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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Origins Available: English, French, Welsh

Where did the Welsh Guest family come from? What is the Welsh Guest family crest and coat of arms? When did the Guest family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Guest family history?

The surname Guest was originally formed in the western region of Britain in the country of Wales. This name began as a nickname for a guest or stranger. The surname Guest is derived from the Old English word "gest," which in turn comes from the Old Norse Word "gestr," which means "guest" or "stranger."


Compared to other ancient cultures found in the British Isles, the number of Welsh surnames are relatively few, but there are an inordinately large number of spelling variations. These spelling variations began almost as soon as surname usage became common. Recorders would then spell the names as they heard them, causing many different variations. Later, many Welsh names were recorded in English. This transliteration process was extremely imprecise since the Brythonic Celtic language of the Welsh used many sounds the English language was not accustomed to. Finally, some variations occurred by the individual's design: a branch loyalty within a family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations were indicated by spelling variations of one's name. The Guest name over the years has been spelled Guest, Guests, Jeste and others.

First found in Worcestershire, where they held a family seat from very ancient times.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Guest research. Another 217 words(16 lines of text) covering the years 1248 and 1273 are included under the topic Early Guest History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 113 words(8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Guest Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Guest family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 71 words(5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


The Welsh began to emigrate to North America in the late 1800s and early 1900s in search of land, work, and freedom. Those that arrived helped shape the industry, commerce, and the cultural heritage of both Canada and the United States. The records regarding immigration and passenger show a number of people bearing the name Guest:

Guest Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Elizabeth Guest, who arrived in Maryland in 1637
  • Walter Guest, who arrived in Maryland in 1640
  • Geo Guest, who arrived in Virginia in 1647
  • George Guest purchased landed in Virginia in 1647
  • Anthony Guest made the voyage to Virgnia in 1663

Guest Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Thomas R Guest, aged 21, landed in New York in 1812
  • John Guest, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1840
  • Joseph Guest, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1874

Guest Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Joseph Guest, English convict from Gloucester, who was transported aboard the "America" on April 4, 1829, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • Thomas Guest, aged 38, a farm labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1851 aboard the ship "Marion"
  • Thomas Guest, aged 27, a farm labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1851 aboard the ship "Marion"
  • Eliza Guest, aged 12, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "John Banks"
  • Elizabeth Guest, aged 9, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "John Banks"

Guest Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • John Guest, aged 25, a shoemaker, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ocean Mail" in 1875
  • Emma Guest, aged 22, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ocean Mail" in 1875
  • William Guest, aged 42, a gas stoker, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ionic" in 1884
  • Hannah Guest, aged 42, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ionic" in 1884


  • Judith Guest (b. 1936), American author, best known for her book, "Ordinary People"
  • Edgar Albert Guest (1881-1959), American (English born) prolific poet
  • Barbara Guest (1920-2006), American poet and critic
  • Jim Guest (b. 1940), American aerospace engineer and politician; state representative
  • Lady Charlotte Guest (1812-1895), Welsh historian and translator
  • Edwin Guest (1800-1880), English archaeologist and philologist, one of the founders of the Philological Society (1842)
  • Robert John "Rob" Guest OBE (1950-2008), British-born New Zealand actor and singer
  • Colin Guest (b. 1937), Australian cricketer
  • Harry Guest (b. 1938), British poet
  • Mr. Robert Guest (d. 1912), aged 32, English Third Class passenger from London who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking


  • Guest-Guess, History and Lineage in America by Alta Louise Biggs Martin.
  • Our Guest Is Your Guess: With Related Families of Biss, Jones, Gimbel, and Gist: Including Over One Thousand Surnames by Patricia Ann Guest.

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: Ferro non gladio
Motto Translation: By iron, not by the sword.


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  1. Morgan, T. J. Morgan and Prys Morgan. Welsh Surnames. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1985. Print.
  2. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  3. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  4. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  5. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  6. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  7. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  8. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  9. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  10. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  11. ...

The Guest Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Guest Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 26 November 2014 at 10:48.

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