Fish History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Fish is part of the ancient legacy of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name was taken on by someone who worked as a someone who worked with fish. As one would expect, it is derived from the Old English word fisc, which meant fish. [1]

The name is both a forename and surname as "Fisc occurs as a personal name in the Domesday Book of 1086. [2] [3]

In Normandy where some of the family originated, the family was known by Piscis. And there we found the Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae listing Osmond de Piscis or Pisce, William and John, occuring in Normandy, 1180-1195. This spelling prevailed in some cases as the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed William de Piscis in England at that time. "The name was afterwards translated." [4]

Early Origins of the Fish family

The surname Fish was first found in Lincolnshire where Ernis Fish was listed in the Assize Rolls of 1202. A few years later, Daniel Fisc was listed in Suffolk in 1208 and Robert Fisk was listed in Nottingham in 1230. Robert le Fysch was listed in 1297. [3]

Early History of the Fish family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fish research. Another 96 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1483, 1658, 1614, 1531, 1525 and 1621 are included under the topic Early Fish History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Fish Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Fish include Fish, Fishe and others.

Early Notables of the Fish family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Simon Fish (died 1531), a 16th century Protestant reformer and English propagandist, best known for helping to spread William Tyndale’s New Testament. He was a "member of the University of Oxford, and entered Gray's Inn about 1525...
Another 42 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Fish Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Fish family to Ireland

Some of the Fish family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 78 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Fish migration to the United States +

A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:

Fish Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Fish, who settled in Connecticut in 1630
  • John Fish, who settled in Boston in 1630
  • Gabriel Fish, who settled in New Hampshire in 1632
  • Christopher Fish, who settled in Barbados in 1635
  • Christopher Fish, aged 24, who landed in Barbados in 1635 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Fish Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Tho Fish, who landed in Virginia in 1705 [5]
  • Josa Fish, aged 19, who landed in Virginia in 1773 [5]
Fish Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Anthony Fish, who landed in New York in 1822 [5]
  • Charles Fish, aged 35, who arrived in Key West, Ha in 1837 [5]
  • Nathan Fish, who arrived in Mississippi in 1847 [5]
  • L B Fish, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 [5]
  • W Fish, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Fish migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Fish Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Michael Fish, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1760
  • Michael Fish, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1761
  • Mr. Jeremiah Fish U.E., "Fitz" born in Pennsylvania, USA who settled in Pennfield, Kings County, New Brunswick c. 1783 he is listed as signing the Quaker Loyalist Agreement [6]
Fish Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Thurston Fish, who arrived in Canada in 1836

Australia Fish migration to Australia +

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

Fish Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Fish, English convict who was convicted in Lancaster, Lancashire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Aurora" on 18th June 1835, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [7]
  • John Fish, English convict from Lincoln, who was transported aboard the "Agincourt" on July 6, 1844, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [8]
  • Henry Fish, aged 20, who arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Indian" [9]
  • Henry Fish, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Indian" in 1849 [9]

New Zealand Fish 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:

Fish Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Fish, British labourer travelling from London aboard the ship "Victory " arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 17th October 1863 [10]
  • Anna M. Fish, aged 18, a servant, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Hindostan" in 1875
  • Clement Charles Fish, aged 46, a labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Waimea" in 1876
  • Elizabeth Fish, aged 48, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Waimea" in 1876
  • Eliza Fish, aged 15, a servant, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Waimea" in 1876

Contemporary Notables of the name Fish (post 1700) +

  • Stuyvesant Fish (1851-1923), American president of the Illinois Central Railroad
  • Preserved Fish (1766-1846), American shipping merchant in New York City, President of the Bank of America
  • Farnum Thayer Fish (1896-1978), early American airplane pilot known as the "Boy Aviator", at the age of 17, he was the "youngest licensed aviator in the world"
  • Bert Fish (1875-1943), American judge, real-estate operator, finance director, philanthropist, US Ambassador to Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Portugal
  • Major-General Irwing Andrews Fish (1881-1948), American Commanding General 32nd Division (1938-1942) [11]
  • Matt Fish (b. 1969), retired American professional NBA basketball player
  • Mardy Simpson Fish (b. 1981), American professional tennis player, American No. 1 in the ATP rankings as of April 2011
  • Hamilton Fish (1808-1893), American politician
  • William Fish (1775-1866), English musician of Norwich, born in that city in 1775 [12]
  • Jasper Fish (b. 1791), English cricketer from Sevenoaks, Kent
  • ... (Another 5 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Halifax Explosion
  • Miss Aubrey  Fish (1910-1917), Canadian resident from Protestant Orphanage, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [13]
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Wilfred Fish, British Stoker 2ne Class, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and died in the sinking [14]
RMS Lusitania
  • Mrs. Sarah Mary Fish, Canadian 2nd Class passenger from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking by escaping in life boat 15 [15]
  • Miss Marion Enid Fish, Canadian 2nd Class passenger from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking by escaping in life boat 15 [15]
  • Miss Sadie Eileen Fish, Canadian 2nd Class passenger from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking by escaping in life boat 15 [15]
  • Miss Joan Fish, Canadian 2nd Class passenger from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [15]


Suggested Readings for the name Fish +

  • 1241 The Ancestors and Descendants of Simeon Fish, Minuteman of Mason, N.H. and Pioneer of Lincoln County, Maine by Nathan Hale, Fish Families Records and Lines by Laurine Mae Palmerton Logsdon.

  1. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York, Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. ^ 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)
  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. ^ 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
  7. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 20th August 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/aurora
  8. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 24) Agincourt voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1844 with 226 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/agincourt/1844
  9. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The INDIAN 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Indian.htm
  10. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  11. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2012, February 29) Irwing Fish. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Fish/Irwing_Andrews/USA.html
  12. ^ Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 30 June 2020
  13. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance
  14. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html
  15. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 7) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/


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