Homstead History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The present generation of the Homstead family is only the most recent to bear a name that dates back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. Their name comes from having lived near or at a hermit's cell. The surname Homstead is derived from the Old French word ermite, which means hermit, and the Old English word stede, which means place.  
The name may also be an Anglicized form of the German surname Darmstädter, which is derived from the settlement of Darmstadt in Hesse, a former landgraviate of Germany.
Early Origins of the Homstead family
The surname Homstead was first found in Yorkshire where the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 include some of the first listings of the family: Laurencius del Armetsted; Johannes de Armetstede who both held lands there at that time.  
"This has been a Yorkshire surname for five centuries at least." 
Later in Norfolk we found William Armistead, was vicar of Berwick Parva, Norfolk in 1587. 
Early History of the Homstead family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Homstead research. Another 137 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1527, 1618, 1645, 1726, 1676, 1680, 1693, 1696, 1699, 1783, 1845, 1780, 1818, 1812, 1817, 1863 and 1863 are included under the topic Early Homstead History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Homstead Spelling Variations
Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Homstead include Armistead, Armitstead, Armystead, Armstead, Olmstead, Ormstead, Ampstead and many more.
Early Notables of the Homstead family (pre 1700)
Notables of the family at this time include Captain Anthony Armistead (1645-1726), British Justice of the Peace in the British Colony and Dominion of Virginia. He was born in Elizabeth City County, Virginia, the son of William Armistead. He assisted Sir William Berkeley's courts-martial in 1676 to try the Bacon insurgents and was a justice of the peace and Captain of Horse in 1680. He was a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses in 1693, 1696, 1699. He married Hannah Ellyson and had five children; the...
Another 87 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Homstead Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Homstead family
Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Homstead were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records: Joseph Armistead who settled in Savannah, Georgia in 1775; Charity Armstead settled in Maryland in 1774; Hannah Armstead came to New England in 1780; James Olmstead settled in Boston, Massachusetts in 1632.
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: Ever ready
Motto Translation: Always prepared
- Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
- Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- Rye, Walter, A History of Norfolk. London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, 1885. Print