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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: English, Irish


The roots of the distinguished surname Iris are Old French, the language spoken by the conquerors who came to England in 1066. The name is derived from "Ireis," meaning "Irish," and denotes someone who comes from Ireland.

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The surname Iris was first found in Shropshire, where one of the first records of the family was Sir Adam de Ireys (1070-1117), who accompanied Godfrey of Bouillon on the First Crusade to help take Jerusalem in 1099. As a result of his valiant efforts, he was knighted and granted the right to bear arms. His son Hugh D'Iryshe, born c. 1115 had another son, Edmund D'Iryshe (born c. 1150) who died in Jerusalem in the 3rd Crusade with Richard the Lionhearted and was posthumously awarded the St. George's Cross for his valor. Richard Ireis, was recorded in the Pipe Rolls of Shropshire in 1169. Roger Iryshe (born c. 1120) was Bishop of Carlisle after the death of his older brother, Randolph, who also held the position of Bishop ca. 1220. before him.

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Iris include Irish, Irishe, Ireys, Irysh, Iris and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Iris research. Another 157 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1273 and 1379 are included under the topic Early Iris History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Iris Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Iris family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 109 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants: Jone Irish, who immigrated to Virginia in 1653; John Irish, who sailed to Barbados in 1669; George Irish, who arrived in Bristol, Rhode Island in 1679.

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  1. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  2. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  3. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  4. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  5. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  6. 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).
  7. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  8. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  9. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  10. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  11. ...

The Iris Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Iris Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 19 April 2016 at 08:30.

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