Humphry History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Humphry 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 Humphry family

The surname Humphry 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 in 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 Humphry family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Humphry research. Another 87 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 Humphry History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Humphry Spelling Variations

Compared to other ancient cultures found in the British Isles, the number of Welsh surnames are relatively few, but there are an inordinately large number of spelling variations. These spelling variations began almost as soon as surname usage became common. People could not specify how to spell their own names leaving the specific recording up to the individual scribe or priest. Those recorders would then spell the names as they heard them, causing many different variations. Later, many Welsh names were recorded in English. This transliteration process was extremely imprecise since the Brythonic Celtic language of the Welsh used many sounds the English language was not accustomed to. Finally, some variations occurred by the individual's design: a branch loyalty within a family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations were indicated by spelling variations of one's name. The Humphry name over the years has been spelled Humphreys, Homfray, Humfrey, Humfrie, Humfries, Humfreys, Humphereys, Humphries, Humphrays, Humphray, Humphrey, Humphris, Humphry, Humphryes and many more.

Early Notables of the Humphry 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 Humphry Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Humphry family to Ireland

Some of the Humphry 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 Humphry migration to the United States +

Many people from Wales joined the general migration to North America in the 19th and 20th centuries, searching for land, work, and freedom. Like the many other immigrants from the British Isles, they made a significant contribution to the development of Canada and the United States. The Welsh and their descendents added a rich cultural tradition to the newly developed towns, cities, and villages. An investigation of the immigration and passenger lists has revealed a number of people bearing the name Humphry:

Humphry Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Humphry, who arrived in Virginia in 1636 [6]
  • Jon Humphry, who arrived in Virginia in 1638 [6]
  • Jone Humphry, who landed in Virginia in 1652 [6]
  • William Humphry, who landed in Virginia in 1652 [6]
  • James Humphry, who landed in Virginia in 1653 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Humphry Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Soloman Humphry, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1740 [6]
Humphry Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Moses Chamb Humphry, aged 25, who landed in New York in 1812 [6]
  • Ell Humphry, aged 25, who arrived in Key West, Fla in 1843 [6]
Humphry Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Mr. William Humphry, (b. 1881), aged 24, Cornish miner from Penzance, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "St Paul" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 25th June 1905 en route to Calumet, Michigan, USA [7]

Australia Humphry migration to Australia +

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

Humphry Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Susan Humphry, aged 21, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Lord of the Isles" [8]

Contemporary Notables of the name Humphry (post 1700) +

  • Victor Humphry Knipe (b. 1941), South African sociology and history author, winner of the 2006 Independent Publisher Book Award for "Best Historical Fiction"
  • Mr. Humphry Byrd, British sheriff, held the joint position of Sheriff of Nottingham, England from 1541 to 1542
  • Humphry Sandwith (1822-1881), British army physician, born at Bridlington, Yorkshire, eldest son of Humphry Sandwith, surgeon
  • Humphry Waldo Sibthorp (1713-1797), British botanist, Sherardian Professor of Botany at the University of Oxford from 1747 to 1783
  • Humphry Stone Garratt (1898-1974), English cricketer, active in the 1920s
  • Humphry Ditton, English mathematician
  • Humphry Bowen (1929-2001), British botanist and chemist
  • Sir Humphry Davy FRS, MRIA (1778-1829), British chemist and physicist, inventor of the Davy lamp, eponym of the Davy Medal
  • Humphry Fortescue Osmond (1917-2004), British psychiatrist, known for coining the word "psychedelic"


The Humphry 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.


  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. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_ellis_island_1892_on.pdf
  8. ^ South Australian Register Monday 14th August 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Lord of the Isles 1854. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/jamesfernie1854.shtml


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