Mortimor History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
We must look to France for the early origins of the name Mortimor. 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."
Early Origins of the Mortimor family
The surname Mortimor was first found in Herefordshire where Ranulph de Mortimer (before 1070), who accompanied William the Conqueror was granted Wigmore Castle. The family 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." 
Early History of the Mortimor family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Mortimor research. Another 192 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1328, 1827, 1287, 1330, 1321, 1324, 1328, 1360, 1352, 1381, 1374, 1398, 1376, 1409, 1390 and 1411 are included under the topic Early Mortimor History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Mortimor Spelling Variations
The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries. For that reason, spelling variations are common among many Anglo-Norman names. The shape of the English language was frequently changed with the introduction of elements of Norman French, Latin, and other European languages; even the spelling of literate people's names were subsequently modified. Mortimor has been recorded under many different variations, including Mortimer, Mortimor and others.
Early Notables of the Mortimor family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Roger Mortimer, 1st Earl of March (c.1287-1330), an English nobleman in the Welsh marches, who surrendered to Edward II in 1321, and escaped from the Tower of London in 1324; and his son, Sir Roger de Mortimer, 2nd Earl of March, 4th Baron Mortimer, KG (1328-1360), an English nobleman and military commander during the Hundred Years' War; and his son, Edmund de Mortimer, 3rd Earl of March and jure uxoris Earl of Ulster (1352-1381); and his son, and Roger de Mortimer...
Another 88 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Mortimor Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Mortimor family
To escape the uncertainty of the political and religious uncertainty found in England, many English families boarded ships at great expense to sail for the colonies held by Britain. The passages were expensive, though, and the boats were unsafe, overcrowded, and ridden with disease. Those who were hardy and lucky enough to make the passage intact were rewarded with land, opportunity, and social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families went on to be important contributors to the young nations of Canada and the United States where they settled. Mortimors were some of the first of the immigrants to arrive in North America: John Mortimore, who came to Virginia in 1663; James Mortimer, who came to Pennsylvania in 1696; Margaret Mortimer, who came to Pennsylvania in 1683; George Mortimore, who arrived in Jamaica in 1716.
Related Stories +
- ^ 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)