Show ContentsLangstaff History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of England produced the name of Langstaff. It was given to a person who due to their occupation was given the name of Long staff. This nickname referred to those individuals who worked as a bailiff or an officer of the law who carried a log-staff that acted as a badge of office. [1]

Another source notes that the name could denote a "sergeant, bailiff, catchpoll, or other officer of the law." [2]

Early Origins of the Langstaff family

The surname Langstaff was first found in Westmorland where Richard Langstaff was recorded in the Pipe Rolls of 1210. In the same year, Hugo Longstaf was listed as a Freeman of Leicestershire. [3]

There was only one record of the family in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273, that of William Longstaf in Norfolk. [2] Another William Longstaff was later listed, 20 Edward III (during the twentieth year of King Edward III's reign.) [4]

"Longstaff has been a Darlington, [Durham] name since the reign of James I. (1603-1625)" [5]

Early History of the Langstaff family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Langstaff research. Another 86 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1660 and 1748 are included under the topic Early Langstaff History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Langstaff Spelling Variations

One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Langstaff has appeared include Langstaff, Langstaffe, Longstaff, Longstaffe and others.

Early Notables of the Langstaff family (pre 1700)

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


United States Langstaff migration to the United States +

At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Langstaff arrived in North America very early:

Langstaff Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Henry Langstaff, who settled in New Hampshire in 1630
  • Henry Langstaff, who arrived in New England in 1631 [6]
Langstaff Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Mrs. Lillie Langstaff, (b. 1881), aged 21, Cornish settler, from Penzance, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "Etruria" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 28th September 1902 en route to Nanticoke, Pennsylvania, USA [7]

Australia Langstaff migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Langstaff Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

Contemporary Notables of the name Langstaff (post 1700) +

  • John Langstaff (1774-1865), American settler to Canada who arrived sometime between 1803 to 1808 from Piscataway, Middlesex, New Jersey and founded Langstaff, a former hamlet in an area now known as Richmond Hill
  • John Langstaff (1920-2005), American concert baritone, and early music revivalist
  • Robert Langstaff (b. 1952), Canadian retired professional hockey player
  • Annie MacDonald Langstaff (1887-1975), Canadian law student, legal activist, supporter of women's suffrage and an early woman aviator, born in Alexandria, Ontario, she enrolled at McGill University in 1911, graduating three years later as a Bachelor of Civil Law, but on applying to the Bar of Montreal to practice, she was refused the right to take the examination; she was posthumously admitted to the Montreal Bar in 2006
  • Sir Brian Frederick James Langstaff (b. 1948), British jurist, styled The Hon. Mr Justice Langstaff, a judge of the High Court of England and Wales (2005-2018)
  • James Miles Langstaff (1825-1889), Canadian reeve of Richmond Hill, Ontario, born in Richmond Hill in an area then known as Langstaff Corners.
  • James Henry Langstaff (b. 1956), British Anglican retired bishop, he served as Bishop of Rochester from 2010-2021
  • Susan Langstaff Mitchell (1866-1926), Irish writer and poet, known for her satirical verse
  • James Langstaff Bowman (1879-1951), PC Canadian politician, the first Speaker of the House of Commons of Canada from Manitoba (1935-1936)

Winter Quarters coal mine
  • Mr. George Langstaff (b. 1880), English mine worker from Northumberland residing in Provo, Utah who worked in the Winter Quarters coal mine on 1st May 1900, when 10 of the 25lb kegs of black powder exploded; he died in the explosion [9]
  • Mr. Robert Langstaff (b. 1851), English mine worker from Northumberland residing in Provo, Utah who worked in the Winter Quarters coal mine on 1st May 1900, when 10 of the 25lb kegs of black powder exploded; he died in the explosion [9]


  1. ^ Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges, A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8)
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. ^ Rye, Walter, A History of Norfolk. London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, 1885. Print
  5. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  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. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_ellis_island_1892_on.pdf
  8. ^ Convict Records of Australia (Retreived 18th January 2021, retreived from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/champion)
  9. ^ Miners killed in Winter Quarters (retrieved 28th July 2021). Retrieved from http://www.carbon-utgenweb.com/miners.html


Houseofnames.com on Facebook