Onslow History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient roots of the Onslow family name are in the Anglo-Saxon culture. The name Onslow comes from when the family lived in the settlement of Onslow in the county of Shropshire. The surname Onslow 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 Onslow family

The surname Onslow was first found in Shropshire at Onslow, where the family went "as far back as the time of Richard I., and probably much earlier. The first recorded ancestor is John de Ondeslowe, whose grandson, Waring, was father of 'Roger de Ondelsowe, juxta Shresbury,' whose son Thomas was living in the twelve [year] of Edward II, 1318." [1]

Early History of the Onslow family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Onslow research. Another 170 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1571, 1641, 1660, 1801, 1601, 1664, 1628, 1664, 1622, 1688, 1641, 1685, 1642, 1721, 1654, 1717, 1708, 1710, 1714 and 1715 are included under the topic Early Onslow History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Onslow Spelling Variations

One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Onslow has appeared include Onslow, Onsley and others.

Early Notables of the Onslow family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Sir Richard Onslow (1601-1664), an English politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1628 and 1664, he fought on the Parliamentary side during the English Civil War; and his second son, Sir Arthur Onslow, 1st Baronet (1622-1688), an English politician who...
Another 50 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Onslow Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Onslow migration to the United States +

At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Onslow arrived in North America very early:

Onslow Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Charles Onslow, who settled in New York State in 1728

Australia Onslow migration to Australia +

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

Onslow Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Onslow, (b. 1813), aged 18 who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Camden" on 21st March 1831, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [2]

New Zealand Onslow 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:

Onslow Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • A Onslow, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Northfleet" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand, Via Wellington and Lyttleton in February 1854 [3]
  • T Onslow, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Northfleet" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand, Via Wellington and Lyttleton in February 1854 [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Onslow (post 1700) +

  • Muriel Wheldale Onslow (1880-1932), British biochemist
  • André George Louis Onslow (1784-1853), French composer
  • Cranley Gordon Douglas Onslow KCMG, PC (1926-2001), British politician
  • Admiral Sir Richard George Onslow KCB DSO & Bar DL (1904-1975), British Royal Navy officer
  • Onslow Edgeworth (b. 1915), American actor, known for his role in The Rebel
  • Brigadier-General Onslow Sherburne Rolfe (1895-1985), American Deputy Chief of Staff, Army Forces Far East (1953-1954) [4]
  • Onslow Stearns (1810-1878), American railroad builder and executive


The Onslow 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: Festina lente
Motto Translation: Be quick without impetuosity.


  1. ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
  2. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 2nd December 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/camden
  3. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  4. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2014, March 26) Onslow Rolfe. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Rolfe/Onslow_Sherburne/USA.html


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