Fitzroy History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Fitzroy family

The surname Fitzroy was first found in Essex where the name was first referenced in the year 1245 when Richard was recorded as Fitz le Roy, essentially 'son of the King' and we may allude to the reference to be that of King John. However, there was an earlier family of Fitzroy who was the illegitimate son of King Henry I about 1140.

This tradition has remained in the family to this day. By example, Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond (1519-1536), was the son of Henry VIII and Elizabeth Blount, a lady in waiting on Queen Catherine of Arragon. [1]

The parish of Euston in Suffolk was home to another branch of the family. "Euston Hall, the seat of the Duke of Grafton, is a handsome mansion, with a park tastefully arranged, in which is the church, forming an interesting feature in the demesne. The church, a handsome edifice with a tower, was erected in the reign of Charles II., by Lord Henry Arlington, to whom there is a monument; it also contains several memorials to the Fitzroy family, whose place of sepulture it is, and some slabs with ancient brasses." [2]

Early History of the Fitzroy family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fitzroy research. Another 223 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1455, 1487, 1617, 1650, 1684, 1665, 1716, 1663, 1690, 1683, 1757, 1720 and 1724 are included under the topic Early Fitzroy History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Fitzroy Spelling Variations

Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Fillery, Filley, Fillary, Fildry, Filary, Filery, Filey, Fillie, Fildery, Filleigh, Fitzroy, Fitzroi and many more.

Early Notables of the Fitzroy family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was William Filley (1617-?), English settler and founder of Windsor, Connecticut; Charlotte FitzRoy (1650-1684), one of the many acknowledged illegitimate children of King Charles II; Lieutenant-General George FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Northumberland, KG, PC (1665-1716), the third and youngest illegitimate son of...
Another 49 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Fitzroy Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Fitzroy migration to the United States +

Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Fitzroy or a variant listed above:

Fitzroy Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James Fitzroy, who arrived in America in 1810 [3]

New Zealand Fitzroy 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:

Fitzroy Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Robert Fitzroy, who landed in New Zealand in 1843

Contemporary Notables of the name Fitzroy (post 1700) +

  • Charles FitzRoy (1683-1757), 2nd Duke of Grafton, Irish and English politician
  • Robert Fitzroy (1805-1865), British naval officer, captain of HMS Beagle, meteorologist, surveyor, hydrographer, and Governor of New Zealand
  • Ann Fortune FitzRoy GCVO JP (1920-2021), Duchess of Grafton, a British courtier, Mistress of the Robes to Queen Elizabeth II from 1967 to 2021, widow of Hugh FitzRoy, 11th Duke of Grafton and grandmother of Henry FitzRoy, 12th Duke of Grafton
  • Edi Fitzroy (1955-2017), stage name of Fitzroy Edwards, a Jamaican reggae singer
  • Charles Augustus FitzRoy (1796-1858), British military officer and Governor of New South Wales
  • Augustus FitzRoy (1735-1811), 3rd Duke of Grafton, British Prime Minister
  • Josceline Fitzroy Bagot (1854-1913), English British Army officer and Conservative politician from Ashtead, Surrey
  • Peter Fitzroy Godber (b. 1922), Kowloon's Deputy District Commissioner of the Royal Hong Kong Police Force
  • Norman Fitzroy Maclean (1902-1990), American author, and professor of English at University of Chicago
  • Fitzroy Ernest Wilson (1951-2021), Jamaican reggae singer, member of the Clarendonians

  1. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, 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) on Facebook