Peters History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The earliest origins of the Peters surname lie with the name of an ancestor. The name is derived from the personal name Peter. This is derived from the Latin name Petrus, which in turn comes from the Greek name Petros. The word "petros" means "rock" or "stone." Peter was an extremely popular personal name in medieval Europe since it was the name conferred by Christ upon the apostle Simon bar Jonah. He became St. Peter and is regarded as the founding figure of the Christian Church.

One of the first records of the name was perhaps the most important, that of Peter (died 1085), Bishop of Lichfield, Chaplain of William I, and custodian of the see of Lincoln in 1066. "In 1076 Peter was sent by Lanfranc to assist the archbishop of York in certain consecrations ( Anglo-Saxon Chronicles) In 1085 he died, and was buried at Chester, being the only bishop of the earlier foundation who was buried there." [1]

Peter of Blois ( fl. 1190) was Archdeacon of Bath and a noted author. He was born at Blois, France but his family was one of the noble families of Brittany.

Early Origins of the Peters family

The surname Peters was first found in Lincolnshire, where a bearer of Petrus was on record in the Domesday Book of 1086. Interestingly, Petrus (died 606) was the first abbot of St. Augustine's Abbey, Canterbury, and was both a monk and a priest. He was one of the companions of St. Augustine on his mission to England in 596. [1]

Geoffrey FitzPeter, Earl of Essex (d. 1213), younger brother of Simon Fitzpeter, Sheriff of Northamptonshire, Buckinghamshire, and Bedfordshire in the reign of Henry II, was Marshal in 1165, and Justice-Itinerant in Bedfordshire in 1163. [1]

Peter des Roches (died 1238) was Bishop of Winchester who served under Richard I in his wars as knight and clerk, and became one of his chamberlains. A native of Poitou, France, he later served King John and was embroiled in the king's conflicts with Innocent III. [1]

Other early records include Ralph Peter listed in the Pipe Rolls in Hertfordshire in 1195; Luke Petre listed in London in 1282 and a William Petres listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Somerset of 1327. [2]

Another branch of the family was established in early days at West Horndon in Essex. "This parish, in ancient documents called Thorndon, and Little Horndon, is remarkable for the splendid mansion of Lord Petre, named Thorndon Hall, which is beautifully situated on an eminence, surrounded by an extensive and richly wooded park." [3]

And early records of Padstow, Cornwall listed "the barton of Trenear or Trenarran, was for some time a seat of the family of Peter, whose ancestors, about two bundred years since, came into Cornwall and first settled here; from whence they afterwards removed to Treator; and from thence the elder branch settled at Harlyn, on marrying with the heiress of Michel of that place. Treator has been the abode of this family nearly from the time that they first settled in Cornwall." [4]

Early History of the Peters family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Peters research. Another 205 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1603, 1643, 1645, 1549, 1613, 1582, 1592, 1598, 1660, 1631, 1699, 1505, 1572, 1626, 1684, 1633, 1706, 1688, 1689, 1713, 1695, 1746, 1690, 1774, 1598, 1660, 1654, 1505, 1572, 1672, 1758, 1617, 1690, 1631, 1699, 1602, 1677, 1575, 1637, 1622, 1684, 1599, 1638, 1594, 1662, 1224, 1224 and are included under the topic Early Peters History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Peters Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Peters, Peter, Petre, Petry, FitzPeter and others.

Early Notables of the Peters family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include John Petre, 1st Baron Petre (1549-1613), Lord-Lieutenant of Essex; Gerard Peeters ( fl. 1582-1592), an English author, educated at Westminster School, elected scholar of Trinity College, Cambridge; Hugh Peters (or Peter) (1598-1660), an English preacher in Essex; Edward Petre (1631-1699), English Jesuit and privy councillor, a close adviser to King James II; Sir William Petre (c.1505-1572), an Oxford lawyer; William Petre, 4th Baron Petre (1626 -1684), an English peer, victim of the Popish Plot; Thomas Petre, 6th Baron Petre (1633-1706), Lord Lieutenant of Essex in 1688; Robert Petre, 7th Baron Petre (1689-1713), a British peer. Charles Peters...
Another 172 words (12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Peters Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Peters family to Ireland

Some of the Peters family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 107 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Peters migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Peters Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Edmond Peters, who arrived in Virginia in 1654 [5]
  • Andrew Peters, who arrived in Virginia in 1664 [5]
  • Augustine Peters, who arrived in Maryland in 1668 [5]
  • Ann Peters, who landed in Maryland in 1679 [5]
Peters Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Frans Henrig Peters, who landed in New York in 1709 [5]
  • Charles Peters, who arrived in Virginia in 1718 [5]
  • David Peters, who settled in Georgia with his wife Eleanor and four children in 1733
  • Arnold Peters, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1772 [5]
Peters Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Christjan Heinrich Peters, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1806 [5]
  • Benjamin L Peters, aged 22, who arrived in New York in 1812 [5]
  • Ernst Heinr Peters, who arrived in Baltimore, Maryland in 1836 [5]
  • Cath Elis Peters, who landed in America in 1840 [5]
  • Anton Jos Peters, who landed in America in 1843 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Peters migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Peters Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Samuel Peters U.E. (b. 1712) who arrived in New Brunswick c. 1783 was transported aboard the ship "Mercury" married with 1 child, he died in 1788 [6]
  • Mr. Thomas Peters U.E. (b. 1749) from Dutchess County, New York, USA who settled in Fredericton, New Brunswick c. 1784 married to Susannah having 6 children, he died in 1813 [6]
  • Mr. William Peters U.E. who settled in Parr Town, Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 he died in 1835 in Woodstock, New Brunswick [6]
  • Mr. William Peters U.E. who settled in Kings County, New Brunswick c. 1784 he died in 1805 [6]
  • Mr. Andrew Peters U.E. who settled in St. Andrews, Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1784 member of the Cape Ann Association [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Peters Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Philip Peters, aged 1 year & 6 months who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Araminta" departing from the port of Araminta, Liverpool but died on Grosse Isle in August 1847 [7]
  • Franz Peters, who arrived in Manitoba in 1875
  • Aaron Peters, who landed in Manitoba in 1875
  • Agatha Peters, who arrived in Manitoba in 1875
  • Claus Peters, who arrived in Manitoba in 1875
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Peters migration to Australia +

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

Peters Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Robert Peters, a chair-maker, who arrived in New South Wales, Australia sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Thomas Peters, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Andromeda" on November 13, 1832, settling in New South Wales, Australia [8]
  • Mr. Thomas Peters, British Convict who was convicted in Lancaster, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Asia" on 20th July 1837, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [9]
  • Robert Peters, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lloyds" in 1838 [10]
  • Mr. Henry Peters, Cornish butcher who immigrated to New South Wales, Australia aboard the ship "Surrey" in 1834 convicted at Sydney Gaol on 23rd January 1839 [11]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Peters 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:

Peters Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • James Peters, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alma" in 1857
  • Harriet Peters, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alma" in 1857
  • Martha Peters, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alma" in 1857
  • Hannah Peters, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alma" in 1857
  • Mr. George Peters, (b. 1837), aged 21, British collar maker travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Indiana" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 28th November 1858 [12]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Peters (post 1700) +

  • Fred Peters (1923-2018), American animator and comics artist from Oklahoma, known for his work with Disney on numerous Pluto cartoons
  • Nick Anthony Peters (1939-2015), American baseball writer, known for his coverage of the San Francisco Giants, recipient of the J. G. Taylor Spink Award (2009)
  • Mitchell Peters (1935-2017), American principal timpanist and percussionist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Roberta Peters (1930-2017), American opera singer who sang all major coloratura roles at the Met
  • Marjorie L. Peters (1918-2016), nicknamed "Little Mac"or "Pete," an American All-American Girls Professional Baseball League pitcher who played from 1943 through 1944 for the Rockford Peaches
  • Henry J. "Hank" Peters (1924-2015), American baseball executive, Kansas City Athletics General Manager in 1965, Baltimore Orioles General Manager (1975-1987), Cleveland Indians President (1987-1992)
  • Dan Peters (1954-2014), American basketball coach
  • Robert Louis Peters (1924-2014), American poet, critic, scholar, playwright, editor, and actor
  • Christian August Friedrich Peters (1806-1880), German astronomer, father of astronomer Carl Friedrich Wilhelm Peters
  • Ivan Augustus Murrell Peters (1943-2006), American outfielder in Major League Baseball
  • ... (Another 29 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Bismarck
  • Walter Peters (1919-1941), German Maschinenobergefreiter who served aboard the German Battleship Bismarck during World War II when it was sunk heading to France; he died in the sinking [13]
  • Otto Peters (b. 1919), German Maschinenobergefreiter who served aboard the German Battleship Bismarck during World War II when it was sunk heading to France; he survived the sinking [13]
HMAS Sydney II
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Henry Peters, British Electrical, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and died in the sinking [15]
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Alfred Peters, British Stoker 1st Class, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [16]
  • Mr. Richard Edwin Peters, British Marine, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [16]
HMS Royal Oak
  • George Peters (1922-1939), born in Sandown, Isle of Wight, England, British Boy 1st Class with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [17]
  • Edward Robertson Peters (1907-1939), born in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England, British Petty Officer Stoker with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [17]
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. William Chapman Peters, aged 26, English Able Seaman from Woolston, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping on life boat 9 [18]
  • Miss Catherine "Katie" Peters (d. 1912), aged 26, Irish Third Class passenger from Cahir, Tipperary who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [18]


The Peters 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: Invidia major
Motto Translation: Superior to envy.


Suggested Readings for the name Peters +

  • 27 Genealogical Chronology of John Peter Snyder, 1729-1807, and his Wife Mary Catharine Elizabeth (Stentz) Snyder, 1739-1782 and their Descendants by Howard W. Stentz, Some Ancestors and Descendants of John Frederick Peters and his Wife Mary Louise Moses of Hoosick Falls, new York by Dorothy Rudd DuMond.

  1. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  5. ^ 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)
  6. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  7. ^ 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. 51)
  8. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 27) Andromeda voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1832 with 186 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/andromeda/1832
  9. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 7th February 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1837
  10. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) LLOYDS from London 1838. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1838Lloyds.htm
  11. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retreived 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_nsw_gaol_admissions.pdf
  12. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  13. ^ Bismarck & Tirpitz Class - Crew List Bismarck. (Retrieved 2018, February 06). Retrieved from https://www.bismarck-class.dk/bismarck/crew/bismarck_crew.html#crew_details
  14. ^ HMAS Sydney II, Finding Sydney Foundation - Roll of Honour. (Retrieved 2014, April 24) . Retrieved from http://www.findingsydney.com/roll.asp
  15. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  16. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html
  17. ^ 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
  18. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


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