Hughs History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the bearers of the Hughs surname were Welsh Brythonic- Celts. However, their name came to Britain with the Norman invasion; Hughs is derived from the Old French personal name Hughe, also spelled Hue. This name was made popular by the exploits of several saints including: St. Hugh of Lincoln (1140-1200), who was born in Burgundy (French: Bourgogne) and established the first Carthusian monastery in England; as well as St. Hugh of Cluny (1024-1109).

Hugh (d. 1094), called of Grantmesnil, or Grentemaisnil, was Baron and Sheriff of Leicestershire, son of Robert of Grantmesnil, in the arrondissement of Lisieux. [1]

Hugh (d. 1098), called of Montgomery, Earl of Shrewsbury and Arundel, second son of Roger of Montgomery, held during his father's lifetime the manor of Worfield in Shropshire. [1]

Early Origins of the Hughs family

The surname Hughs was first found in Carmarthenshire (Welsh: Sir Gaerfyrddin), located in Southwest Wales, one of thirteen historic counties and presently one of the principal area in Wales

Early rolls provide us a glimpse of the spelling variations used at that time. By example, Hugo was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086; Willelmus filius Hugonis was found in Wiltshire in 1084 and Reginaldus le fiz Hugonis was in the Pipe Rolls of Leicestershire from 1195. [2]

Early History of the Hughs family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hughs research. Another 106 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1038, 1518, 1613, 1545, 1553, 1632, 1603, 1667, 1604, 1664, 1654, 1659, 1645, 1719, 1677, 1720 and are included under the topic Early Hughs History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Hughs Spelling Variations

Although there are comparatively few Welsh surnames, they have a great many spelling variations. Variations of Welsh names began almost immediately after their acceptance within Welsh society. In the Middle Ages, it was up to priests and the few other people that recorded names in official documents to decide how to spell the names that they heard. Variations that occurred because of improper recording increased dramatically as the names were later transliterated into English. The Brythonic Celtic language of Wales, known by natives as Cymraeg, featured many highly inflected sounds that could not be properly captured by the English language. Spelling variations were, however, also carried out according to an individual's design: a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations were all indicated by the particular variation of one's name. The spelling variations of the name Hughs have included Hughes, Hugh, Hews, Hughs, Hues, Huse and others.

Early Notables of the Hughs family (pre 1700)

Prominent amongst the family during the late Middle Ages was Owen ap Hugh (1518-1613), of Bodeon, near Llangadwaladr, Anglesey, a Welsh politician, Member of the Parliament for Newborough in 1545; Robert Hues (1553-1632), an English mathematician and geographer; George Hughes (1603-1667), an English Puritan clergyman and writer; Thomas Hughes (1604-1664), a Welsh politician who sat in the House of Commons in 1654...
Another 62 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Hughs Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Hughs family to Ireland

Some of the Hughs family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 84 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Hughs migration to the United States +

Many Welsh joined the great migrations to North America in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Like their Scottish and Irish neighbors, many Welsh families left their homeland hoping to find hope and prosperity in a land that the English did not exercise a tight rule over. Those Welsh immigrants that successfully traveled to North America went on to make significant contributions to the rapid development of both Canada and the United States in terms of the settling of land and the establishment of industry. They also added to the rich cultural heritage of both countries. An examination into the immigration and passenger lists has discovered a number of people bearing the name Hughs:

Hughs Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Ann Hughs, who landed in Virginia in 1624-1625 [3]
  • Robert Hughs, who settled in Virginia in 1638
  • Owen Hughs, who landed in Virginia in 1648 [3]
  • William Hughs, who landed in Virginia in 1651 [3]
  • Anne Hughs, who arrived in Virginia in 1657 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Hughs Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Eliza Hughs, who arrived in Virginia in 1701 [3]
  • Thomas Hughs, who landed in Virginia in 1701-1702 [3]
  • Michael Hughs, who landed in Virginia in 1703 [3]
  • Evan Hughs, who landed in Virginia in 1703 [3]
  • Hugh Hughs, who arrived in Virginia in 1714 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Hughs Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Jonathan Hughs, who landed in America in 1807 [3]
  • Robert Hughs, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811 [3]
  • Patrick Hughs, who arrived in New York, NY in 1817 [3]
  • William Hughs, who arrived in New York, NY in 1825 [3]
  • Martin Hughs, who landed in Tippecanoe County, Ind in 1848 [3]

Canada Hughs migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Hughs Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Jeremy Hughs, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Mary Hughs, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
Hughs Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Bridget Hughs, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1829

New Zealand Hughs 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:

Hughs Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • John Hughs, aged 39, a slater, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Edward P Bouverie" in 1873
  • Sarah Hughs, aged 37, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Edward P Bouverie" in 1873


The Hughs 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: Kymmer-yn Lydeirnon
Motto Translation: Name of the lordship of the family.


  1. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ 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)


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