872 [5]

Heather migration to Australia

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

Heather Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Alfred Heather, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Constant" in 1849 [6]

Heather 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:

Heather Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • D H Heather, who landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1840
  • Mr Heather, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Nimrod
  • Mr. Arthur Heather, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Harwood" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 4th November 1858 [7]
  • Arthur Heather, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Zealandia" in 1861

Contemporary Notables of the name Heather (post 1700)

  • Scott Heather (b. 1975), American college baseball head coach of the Bucknell Bison
  • Sean Heather (b. 1982), English cricketer
  • Roy Heather (1935-2014), English television actor, known for his roles in Time Gentlemen Please (2000), Only Fools and Horses.... (1981) and Experience Preferred... But Not Essential (1982)
  • Adam Tom Heather (b. 1972), English professional cricketer from Manchester, Lancashire
  • Mr. David James Heather M.B.E.,, British Headteacher for Pulford Church of England VA Lower School in Bedfordshire, was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire on 8th June 2018, for services to Education [8]
  • William Kati "Smiley" Heather (b. 1958), Cook Islands politician, Deputy Leader of the Democratic party in 2012
  • Teariki William Heather (b. 1959), Deputy Prime Minister of the Cook Islands
  • Peter Heather (b. 1960), British historian of Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages, Professor of Medieval History at King's College London
  • Larry R. Heather, Canadian political candidate for the Christian Heritage Party of Canada in Calgary, Alberta
  • Mrs. Elaine Heather Lush B.E.M.,, British recipient of Medallist of the British Empire Medal 29th December 2018 for services to People with Disabilities in Surrey [9]

Historic Events for the Heather family

HMS Cornwall
  • Ronald Charles William Heather (d. 1942), British Able Seaman aboard the HMS Cornwall when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he died in the sinking [10]
HMS Royal Oak
  • Charles Walter Heather (1907-1939), British Able Seaman with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [11]


  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges, A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8)
  3. ^ Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  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. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The CONSTANT 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Constant.htm
  7. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  8. ^ "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62310, 4 July 2019 | London Gazette, The Gazette, June 2018, https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/62310/supplement/B1
  9. ^ "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018, www.thegazette.co.uk/honours-lists
  10. ^ Force Z Survivors Crew List HMS Cornwall (Retrieved 2018, February 13th) - Retrieved from https://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listcornwallcrew.html#A
  11. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html
Fastest Delivery Possible

Digital Products on Checkout, all other products filled in 1 business day

Money Back
Money Back Guarantee

Yes, all products 100% Guaranteed

BBB A+ Rating

The Best Rating possible

Secure Online Payment

Entire site uses SSL / Secure Certificate