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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
We must look to France for the early origins of the name Mortimer. For it is here that early records this family descends from Walter, Lord of St. Martin, Normandy
who married a niece of the Duchess Gunnora c. 980. Roger, Sire de Mortimer was a leader of the army of Duke William and helped defeat the French in 1054. His son Roger de Mortimer was a leader at the Battle of Hastings and was granted a great barony for his efforts. From him, descended the Lords Mortimer of Wigmore, Earls of March. The name, however, is a reference to the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest
in 1066, Moretemer, in the Seine-Maritime region of Normandy
Mortemer derives from the Old French "mort," meaning "dead," and "mer," meaning "sea."
The surname Mortimer was first found in Herefordshire
where they were recorded as a family of great antiquity seated as Lords of the manor and estates in that shire. Ranulph de Mortimer (before 1070), accompanied William the Conqueror and was granted Wigmore Castle in Hereford. They became the Lords of Wigmore. The Hundredorum Rolls
of 1273 revealed the following entries: Ralph de Mortimer in Lincolnshire; and Hugh de Mortuomari, and Lucia de Mortuomari in Herefordshire
"The parish [of Woodham-Mortimer], called in some documents Little Woodham, derives its present adjunct from the family of Mortimer, to whom it anciently belonged." 
Some of the family held a family seat
at Attleburgh in Norfolk
in ancient times. "It was anciently the capital of Norfolk
, and the residence of Offa and Edmund, kings of East Anglia; and was subsequently the seat of the Mortimer family, the site of whose baronial hall is still encompassed by a moat. In the reign of Richard II., Robert de Mortimer founded a collegiate establishment, in the church of the Holy Cross, for a warden and four secular priests." 
Some moved up to Scotland
. "The first of the name recorded in Scotland
is probably William de Mortimer who sometime after 1165 witnessed King William the Lion's confirmation of the charter of Philip de Euermel to Neubotel." 
Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence in the eras before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate regularly changed the spellings of their names as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Mortimer have been found, including Mortimer, Mortimor and others.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Mortimer research. Another 383 words (27 lines of text) covering the years 1328, 1827, 1287, 1330, 1321, 1324, 1376, 1409, 1390 and 1411 are included under the topic Early Mortimer History in all our PDF Extended History products
Another 197 words (14 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Mortimer Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
For many English families, the social climate in England
was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. For such families, the shores of Ireland
, and the New World beckoned. They left their homeland at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. Many arrived after the long voyage sick, starving, and without a penny. But even those were greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. Numerous English settlers who arrived in the United States and Canada at this time went on to make important contributions to the developing cultures of those countries. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Mortimer were among those contributors:
Mortimer Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- Tho Mortimer, aged 20, arrived in Virginia in 1635
- Rowland Mortimer, who landed in Virginia in 1639
- Margaret Mortimer, who came to Pennsylvania in 1683
- James Mortimer, who came to Pennsylvania in 1696
Mortimer Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- Alexander Mortimer who settled in Maryland in 1716
- Alexander Mortimer, who landed in Maryland in 1716
- Edward Mortimer, who arrived in Maryland in 1726
- Isabel Mortimer, who was banished to America in 1758
- Robert Mortimer, who settled in Philadelphia in 1773
Mortimer Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- John Mortimer, who landed in America in 1809
- Benjamin Mortimer, aged 45, arrived in New York in 1812
- Charlotte Mortimer, who landed in New York in 1831
- Edmund Mortimer, who arrived in New York in 1831
- Martha Mortimer, who landed in New York in 1831
Mortimer Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
- Alfred G. Mortimer, who emigrated to the United States, in 1903
- Allan L. Mortimer, aged 24, who emigrated to America from Bradford, England, in 1907
- Aileci Mortimer, aged 3, who settled in America from Bradford, England, in 1907
- Alex Mortimer, aged 42, who emigrated to the United States from Aberdeen, Scotland, in 1908
- Alfred James Mortimer, aged 40, who landed in America from Reading, England, in 1908
Mortimer Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
- Richd Mortimer, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749
Mortimer Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
- John Mortimer, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Almorah" on April 1817, settling in New South Wales, Australia
- William Mortimer arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Asia" in 1839
- Hannah Mortimer arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Asia" in 1839
- William Mortimer arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Buckinghamshire" in 1839
- Mary Jane Mortimer arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Buckinghamshire" in 1839
- Gary Mortimer (b. 1967), English aeronaut who holds the South African Hot Air Balloon Altitude record
- Favell Lee Mortimer (1802-1878), born Favell Lee Bevan, an English Evangelical author of educational books for children
- Emily Kathleen A. Mortimer (b. 1971), English actress
- Carole Mortimer (b. 1960), English novelist of over 150 romance novels
- Robert "Bob" Renwick Mortimer (b. 1959), English comedian and actor
- Sir John Clifford Mortimer CBE, QC (1923-2009), English barrister, dramatist, screenwriter and author
- Hugh Roger Mortimer LVO (1949-2016), British diplomat, British Ambassador to Slovenia (2001-2005)
- James Winslow "Win" Mortimer (1919-1998), Canadian comic book and comic strip artist best known as one of the major illustrators of the DC Comics superhero Superman, inductee into Canadian comics' creators Joe Shuster Hall of Fame in 2006
- James Edward Mortimer (1921-2013), British trade unionist, Labour Party General Secretary (1982 to 1985)
- Steve Mortimer OAM (b. 1956), Australian former rugby league halfback
- ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ 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)
- Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
- Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
- Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
- Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
- Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
- Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
- Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
- Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
- The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
- Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
The Mortimer Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Mortimer 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 14 March 2016 at 10:49.
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