Show ContentsFoot History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The family name Foot is thought to be of Norman origins. Originally, Foot was a name given to a person with remarkable feet. Nicknames were often used to distinguish a person by a noticeable physical characteristic. In this case the trait may have been very large feet, or feet which were deformed in some way. The name was originally derived from the Old English word fot which meant foot. Alternatively, the name could have been derived from a residence, in other words someone who lived at the "foot of a mountain". For the Footman variation, the obvious occupational origin as a soldier in the infantry applies and not as a domestic servant. 1

Early Origins of the Foot family

The surname Foot was first found in Cheshire where Ernui Fot was listed as an undertenant in the Domesday Book. The same reference lists Godwin Fot in Kent so one can presume that the name was polygenetic. 2

Another branch was found in the parish of Calstock in Cornwall. "The manor of Harwood or Harewood, which had been held under the dutchy of Cornwall by the family of Foote about fourscore years, was purchased in fee under the Land-tax Redemption Act in 1798, by John Pierson Foote, Esq. by whom it was sold to Thomas Bewes, Esq. Harewood House, which was built by Mr. Foote, is a handsome building situated about one mile from the church." 3

"Bodanua or Bodannan, [in the parish of St. Enoder, Cornwall] belonged for some time to the Footes of Lambesso, of whom it was purchased by Johnson Vivian, Esq." 3

Early History of the Foot family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Foot research. Another 132 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1450, 1520, 1592, 1646, 1649, 1651, 1652, 1679, 1683, 1687, 1720, 1737, 1744, 1754, 1761, 1766, 1767, 1769, 1777, 1779, 1780, 1781, 1782, 1785, 1797, 1810, 1814, 1826, 1833, 1840 and 1867 are included under the topic Early Foot History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Foot Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence in the eras before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate regularly changed the spellings of their names as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Foot have been found, including Foote, Foot, Fouts and others.

Early Notables of the Foot family

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was

  • Sir Thomas Foote, 1st Baronet (1592-1687), English grocer in London, Sheriff of London in 1646 and Lord Mayor of the City of London in 1649
  • Jesse Foote(1744-1826), the English surgeon, was born at Charlton in Wiltshire in 1744. "He received a medical education in London, becoming a member of the Surgeons' Company, and about 1766 went to t...

Ireland Migration of the Foot family to Ireland

Some of the Foot 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.

United States Foot migration to the United States +

For many English families, the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. For such families, the shores of Ireland, Australia, and the New World beckoned. They left their homeland at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. Many arrived after the long voyage sick, starving, and without a penny. But even those were greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. Numerous English settlers who arrived in the United States and Canada at this time went on to make important contributions to the developing cultures of those countries. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Foot were among those contributors:

Foot Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Richard Foot, who arrived in Maryland in 1657 4
  • Mary Foot, who arrived in Maryland in 1658 4
  • Geo Foot, who landed in Virginia in 1662 4
  • James Foot, who arrived in Maryland in 1665 4
Foot Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Roger Foot, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1712 4
Foot Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Foot, who landed in New York in 1824 4
  • Adam Foot, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1836 4
  • Colonel Foot, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850 4
  • Samuel Foot, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850 4
  • Michael Foot, who landed in Charleston, South Carolina in 1860 4
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Foot migration to Australia +

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

Foot Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Thomas Foot, (b. 1802), aged 29, English labourer who was convicted in Wiltshire, England for 7 years for machine breaking, transported aboard the "Eliza" on 2nd February 1831, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land), he died in 1866 5
  • Mr. Abel Foot, (b. 1809), aged 23 who was convicted in Dorset, England for life, transported aboard the "Circassian" on 4th November 1832, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) 6
  • Mr. Francis Foot, English convict who was convicted in London, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Bengal Merchant" on 24th March 1838, arriving in New South Wales, Australia 7
  • James Foot, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Charles Kerr" in 1840 8
  • Ann Foot, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Charles Kerr" in 1840 8
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Foot 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:

Foot Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Robert Foot, Cornish settler travelling from Launceston aboard the ship "Halcyon" arriving in New Zealand in 1851 9

Contemporary Notables of the name Foot (post 1700) +

  • David Foot (1929-2021), English journalist and historian who wrote extensively on cricket and the West Country
  • Jessie Foot (1744-1826), English surgeon, born at Charlton in Wiltshire 10
  • Michael Mackintosh Foot PC FRSL (1913-2010), English politician, Leader of the Opposition (1980-1983), Leader of the Labour Party (1980-1983), fourth son of Isaac Foot
  • Baron Hugh Mackintosh Foot GCMG KCVO OBE PC (1907-1990), Baron Caradon, English colonial administrator and diplomat, second son of Isaac Foot
  • Sir Dingle Mackintosh Foot (1905-1978), English lawyer and politician, Solicitor General for England and Wales (1964-1967), Member of Parliament for Ipswich (1957-1970), Member of Parliament for Dundee (1931-1945), first son of Isaac Foot
  • Isaac Foot (1880-1960), English politician, Secretary for Mines (1931-1932), Member of Parliament for Bodmin (1922-1924), President of the Liberal Party (1947-1948)
  • Baron John Mackintosh Foot (1909-1999), English lawyer and politician, the third son of Isaac Foot
  • Baron John Foot of Devon,
  • Michael Richard Daniell Foot CBE, TD (1919-2012), British military historian and former British Army intelligence officer

HMS Hood
  • Mr. Charles Foot (b. 1908), English Leading Stoker serving for the Royal Navy from Maiden Newton, Dorsetshire, England, who sailed into battle and died in the HMS Hood sinking 11

  1. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  4. 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)
  5. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 28th February 2022). Retrieved from
  6. Convict Records of Australia. Retrieved 8th February 2021 from
  7. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 13th October 2020). Retrieved from
  8. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) CHARLES KERR 1840. Retrieved from
  9. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from
  10. Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 30 June 2020
  11. H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from on Facebook