The Hemphrey surname comes from the Old French personal name
Humfrey, a cognate of the Old German names Hunfrid and Humfrid. This name was originally derived from the Germanic elements "hun," which means "bear cub," and "frid" or "fred," which mean "peace." It was borne by a 9th century saint and Bishop of Therouanne, who was popular among Norman settlers of England.
Early Origins of the Hemphrey family
The surname Hemphrey was first found in Denbighshire
(Welsh: Sir Ddinbych), a historic county in Northeast Wales
created by the Laws in Wales
Act 1536, where they held a family seat
from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy
, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.
Early History of the Hemphrey family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hemphrey research.Another 171 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1069, 1391, 1447, 1714, 1579, 1647, 1674, 1621, 1719, 1662, 1648, 1712, 1701, 1712, 1735 and are included under the topic Early Hemphrey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Hemphrey Spelling Variations
surnames are relatively few in number, but they have an inordinately large number of spelling variations
. There are many factors that explain the preponderance of Welsh
variants, but the earliest is found during the Middle Ages when Welsh
surnames came into use. Scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, which often resulted in a single person's name being inconsistently recorded over his lifetime. The transliteration of Welsh
names into English also accounts for many of the spelling variations: the unique Brythonic Celtic
language of the Welsh
had many sounds the English language was incapable of accurately reproducing. It was also common for members of a same surname to change their names slightly, in order to signify a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations. For all of these reasons, the many spelling variations
of particular Welsh
names are very important. The surname Hemphrey has occasionally been spelled Humphreys, Homfray, Humfrey, Humfrie, Humfries, Humfreys, Humphereys, Humphries, Humphrays, Humphray, Humphrey, Humphris, Humphry, Humphryes and many more.
Early Notables of the Hemphrey family (pre 1700)
Prominent amongst the family during the late Middle Ages was Humphrey (1391-1447), the son of King Henry IV, who was Duke of Gloucester and Earl of Pembroke, and also a patron of letters; Sir William Humphreys, Lord Mayor of London in 1714; William Humfrey (died 1579) English goldsmith and Assay Master... Another 53 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Hemphrey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Hemphrey family to Ireland
Some of the Hemphrey family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 101 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Hemphrey family to the New World and Oceana
migration to North America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries contributed greatly to its rapid development. These migrants were in search of land, work, and freedom. Those Welsh
families that survived the long ocean journey were critical to the development of new industries and factories, and to the quick settlement of land. They also added to an ever-growing rich cultural heritage. A search of the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name Hemphrey: Richard Humfrey, who was one of the settlers left at Roanoke, Virginia in 1584 by Sir Walter Raleigh; John Humfrey, who was on record in Massachusetts in 1629.
The Hemphrey Motto
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: L'homme vrai aime son pays
Motto Translation: The true man loves his country.