Show ContentsNeedham History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Needham is part of the ancient legacy of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It is a product of when the family lived in one of the places called Needham in the counties of Derbyshire, Norfolk and Suffolk. The surname Needham belongs to the large category of Anglo-Saxon habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.

Early Origins of the Needham family

The surname Needham was first found in Derbyshire at Alvaston, a chapelry, in the parish of St. Michael, Derby, union of Shardlow, hundred of Morleston and Litchurch. " In 1547 [the manor of Alvaston] was granted to the Needham family, from whom it passed to various hands." [1]

Early History of the Needham family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Needham research. Another 104 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1506, 1461, 1631, 1625, 1620 and 1678 are included under the topic Early Needham History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Needham Spelling Variations

The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Needham has been spelled many different ways, including Needham, Nedham and others.

Early Notables of the Needham family (pre 1700)

Another 47 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Needham Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Needham Ranking

In the United States, the name Needham is the 2,969th most popular surname with an estimated 9,948 people with that name. [2] However, in the United Kingdom, the name Needham is ranked the 758th most popular surname with an estimated 8,819 people with that name. [3]

Ireland Migration of the Needham family to Ireland

Some of the Needham family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Needham migration to the United States +

Thousands of English families in this era began to emigrate the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. Although the passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe, those who made the voyage safely were rewarded with opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Needhams to arrive in North America:

Needham Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Needham, who arrived in Virginia in 1621 [4]
  • Mrs. Anne Needham who arrived in Salem, Massachusetts in 1630 aboard the ship "Ambrose" as part of the Winthrop Fleet
  • Thomas Needham, who arrived in Virginia in 1635
  • Thomas Needham, Jr. aged 13, who landed in Virginia in 1635 [4]
  • Thomas Needham, who arrived in Virginia in 1639 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Needham Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • William Needham, who arrived in Virginia in 1714 [4]
Needham Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Needham, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1806 [4]
  • Valient Needham, Irish settler, who landed in New York, NY in 1811 [4]
  • Eliza Needham, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811 [4]
  • Catherine Needham, who landed in New York, NY in 1811 [4]
  • D Needham, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Needham migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Needham Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Peter Needham, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749
Needham Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Eliza Needham, who arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1811
  • Eliza Needham, who landed in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1811
  • Mr. Patrick Needham, aged 35 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Bee" departing 17th April 1847 from Cork, Ireland; the ship arrived on 12th June 1847 but he died on board [5]
Needham Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • F Needham, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1907

Australia Needham migration to Australia +

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

Needham Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Needham Robinson, English convict who was convicted in Lancashire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Baring" in April 1815, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [6]
  • Frederick Needham, English convict from Leicester, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on September 21, 1826, settling in New South Wales, Australia [7]
  • Mr. John Needham, English convict who was convicted in London, England for 10 years, transported aboard the "Egyptian" on 5th April 1839, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [8]
  • Mr. Charles Needham, English convict who was convicted in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Equestrian" on 25th January 1844, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Island) [9]
  • Emma Needham, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Harpley" in 1848 [10]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Needham 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:

Needham Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Needham, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Nourmahal" arriving in Dunedin, Otaga, South Island, New Zealand on 5th May 1858 [11]
  • Martin Needham, aged 28, a labourer, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Reiherstieg" in 1864

Contemporary Notables of the name Needham (post 1700) +

  • Hal Needham (1931-2013), American film director, actor, and writer, recipient of the Governors Award by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences in 2012, who wrote the screenplay Smokey and the Bandit
  • James Carson Needham (1864-1942), American politician, U.S. Representative from California
  • Mabel A. Needham, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from New York, 1924 [12]
  • Jasper Needham, American politician, Representative from Missouri 11th District, 1888 [12]
  • James Carson Needham (1864-1942), American Republican politician, Candidate for California State Senate, 1890; U.S. Representative from California, 1899-1913 (7th District 1899-1903, 6th District 1903-13); Superior Court Judge in California, 1919-34 [12]
  • H. Clay Needham, American politician, Prohibition Candidate for U.S. Senator from California, 1922 [12]
  • George G. Needham, American politician, Prohibition Candidate for New York State Senate 9th District, 1893 [12]
  • Elizabeth M. Needham, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Massachusetts, 1928 [12]
  • Edgar Needham, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Kentucky, 1860 [12]
  • Daniel Needham (1822-1895), American politician, Representative from Massachusetts 8th District, 1854; Member of Vermont State House of Representatives from Hartford, 1857-58; 1859-61 [12]
  • ... (Another 11 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Royal Oak
  • Eric Needham (d. 1939), British Signalman with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak (1939) when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [13]
RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. Patrick Needham, English Leading Fireman from England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania (1915) and survived the sinking [14]
  • Mr. John Needham, English Trimmer from England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania (1915) and died in the sinking [14]
  • Mr. Henry E. Needham, American 2nd Class passenger from New York, New York, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania (1915) and survived the sinking [15]


The Needham Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Nunc aut nunquam
Motto Translation: Now or never.


  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  3. ^ https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 91)
  6. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/baring
  7. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Albion voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1826 with 192 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/albion/1826
  8. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 26th January 2022). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/egyptian
  9. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 4th May 2022). https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/equestrian
  10. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The HARPLEY 1848 - PASSENGER LIST. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1848HarpleyPassengerList.htm
  11. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  12. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, February 10) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  13. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html
  14. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 7) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/
  15. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/


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