Nye History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The origins of the Nye name lie with England's ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. It comes from when the family lived near a river. Nye is a local surname, which belongs to the category of hereditary surnames. There are a variety of types of local surnames, some of which include: topographic surnames, which could be given to a person who lived beside any physical feature, such as a hill, stream, church or type of tree. Habitation names form the other broad category of surnames that were derived from place-names. They were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. Other local names are derived from the names of houses, manors, estates, regions, and entire counties. This surname comes from the Old English phrase, atten (e)ye, which means "at the island." [1] This surname was first found in England in the county of Essex.

Early Origins of the Nye family

The surname Nye was first found in Essex, where they were established early in the medieval period. [2]

Kirby's Quest listed Thoma atte Nye, Somerset, 1 Edward III (during the first year of the reign of King Edward III.) [3]

Early History of the Nye family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Nye research. Another 56 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1207, 1269, 1276, 1315, 1648 and 1719 are included under the topic Early Nye History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Nye Spelling Variations

Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Nye were recorded, including Nye, Nie, Nay, Ney and others.

Early Notables of the Nye family (pre 1700)

Another 30 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Nye Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Nye migration to the United States +

To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Nye family emigrate to North America:

Nye Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Benjamin Nye, who settled in New England in 1635
  • Benjamin Nye, who landed in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1635 [4]
Nye Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Seth W. Nye, who settled in New Orleans in 1822
  • H S Nye, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850 [4]
  • Daniel B, Nye Jr., who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 [4]
  • Francis H Nye, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850 [4]
  • Ann, Daniel B. Nye Jr. and Francis H. Nye settled in San Francisco, California 1850
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Nye Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Gerard F Nye, who arrived in Mississippi in 1905 [4]

Australia Nye migration to Australia +

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

Nye Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Charles Nye, English convict from London, who was transported aboard the "Agamemnon" on April 22, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia [5]
  • Charles Nye, English convict from Sussex, who was transported aboard the "Argyle" on March 5th, 1831, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Nye (post 1700) +

  • William Sanford "Bill" Nye (b. 1955), American science educator, comedian, television host and mechanical engineer, best known as the host of the children's science show Bill Nye the Science Guy (1993-1998)
  • William R. Nye, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York, 1972 [7]
  • William M. Nye, American Republican politician, Member of Wisconsin State Assembly, 1887 [7]
  • William C. Nye, American politician, Member of Massachusetts State House of Representatives from New Bedford; Elected 1828, 1829, 1831 [7]
  • William A. Nye, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Massachusetts, 1912 [7]
  • Willard Nye, American politician, Member of Massachusetts State House of Representatives from New Bedford; Elected 1846, 1853; Mayor of New Bedford, Massachusetts, 1859 [7]
  • Wilfred H. Nye (b. 1873), American Democrat politician, Candidate for Connecticut State House of Representatives from North Stonington, 1906, 1910, 1934 [7]
  • Wallace George Nye (1859-1926), American Republican politician, Pharmacist; Mayor of Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1913-17 [7]
  • Walter A. Nye, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Rhode Island, 1924 [7]
  • Thomas Nye Jr., American politician, Member of Massachusetts State House of Representatives from New Bedford; Elected 1847 [7]
  • ... (Another 49 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Joseph Albert Nye (b. 1897), English Leading Steward from England, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and died in the sinking [8]
RMS Titanic
  • Mrs. Elizabeth Nye, (née Ramell), aged 29, American Second Class passenger from East Orange, New Jersey who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping on life boat 11 [9]
USS Arizona
  • Mr. Frank Erskine Nye, American Seaman First Class from California, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [10]


Suggested Readings for the name Nye +

  • 2750 A Genealogy of American Nyes of English Origin by Luther Bertram Nye.

  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  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. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Agamemnon voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1820 with 179 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/agamemnon/1820
  6. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2015, January 8) Argyle voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1831 with 251 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/argyle/1831
  7. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, May 18) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  8. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  9. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html
  10. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from http://pearl-harbor.com/arizona/casualtylist.html


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