Irene History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Irene arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Irene family lived in Norfolk. Their name, however, derives from their place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, Airaines, in Somme, France.[1]

Early Origins of the Irene family

The surname Irene was first found in Norfolk where they held a family seat from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in A.D. 1066.

Early History of the Irene family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Irene research. Another 78 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1548, 1576, 1617 and 1578 are included under the topic Early Irene History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Irene Spelling Variations

A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Irons, Kenirons, Hirons, Iron, Hieron and others.

Early Notables of the Irene family (pre 1700)

Another 31 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Irene Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Irene family to Ireland

Some of the Irene 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 Irene family

Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Irene or a variant listed above: Arron Iron settled in New England in 1758; Mathias Irons and his wife, Anne, settled in Salem in 1630; James, John, Joseph, Samuel, and William Irons arrived in Philadelphia in 1868..


Contemporary Notables of the name Irene (post 1700) +

  • Viola Irene Desmond (1914-1965), Canadian Civil Rights Advocate, she was unjustly convicted of a minor tax violation for not leaving a whites-only area of the Roseland Theatre, Nova Scotia in 1946; she was granted a posthumous pardon, the first to be granted in Canada, she will be featured on the $10 Canadian bank note in 2018
  • Nina Irene McClelland (1929-2020), American chemist, Dean Emeritus and professor of chemistry at the University of Toledo
  • Denise Irene Bradley AC (1942-2020), Australian educator, best known for her Bradley Review of Higher Education (2008)
  • Mrs. Patricia Irene Holder B.E.M., British recipient of the British Empire Medal on 8th June 2018, for charitable service to Save the Children [2]
  • Ms. Mary Irene Shead B.E.M., British Volunteer for Neighbourhood Watch and Deputy Chair for Devon and Cornwall Community Watch Association, was appointed Medallist of the British Empire Medal 29th December 2018 for voluntary service to Policing in Devon and Cornwall [3]
  • Ms. Dorothy Irene Curr B.E.M., British recipient Medallist of the British Empire Medal 29th December 2018 for services to Tor and Manor Grange Nursing Homes, Edinburgh [3]
  • Mrs. Judith Irene Fish M.B.E. (b. 1956), British Owner of The Applecross Inn, was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire on 29th December 2018 for services to Tourism in the Highlands and to the community in Applecross, Ross-shire [3]
  • Lieutenant Colonel Audrey Irene Purton OBE (1926-2016), British Deputy Assistant Provost Marshal of the Women’s Royal Army Corps (WRAC) from 1975 to 1982
  • Megan Irene Anwyl (b. 1962), former Australian politician, Member of the Western Australian Legislative Assembly for Kalgoorlie (1996–2001)
  • Lynne Irene Stewart (1939-2017), American defense attorney, known for representing controversial, poor, and often unpopular defendants


  1. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  2. ^ "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62310, 31 October 2019 | London Gazette, The Gazette, June 2018, https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/62310/supplement/B1
  3. ^ "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018, www.thegazette.co.uk/honours-lists


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