Nurse History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Nurse is one of the names that was brought to England in the wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Nurse family lived in Leicestershire. The name, however, is a reference to Noiers, Normandy, the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066.

Early Origins of the Nurse family

The surname Nurse was first found in Leicestershire where they were Lords of the manor of Knossington, and where they had been granted lands by William the Conqueror for their assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D. At the time of the taking of the Domesday Book survey in 1086, the family was shown with several spellings, de Noiers, de Noies, de Nouuers, Noers, Nourse. The first Lord of the manor was Simon de Noers, and he was succeeded by Robert de Nowers, Lord of the manor of Knossington in 1278.

Early History of the Nurse family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Nurse research. Another 112 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Nurse History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Nurse Spelling Variations

Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Nurse family name include Nourse, Norse, Nurse, Nowers, Noers, Noies and many more.

Early Notables of the Nurse family (pre 1700)

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


United States Nurse migration to the United States +

To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Nurse family to immigrate North America:

Nurse Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Francis Nurse, who settled in Salem, Massachusetts in 1640
  • Susanna Nurse, who arrived in Virginia in 1658 [1]
  • Ann Nurse who settled in Barbados in 1660
  • John Nurse, who settled in Barbados in 1664
  • Joseph Nurse, who settled in Virginia in 1667
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Nurse Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Peter Nurse, who settled in Maryland in 1718
  • Catherine Nurse, who settled in Virginia in 1773
Nurse Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Samuel Osburn Nurse, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1827
  • Samuel Nurse, who landed in Mississippi in 1892 [1]
  • George Robert Nurse, who arrived in Mississippi in 1898 [1]

Canada Nurse migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Nurse Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Bernard Nurse, who settled in St. John's, Newfoundland in 1723 [2]
  • Edward Nurse, who was on record as a fisherman in Petty Harbour, Newfoundland in 1739 [2]
  • Elizabeth Nurse, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1760

New Zealand Nurse 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:

Nurse Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Jane Nurse, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Avalanche" in 1858
  • Mr. William Nurse, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Nourmahal" arriving in Dunedin, Otaga, South Island, New Zealand on 5th May 1858 [3]
  • Miss Mary Nurse, (b. 1840), aged 19, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Roman Emperor" arriving in Lyttlelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 26th January 1860 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Nurse (post 1700) +

  • Godfrey Nurse (1888-1968), American Democrat politician,Presidential Elector for New York, 1932, 1936, 1944; Delegate to New York convention to ratify 21st amendment, 1933; Member of New York Democratic State Committee, 1934 [5]
  • Godfrey Nurse (1888-1968), American Democrat politician, Physician; Surgeon; Presidential Elector for New York, 1932, 1936, 1944; Delegate to New York convention to ratify 21st amendment, 1933; Member of New York Democratic State Committee, 1934 [5]
  • Nick Nurse (b. 1967), American basketball coach
  • Sir Paul Maxime Nurse PRS (b. 1949), British geneticist and cell biologist co-winner of the 2001 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
  • Brigadier Henry Scott Nurse (b. 1896), Australian Inspector-General of Munitions from 1948 to 1950 [6]
  • Brigadier Fred Norman Nurse (b. 1899), Australian Royal Artillery officer, Army Headquarters [7]
  • Phil Nurse (b. 1963), British kickboxer and undefeated European Light Welterweight Champion
  • George Edward Nurse VC (1873-1945), Irish recipient of the Victoria Cross


  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  3. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  4. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  5. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, May 18) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  6. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2011, August 30) Henry Nurse. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Nurse/Henry_Scott/Australia.html
  7. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2011, August 30) Fred Nurse. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Nurse/Fred_Norman/Australia.html


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