Show ContentsIsmay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Ismay is a name of Anglo-Saxon origin and came from the baptismal name Ismay. The surname Ismay referred to the son of Ismay which belongs to the category of metronymic surnames. In Old English, patronyms and matronyms were formed by adding a variety of suffixes to personal names, which changed over time and from place to place. For example, after the Norman Conquest, sunu and sune, which meant son, were the most common patronymic suffixes. In the 12th and 13th centuries, the most common patronymic names included the word filius, which meant son. By the 14th century, the suffix son had replaced these earlier versions. Surnames that were formed with filius or son were more common in the north of England and it was here that the number of individuals without surnames was greatest at this time.

Early Origins of the Ismay family

The surname Ismay was first found in Lancashire where they held a family seat from early times as Lords of the manor, some say before the Norman Conquest of England by Duke William in 1066 A.D.

Early History of the Ismay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ismay research. Another 100 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1275, 1610 and 1952 are included under the topic Early Ismay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ismay 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 Ismay have been found, including Ismaye, Ismay, Ysmay, Ysmaye, Hysmaye, Hyssmay, Hyssmaye, Hismay and many more.

Early Notables of the Ismay family (pre 1700)

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

United States Ismay migration to the United States +

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 for new powerful nations. Among the first immigrants of the name Ismay, or a variant listed above to cross the Atlantic and come to North America were :

Ismay Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • A. Ismay, aged 19, who immigrated to America from Liverpool, in 1893
  • J. Bruce Ismay, aged 32, who immigrated to the United States from Liverpool, in 1897
Ismay Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • James H Ismay, aged 35, who landed in America from London, in 1903
  • Ethel Ismay, aged 30, who landed in America from Eckington, England, in 1908
  • Joseph Bruce Ismay, aged 40, who immigrated to the United States from Liverpool, England, in 1908
  • Julia F. Ismay, aged 39, who landed in America from Liverpool, England, in 1910
  • Geo. Bruce Ismay, aged 7, who immigrated to the United States from Liverpool, England, in 1910
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Ismay (post 1700) +

  • General Hastings Lionel Ismay KG, GCB, CH, DSO, PC (1887-1965), 1st Baron Ismay, British soldier and diplomat, 1st Secretary General of NATO (1952-1957), Winston Churchill's chief military assistant during the Second World War
  • William Alfred Ismay MBE (1910-2001), English librarian, writer and collector
  • Margaret Ismay, English opera singer active in the 1900s
  • Thomas Henry Ismay (1837-1899), English founder of the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company, more commonly known as the White Star Line, father of Joseph Bruce Ismay
  • Kim Ismay (b. 1961), British actress, singer and dancer and a former member of the Royal Shakespeare Company

RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Joseph Bruce Ismay (1862-1937), aged 49, English First Class passenger and Managing Director of the White Star Line of steamships from Liverpool, Merseyside who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping in life boat C [1]

The Ismay 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: Naturae lex processus
Motto Translation: Nature's law proceeds

  1. Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from on Facebook