Halfpenny History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Halfpenny comes from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It was a name for a person who because of his physical characteristics was referred to as Halfpenn. This person had a slim or slight build and was given this surname as a means of identity. The surname may have also local origins, which would explain Halfpenn Field in Cambridgeshire. The residents gave half a penny per acre to repair the Needham Dyke in that county. [1] A bord halfpenny, or brod halfpenny, was a fee paid in markets and fairs by the Saxons to the lord for the privilege of having a bord or bench for the sale of articles.

"Halfpenny is found written Halpeny and Halpeni; and Allpenny and Alpenny are perhaps the same name. " [2]

Early Origins of the Halfpenny family

The surname Halfpenny was first found in Worcestershire where Adam Halpeni was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of 1275. A few years later, Richard Halfpany was found in the Subsidy Rolls for Sussex in 1296. [1]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 included: William Halpeni, Oxfordshire; Richard Halpeny, Oxfordshire; and Walter Halpeni, Devon as all holding lands at that time. [3]

In Somerset, Juliana Halpeny and Robert Halpeny, were listed there 1 Edward III (during the first year of the reign of King Edward I.) [4]

Early History of the Halfpenny family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Halfpenny research. Another 104 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1598, 1729, 1752, 1736, and 1816 are included under the topic Early Halfpenny History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Halfpenny Spelling Variations

Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Halfpenny has undergone many spelling variations, including Halfpenny, Halpin(Limerick), Halpeny(Monaghan), Halpern and many more.

Early Notables of the Halfpenny family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include William Halfpenny, alias Michael Hoare ( fl. 1752), who styles himself architect and carpenter on the title-page of some of his works, appears to have resided at Richmond, Surrey, and in London during the first half of the eighteenth century. " Batty Langley describes him in his ‘Ancient Masonry’ (1736), p. 147, as ‘Mr. William Halfpeny, alias Hoare, lately of Richmond in Surrey, carpenter,’ and seems...
Another 70 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Halfpenny Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Halfpenny family to Ireland

Some of the Halfpenny family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 113 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Halfpenny migration to the United States +

To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. 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 Halfpenny were among those contributors:

Halfpenny Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Eliz Halfpenny, who landed in Virginia in 1664 [5]
  • Thomas Halfpenny, who landed in Maryland in 1677 [5]
Halfpenny Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Mary Halfpenny, who arrived in Virginia in 1702 [5]
  • Robert Halfpenny, who arrived in Annapolis Maryland in 1725
  • Michael Halfpenny, who settled in New England in 1753
Halfpenny Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Peter Thomas Halfpenny, who settled in Norfolk, Virginia in 1823
  • Elisabeth Halfpenny, aged 26, who arrived in New York in 1849 [5]

Canada Halfpenny migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Halfpenny Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Ms. Bridget Halfpenny, aged 26 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Agnes" departing from the port of Cork, Ireland but died on Grosse Isle in July 1847 [6]

Australia Halfpenny migration to Australia +

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

Halfpenny Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Henry Halfpenny, Irish sailor from Belfast who was convicted in County Down, Ireland for life for burglary, transported aboard the "Cambridge" on 2nd June 1827, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [7]
  • Miss Mary Ann Halfpenny, English convict who was convicted in London, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Elizabeth" on 20th June 1836, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [8]
  • Miss Mary Halfpenny, (b. 1805), aged 32, Irish maid who was convicted in County Down, Ireland for 7 years for vagrancy, transported aboard the "Diamond" on 29th November 1837, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [9]
  • Mr. Joseph Halfpenny, English convict who was convicted in Birmingham, England for 10 years, transported aboard the "Eden" on 8th July 1840, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [10]
  • Miss Mary Halfpenny, English house maid who was convicted in Liverpool, Merseyside, England for 10 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Cadet" on 4th September 1847, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [11]

New Zealand Halfpenny 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:

Halfpenny Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • W. Halfpenny, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Midlothian" in 1859
  • Edward Halfpenny, aged 20, a farm labourer, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Durham" in 1873 [12]
  • Arthur George Halfpenny, aged 16, a farm labourer, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Durham" in 1873 [12]

Contemporary Notables of the name Halfpenny (post 1700) +

  • Jim Halfpenny Ph.D.,, American naturalist
  • Joseph Halfpenny (1748-1811), English topographical draughtsman and engraver, born on 9 Oct. 1748, at Bishopsthorpe in Yorkshire
  • Jill Halfpenny (b. 1975), English actress, best known for her roles as Rebecca Hopkins in the British soap opera Coronation Street (1999–2000);
  • Benjamin "Ben" Halfpenny (1906-1966), English professional rugby league footballer of the 1920s and 1930s from Prescot, Lancashire
  • Chelsea Halfpenny (b. 1991), English actress, best known for her role in the ITV soap opera Emmerdale
  • William Halfpenny (1723-1755), English 18th-century architectural designer
  • Stephen Leigh Halfpenny (b. 1988), Welsh rugby footballer who plays as a fullback or wing for the Scarlets, Wales and the British and Irish Lions. in 2013 2nd place in the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards


  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Charnock, Richard, Stephen, Ludus Patronymicus of The Etymology of Curious Surnames. London: Trubner & Co., 60 Paternoster Row, 1868. Print.
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  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. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 31)
  7. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 2nd December 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/cambridge
  8. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 11th March 2022). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/elizabeth
  9. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 1st July 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/Diamond
  10. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 20th October 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/eden
  11. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/cadet/
  12. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 9th November 2011). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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