Show ContentsJosephs History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Josephs is a name of Anglo-Saxon origin and came from the baptismal name for the son of Joseph.

"Many of the modern directory Josephs are of Jewish extraction, but there are also a fair number of Josephs who have a purely English descent." [1]

Early Origins of the Josephs family

The surname Josephs was first found in the Domesday Book of 1086 where the Latin form Josephus was recorded. [2] Later in Norfolk, Joseph (no forename) was listed at Holme (1141-1149) and later in Lincolnshire in 1187. In Herefordshire, Umfridus filius Josep was found there in the Curia Regis Rolls of 1205 and then William Joseph was entered in the Pipe Rolls of Hampshire in 1191 and in the Curia Regis Rolls for Suffolk in 1205. [3]

Joseph of Exeter, in Latin Joseph Iscanus (fl. 1190), was a mediæval "Latin poet, was, as he tells us himself, a native of Exeter, being the fellow-townsman and lifelong friend of Baldwin, Archbishop of Canterbury." [4]

Early History of the Josephs family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Josephs research. Another 90 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1191, 1205, 1273, 1754, 1764, 1846, 1764, 1784, 1792, 1788, 1797, 1811, 1812, 1813, 1790, 1850, 1815 and 1811 are included under the topic Early Josephs History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Josephs 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 Josephs have been found, including Joseph, Josephs, Josephson and others.

Early Notables of the Josephs family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include George Francis Joseph (1764-1846), Irish painter. He is said to be a native of Dublin, was born 25 Nov. 1764. He became a student at the Royal Academy in 1784, and in 1792 gained the gold medal for a 'Scene from Coriolanus.' He sent his first contribution to the Academy in 1788, and became a constant exhibitor both there and at the British Institution. In 1797 he painted 'Mrs. Siddons as the Tragic Muse.' In 1811 the directors of the British Institution awarded him one-third of their combined premiums of 350 guineas for his 'Return...
Another 138 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Josephs Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Josephs Ranking

In the United States, the name Josephs is the 12,813rd most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [5]

Ireland Migration of the Josephs family to Ireland

Some of the Josephs family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 31 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Josephs 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 Josephs, or a variant listed above to cross the Atlantic and come to North America were :

Josephs Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Mietzie Josephs, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1791 [6]
Josephs Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Antina Josephs, aged 1, who landed in New York, NY in 1850 [6]
  • E Josephs, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 [6]
  • G Josephs, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850 [6]
  • H Josephs, aged 9, who arrived in New York, NY in 1850 [6]
  • J L Josephs, aged 7, who landed in New York, NY in 1850 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Josephs (post 1700) +

  • Samuel Josephs, American politician, Member of Pennsylvania State House of Representatives from Philadelphia County, 1862-74 [7]
  • Lauri Josephs, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Texas, 1980 [7]

The Josephs 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: Cas ni charo y wlad a'i mago
Motto Translation: Loathed be he that loveth not his native land

  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. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  5. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  6. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  7. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 20) . Retrieved from on Facebook