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An excerpt from 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.


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 c. 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.


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 and printed products wherever possible.


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


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 and printed products wherever possible.

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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    Other References

    1. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
    2. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
    3. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
    4. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
    5. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    6. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
    7. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
    8. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
    9. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
    10. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
    11. ...

    The Iris Family Crest was acquired from the 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 15 July 2016 at 13:47.

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