Humphrey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Humphrey 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. [1]

Early Origins of the Humphrey family

The surname Humphrey was first found in the Domesday Book of 1086 where early Latin forms of the name were first used: Hunfridus, Humfridus. [2]

Many records at this time were a mixture of Latin and Old English. Humfridus was recorded in Suffolk in 1186-1188, but by the 13th century, records were often in English as seen by William Humfrey who was recorded in Bedfordshire c. 1240. William Humfray, Umfrey was found in the Assize Rolls for Staffordshire in 1293 and a few years later, Roger Houmfrey was recorded in 1311. [3]

The name is "rarely found north of a line drawn from the Wash to the Dee. Humphrey is confined to the eastern half of the area, in Berks, Norfolk, Surrey, Sussex, etc. Humphreys characterizes the western half, being most numerous in North Wales, and after that in Shropshire, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, etc. Both are rare or absent in the four south - western counties." [4]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 had mixed entries for name as a forename and a surname in a wide variety of spellings: John Hunfray, Oxfordshire; Henry filius Umfridi, Oxfordshire; Peter Umfry, Oxfordshire; Umfrey le Gerische, Oxfordshire; and Richard Humfrey, Oxfordshire. [5]

Early History of the Humphrey family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Humphrey research. Another 86 words (6 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 Humphrey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Humphrey Spelling Variations

Welsh 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 Humphrey 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 Humphrey 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 to...
Another 52 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Humphrey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Humphrey family to Ireland

Some of the Humphrey family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 57 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Humphrey migration to the United States +

In the 1800s and 1900s, many Welsh families left for North America, in search of land, work, and freedom. Those who made the trip successfully helped contribute to the growth of industry, commerce, and the cultural heritage of both Canada and the United States. In the immigration and passenger lists were a number of people bearing the name Humphrey

Humphrey Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Humphrey, who settled in Salem in 1634
  • Amey Humphrey, who landed in Virginia in 1634 [6]
  • John Humphrey (c. 1597–1661), an English Puritan from Dorset who, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1634, not before being Deputy Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony (1629-1630)
  • Jonas Humphrey, who landed in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1639 [6]
  • Michael Humphrey, who landed in Connecticut in 1642 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Humphrey Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Joseph Humphrey, who arrived in Virginia in 1706 [6]
  • Evan Humphrey, who arrived in Virginia in 1710 [6]
  • Jane Humphrey, who landed in New England in 1719 [6]
  • Jennet Humphrey, who landed in New England in 1719 [6]
  • William Humphrey, who landed in New England in 1719 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Humphrey Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Alex Humphrey, who landed in New York, NY in 1812 [6]
  • Sarah Humphrey, aged 14, who arrived in New York in 1862 [6]

Canada Humphrey migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Humphrey Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. John Humphrey U.E. who arrived at Port Roseway [Shelburne], Nova Scotia on December 13, 1783 was passenger number 395 aboard the ship "HMS Clinton", picked up on November 14, 1783 at East River, New York he stayed in New Brunswick and was part of the Cape Ann Association [7]
  • Mrs. Racheal Humphrey U.E. who arrived at Port Roseway [Shelburne], Nova Scotia on December 13, 1783 was passenger number 495 aboard the ship "HMS Clinton", picked up on November 14, 1783 at East River, New York he stayed in New Brunswick and was part of the Cape Ann Association [7]
  • Mr. Nicholas Humphrey U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784 [7]
  • Mr. Thomas Humphrey U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784 [7]
  • Mr. William Humphrey U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Humphrey migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Humphrey Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • George Humphrey, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Phoebe" in 1846 [8]
  • Henry Humphrey, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Phoebe" in 1846 [8]
  • Thomas Humphrey, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Phoebe" in 1846 [8]
  • Joseph Humphrey, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Cressy" in 1847 [9]
  • Mary Humphrey, aged 30, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Hyderabad" [10]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Humphrey 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:

Humphrey Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • George Humphrey, aged 20, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Westminster" in 1843
  • Mr. John Humphrey, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Evening Star" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand in 1858 [11]
  • John E. Humphrey, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Nimroud" in 1864
  • Charles Humphrey, aged 36, a farm labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Woodlark" in 1874
  • Catherine Humphrey, aged 34, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Woodlark" in 1874
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Humphrey (post 1700) +

  • Percy Gaston Humphrey (1905-1995), American jazz trumpet player and bandleader, leader of the Eureka Brass Band
  • Barbara Ann "Bobbi" Humphrey (b. 1950), American jazz flautist and singer
  • Doris Batcheller Humphrey (1895-1958), American dancer and choreographer, active in the early 1900s
  • Ryan Ashley Humphrey (b. 1979), American professional NBA basketball player
  • Gordon J. Humphrey (b. 1940), American politician, U.S. Senator from New Hampshire (1979-1990)
  • Maud Humphrey (1868-1940), American commercial artist, illustrator and watercolorist and mother of actor Humphrey Bogart
  • Hubert Horatio Humphrey Jr. (1911-1978), American politician, Mayor of Minneapolis, Senator from Minnesota, and 38th US Vice-President (1965-1969)
  • George Magoffin Humphrey (1890-1970), American politician, who was the Secretary of the Treasury (1953-1957)
  • William Dobbyns Humphrey, English prelate, Rector of Great Bealings, Suffolk in 1766
  • Thomas Humphrey (1839-1878), English cricketer
  • ... (Another 4 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Air New Zealand Flight 901
  • Miss Mildred Alice Humphrey (1910-1979), New Zealander passenger, from Orewa, North Island, New Zealand aboard the Air New Zealand Flight 901 for an Antarctic sightseeing flight when it flew into Mount Erebus; she died in the crash [12]
HMS Dorsetshire
  • Albert William Humphrey (d. 1945), British Ordinary Seaman aboard the HMS Dorsetshire when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he died in the sinking [13]
HMS Hood
  • Mr. Michael S T Humphrey (b. 1919), English Lieutenant (E) serving for the Royal Navy from St Helena, South Atlantic, Crown Colony time, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [14]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. W F Humphrey, British Lieutenant Commander, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [15]


The Humphrey 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.


Suggested Readings for the name Humphrey +

  • 324 "The Marlett Family in Southeast, Midwest, and Southwest United States, With Connections to the Ball, Humphries, Hope, and Cross Families" by Nadeen Cross Marlett, "That Humphrey Family and Others" by Donna Humphrey Metzger, "Fundy Family (also Humphrey)" by William Henry Irving.

  1. ^ Dixon, Bernard Homer, Surnames. London: John Wilson and son, 1857. Print
  2. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  5. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  6. ^ 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)
  7. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  8. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) PHEOBE/PHOEBE 1845. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1846Phoebe.htm
  9. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) CRESSY 1847. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1847Cressy.htm
  10. ^ South Australian Register Wednesday 15th March 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Hyderabad 1854. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/hyderabad1854.shtml.
  11. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  12. ^ Mount Erebus, Memorial, Roll of Remembrance (Retrieved 2018, February 21st). Retrieved from http://www.erebus.co.nz/memorialandawards/rollofremembrance.aspx
  13. ^ Force Z Survivors HMS Dorsetshire Crew List, (Retrieved 2018, February 13th), https://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listdorsetshirecrew.html
  14. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  15. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html


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