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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


The name Heath has a long Anglo-Saxon heritage. The name comes from when a family lived on a heath, which is an area of level, uncultivated land with poor, coarse, undrained soil and rich deposits of peat or peaty humus. The surname Heath belongs to the class of topographic surnames, which were given to people who resided near physical features such as hills, streams, churches, or types of trees.

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The surname Heath was first found in Durham where it was first listed as Atte-Hethe, Apud Hethe and Del la Hethe in the Rotuli Hundredorum of 1279. [1] The name was denoted for someone who lived on or by a heath, typically filled with heather. [2]

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


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Heath research. Another 159 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1575, 1649, 1501, 1578, 1629, 1664 and 1661 are included under the topic Early Heath History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 85 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Heath Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Heath 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.

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Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Heath, or a variant listed above:

Heath Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • William Heath settled in New England in 1620 later moving to Boston in 1632
  • Thomas Heath, who arrived in Maryland in 1633
  • Issabell Heath, who arrived in Virginia in 1634
  • Isack Heath, aged 50, arrived in New England in 1635
  • Jon Heath, who arrived in Virginia in 1635


Heath Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Robrt Heath, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1700
  • John Heath, who arrived in America in 1764
  • Benjamin Heath, who arrived in America in 1799

Heath Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Edward Heath, aged 44, landed in Connecticut in 1812
  • Joseph Heath, aged 25, arrived in New York in 1812
  • Noble Heath, aged 17, arrived in Maine in 1812
  • Frank Heath, who landed in New York in 1849

Heath Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Ebenezer Heath, who landed in Canada in 1828
  • Morris Heath, who arrived in Canada in 1841

Heath Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Richard Heath, English convict from Warwick, who was transported aboard the "Andromeda" on November 13, 1832, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • George Heath arrived in Holdfast Bay, Australia aboard the ship "Cygnet" in 1836
  • Ann Heath arrived in Holdfast Bay, Australia aboard the ship "Cygnet" in 1836
  • Edward Heath arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Diadem" in 1840
  • Charles Heath, English convict from York, who was transported aboard the "Anson" on September 23, 1843, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia


Heath Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Patrick Heath landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1840
  • J Heath landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1844
  • H A Heath landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1845
  • Sarah Heath arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Cashmere" in 1853
  • William B. Heath arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Queen of Beauty" in 1863


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  • Mr. Hugh Heath (1886-1914), American Second Class Passenger from Chicago, Illinois, United States who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking on May 29th 1914
  • Master John Heath (1911-1914), American Second Class Passenger from Chicago, Illinois, United States who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking on May 29th 1914
  • Benjamin Heath (1704-1766), English classical scholar and bibliophile
  • Thomas Heath (1719-1773), English scientific and mathematical instrument maker
  • Sir Thomas Little Heath (1861-1940), British civil servant, mathematician, classical scholar, historian of ancient Greek mathematics, translator, and mountaineer
  • Mr. Leonard Heath (d. 1941), British Able Bodied Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and died during the sinking
  • Mr. Charles Andrew Heath, British Musician, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking
  • Mr. David Graham Heath, British Able Seaman, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking
  • Mr. Francis Mortimer Heath (d. 1941), British Petty Officer, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and died during the sinking
  • Lieutenant-General Sir Lewis Macclesfield Heath KBE, CB, CIE, DSO, MC (1885-1954), British and Indian Army officer during World War I and World War II

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  • Harrington-Heath Heritage: Ancestors and Descendants (1600-1984) of Oramel Warren Harrington and Martha C. Heath by Ruth Haddox Harrington.
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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: Espere mieux
Motto Translation: Hope for better.

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  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges, A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8)

Other References

  1. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  2. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  3. 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).
  4. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  5. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  6. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  7. 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.
  8. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  9. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  10. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  11. ...

The Heath Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Heath 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 17 May 2016 at 17:52.

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