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 of England in 1066, Moretemer, in the Seine-Maritime region of Normandy.  Mortemer derives from the Old French "mort," meaning "dead," and "mer," meaning "sea."
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.
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." 
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, Australia, 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
Mortimer Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Mortimer Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Mortimer Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
Mortimer Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
Mortimer Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
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.