Firth History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Firth family

The surname Firth was first found in Norfolk where Richard de la Fryth was recorded in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 in Norfolk. [1] Another source lists John atte Frithe in Norfolk but no date is given. [2]

Later, the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed Thomas atte Fryth. [1]

"Robert Firth was the name of two mayors of Doncaster [Yorkshire] in the reigns of Henry VII. and Henry VIII., and the name is still in the town." [3]

Further to the north in Scotland where most people claim descent, "there is a place named Firth near Lilliesleaf, Roxburghshire." [4] The name of this town in turn comes from the ancient word "firth" meaning "bay."

Early History of the Firth family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Firth research. Another 169 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1379, 1522, 1565, 1606, 1630 and 1630 are included under the topic Early Firth History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Firth Spelling Variations

Although the name, Firth, appeared in many references, from time to time, the surname was shown with the spellings Firth, Fyrth, Firthe, Firths and others.

Early Notables of the Firth family (pre 1700)

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


United States Firth migration to the United States +

Gradually becoming disenchanted with life in Ireland many of these uprooted families sailed aboard the armada of sailing ships known as the "White Sails" which plied the stormy Atlantic. These overcrowded ships often arrived with only 60 to 70% of their original passenger list, many dying of cholera, typhoid, dysentery or small pox. In North America, some of the first immigrants who could be considered kinsmen of the Firth family name Firth, or who bore a variation of the surname were

Firth Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Firth, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1683 [5]
  • Isaac Firth, who landed in America in 1698
Firth Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Elizabeth Firth, who settled in Maryland in 1722
Firth Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Firth, who landed in New York in 1835 [5]
  • George Firth, who arrived in New York in 1846 [5]
  • Albert, Barker, Charles, Daniel, Greenwood, Henry, James, John, Joseph, Richard, Samuel, Thomas and William Firth all, who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania between 1805 and 1874

Canada Firth migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Firth Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Gideon Firth, who settled in Harbour Grace, Newfoundland in 1771 [6]
  • George Firth, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1774
Firth Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • George Robert Firth born in Gosport Hampshire, England, was baptized in St. John's, Newfoundland in 1821 [6]

Australia Firth migration to Australia +

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

Firth Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Joseph Firth, aged 19, who arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Emily" [7]
  • Joseph Firth, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Emily" in 1849 [7]
  • Benjamin Firth, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Duke of Wellington" in 1851 [8]

New Zealand Firth 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:

Firth Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • James Firth, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1842 aboard the ship George Fife
  • James Firth, aged 25, a joiner, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "George Fyfe" in 1842
  • Hannah Firth, aged 24, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "George Fyfe" in 1842
  • Arabella Firth, aged 2, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "George Fyfe" in 1842
  • George Firth, aged 21, a labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alma" in 1857
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Firth (post 1700) +

  • Everett Joseph "Vic" Firth (1930-2015), American musician and the founder of Vic Firth Company, maker of percussion sticks and mallets in 1963
  • Joseph H. Firth, American politician, Member of New Jersey State House of Assembly from Warren County, 1906-08 [9]
  • Edwin Firth, American politician, Candidate for West Virginia State Senate 5th District, 1914; Candidate for West Virginia State House of Delegates from Cabell County, 1916 [9]
  • Edward C. Firth, American Republican politician, Mayor of Eastport, Maine, 1919, 1924-25 [9]
  • Dayna J. Firth, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Florida, 2008 [9]
  • Mark Firth (1819-1890), English industrialist and philanthropist, founder of Firth College, Sheffield [10]
  • Francis Martin "Franny" Firth (1956-2018), English professional footballer who played from 1973 to 1983
  • Francis Firth (1822-1898), English topographical photographer
  • Colin Andrew Firth (b. 1960), English actor and recipient of a Golden Globe award and the Best Actor Oscar at the 2011 Academy Awards
  • Sir Raymond William Firth (b. 1901), English social anthropologist
  • ... (Another 6 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

USS Arizona
  • Mr. Henry Amis Firth, American Fireman Third Class working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [11]


The Firth Motto +

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: Deus incrementum dedit
Motto Translation: God has given increase.


  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ Rye, Walter, A History of Norfolk. London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, 1885. Print
  3. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  4. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  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. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  7. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The EMILY 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Emily.htm
  8. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) DUKE OF WELLINGTON 1851. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1851DukeOfWellington.htm
  9. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 7) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  10. ^ Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 30 June 2020
  11. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from http://pearl-harbor.com/arizona/casualtylist.html


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