Nancarrow History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Nancarrow surname is a habitational name taken on from any of several places so named in Cornwall. The place names come from the Cornish words "nans," meaning "valley," and "carow," meaning "a stag."

Early Origins of the Nancarrow family

The surname Nancarrow was first found in Cornwall where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Nancarrow.

"Nancarrow, in [the parish of St. Michael Penkevil], was in ancient times the seat of a family to whom it imparted its own name. This name is still known in Cornwall; but the residents of Nancarrow have long since become extinct. The old mansion which still exists, is inhabited by some of Lord Falmouth's labourers Tregonian or Treganyan, was also in former ages a seat belonging to a family, bearing its own name." [1]

Early History of the Nancarrow family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Nancarrow research. Another 72 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Nancarrow History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Nancarrow Spelling Variations

Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Nancarrow, Nancarro, Nancarroe, Nancarrowe and many more.

Early Notables of the Nancarrow family (pre 1700)

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


Canada Nancarrow migration to Canada +

An examination into the immigration and passenger lists has discovered a number of people bearing the name Nancarrow:

Nancarrow Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Walter Nancarrow, age 5, who was recorded in the census of Ontario, Canada of 1871

Australia Nancarrow migration to Australia +

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

Nancarrow Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Robert Nancarrow, (b. 1821), aged 27, Cornish farm labourer from Grampound, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "Thetis" arriving in New South Wales, Australia on 27th May 1848 [2]
  • Mrs. Mary Nancarrow, (b. 1822), aged 26, Cornish settler from Tregony, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "Thetis" arriving in New South Wales, Australia on 27th May 1848 [2]
  • Miss Fanny Nancarrow, (b. 1844), aged 4, Cornish settler from Grampound, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "Thetis" arriving in New South Wales, Australia on 27th May 1848 [2]
  • Miss Jane Nancarrow, (b. 1846), aged 2, Cornish settler from Grampound, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "Thetis" arriving in New South Wales, Australia on 27th May 1848 [2]
  • Mr. Henry Nancarrow, (b. 1809), aged 39, Cornish sawyer from Ludgvan, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "Equestrian" arriving in New South Wales, Australia on 16th July 1848 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Nancarrow migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Nancarrow Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mrs. Ellen Nancarrow, (b. 1843), aged 23, Cornish settler departing on 4th May 1866 aboard the ship "Bombay" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 18th August 1866 [3]
  • Mr. James Nancarrow, (b. 1840), aged 26, Cornish labourer departing on 4th May 1866 aboard the ship "Bombay" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 18th August 1866 [3]
  • Mr. John T. Nancarrow, (b. 1865), aged 10 months, Cornish settler departing on 4th May 1866 aboard the ship "Bombay" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 18th August 1866 [3]
  • Mr. Michael Nancarrow, (b. 1844), aged 22, Cornish blacksmith departing on 4th May 1866 aboard the ship "Bombay" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 18th August 1866 [3]
  • Mrs. Isabella Nancarrow, (b. 1851), aged 23, Cornish settler departing on 29th October 1874 aboard the ship "Invererne" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 29th January 1875 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Nancarrow (post 1700) +

  • Conlon Nancarrow (1921-1997), American composer from Texarkana, Arkansas
  • S. N. Nancarrow, American politician, Mayor of Texarkana, Arkansas, 1927-31
  • Cam Nancarrow (b. 1945), Australian former squash player from Sydney

RMS Titanic
  • Mr. William Henry Nancarrow (d. 1912), aged 33, English Third Class passenger from St Austell, Cornwall who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [5]


  1. ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  2. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, May 30). Ships' Passenger Lists of Arrivals in New South Wales on (1828 - 1842, 1848 - 1849) [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_nsw_1838_on.pdf
  3. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to Lyttelton 1858-84 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/new_zealand_assisted.pdf
  4. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to Auckland 1872-80 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/new_zealand_assisted.pdf
  5. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


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