Horncaster History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name Horncaster reached English shores for the first time with the ancestors of the Horncaster family as they migrated following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Horncaster family lived in Lincolnshire, as Lords of the Manor of Horncastle, from where they took their name.
Early Origins of the Horncaster family
The surname Horncaster was first found in Lincolnshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Horncastle, anciently known as Horncastre. At the time of the taking of the Domesday Book,  a survey of England initiated by Duke William of Normandy in 1086 A.D., the village of Horncastle was held by the King as overlord and consisted of two Mills and a village. It stands on the site of the original Roman town of Banovallum, which still shows part of the walls and bastions. "Its present name is evidently a corruption of Hyrncastre, as it was denominated by the Saxons; from hyrn, an angle or corner (the town being situated within an angle formed by the confluence of the rivers Bane and Waring), and castrum, a fort or castle. " 
Early History of the Horncaster family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Horncaster research. Another 162 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1120, 1278 and 1650 are included under the topic Early Horncaster History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Horncaster Spelling Variations
Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Horncastle, Horncassell, Horncastell, Horncasle, Horncasell, Horncastre and many more.
Early Notables of the Horncaster family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Horncaster Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Horncaster family to Ireland
Some of the Horncaster 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 and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Horncaster family
Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Horncaster name or one of its variants: Robert Horncasell who landed in North America in 1670; as well as Richard Horncastle, listed in the New York Colonial muster rolls for 1759.
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The Horncaster 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: Audaces fortuna juvat
Motto Translation: Fortune favours the bold.
- ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.