Show ContentsIronsyde History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Ironsyde is of Anglo-Saxon origin. It was name for a person who because of his physical characteristics and strength was referred to as iron-side. [1]

"A title of valour, well-known amongst us, from the days of the Saxon Edward, to those of Cromwell's ' Ironsides,' and since, whenever we speak of a robust person." [2] "Old Ironsides" was a nickname of Oliver Cromwell due to the name given to his troopers in the Parliamentarian cavalry.

Early Origins of the Ironsyde family

The surname Ironsyde was first found in Durham where the best-known bearer of this nickname was Edmund II (died 1016), better known as Edmund Ironside, King of England from 23 April to 30 November 1016. He was not expected to be king, but his two older brothers had died, making him the oldest male heir.

He earned his nickname "Ironside" because of his valour in resisting the Danish invasion led by Cnut the Great. Björn Ironside was a legendary king of Sweden who lived sometime in the 9th century.

Early feudal rolls provided the king of the time a method of cataloguing holdings for taxation, but today they provide a glimpse into the wide surname spellings in use at that time. In Lincolnshire, we found Hugh Irinside and Thomas Irensdie listed there in 1297 and later John Irenside was listed as a Freeman or York in 1333. [3]

Further to the north in Scotland, "there is a place Ironside at New Deer, Aberdeenshire, and a farm called Earnside in Moray. At Black Ironside, or Earnside, near Newburgh, Fife, Wallace is said to have gained a victory over the English and drove them out of Fife. The surname most probably originated from the Aberdeenshire place. In the eighteenth century the surname was very common in the district of New Deer. Mage Irynsyd was banished from Aberdeen in 1570, Patrick Irnesyde in Tarnehill was a victim of the Aberdeen witches in 1597, and James Irnesyde, at the old mill of Foveran, was accused in 1627 of being an 'idle and masterless man' " [4]

Early History of the Ironsyde family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ironsyde research. Another 188 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1306, 1260, 1870, 1297, 1333, 1570, 1588, 1671, 1661, 1671, 1588, 1550, 1609, 1550, 1581, 1577, 1580, 1581, 1632, 1701, 1667, 1692, 1632, 1650, 1652, 1655, 1664, 1666, 1671 and 1683 are included under the topic Early Ironsyde History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ironsyde Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Ironsyde have been found, including Ironside, Earnside and others.

Early Notables of the Ironsyde family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Gilbert Ironside the Elder (1588-1671), Bishop of Bristol (1661-1671.) He was the "elder son of Ralph Ironside, by Jane, daughter of William Gilbert, M.A., of Magdalen College, Oxford, superior beadle of arts, was born at Hawkesbury, near Sodbury, Gloucestershire, on 25 Nov. 1588. His father, Ralph Ironside (1550?-1609), born at Houghton-le-Spring, Durham, about 1550, was third son of John Ironside of Houghton-le-Spring (d. 1581); matriculated from St. Edmund Hall, Oxford, 20 Dec. 1577, and graduated B.A. in 1580-1581." [5] His...
Another 87 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ironsyde Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Ironsyde family

Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become powerful new nations. Among early immigrants of the Ironsyde surname to cross the Atlantic and come to North America were: James Ironside, who arrived in Virginia sometime between 1666 and 1667; Christian Ironside, who was banished to America in 1749; Patrick Earnside, who settled in Delaware Bay in 1783.

The Ironsyde 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: In hoc signo vinces
Motto Translation: Under this sign thou shall conquer.

  1. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  5. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print on Facebook