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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
Origins Available: English, Welsh
The Phelps surname was derived from the personal names Phelp or Philp, which were pet-forms of the personal name Philip. This name, usually Latinized as Philippus, was originally derived from the Greek name Philippos. This Greek name was composed of the words "philein," which means "to love," and "hippos," which means "horse." The personal name Philip owed its popularity to the medieval romances about Alexander the Great, whose father was Philip of Macedon.
The surname Phelps was first found in Monmouthshire (Welsh: Sir Fynwy), where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.
Although there are not an extremely large number Welsh surnames, there are an inordinately large number of spelling variations of those surnames. This variety of spellings began almost immediately after the acceptance of surnames within Welsh society. As time progressed, these old Brythonic names were eventually were recorded in English. This process was problematic in that many of the highly inflected sounds of the native language of Wales could not be properly captured in English. Some families, however, did decide to modify their own names to indicate a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even a patriotic affiliation. The name Phelps has seen various spelling variations: Phelps, Phellps, Phelpe, Phelpes, Phelphes and others.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Phelps research. Another 199 words (14 lines of text) covering the year 1283 is included under the topic Early Phelps History in all our PDF Extended History products.
More information is included under the topic Early Phelps Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
The Welsh migration to North America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries contributed greatly to its rapid development. These migrants were in search of land, work, and freedom. Those Welsh families that survived the long ocean journey were critical to the development of new industries and factories, and to the quick settlement of land. They also added to an ever-growing rich cultural heritage. A search of the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name Phelps:
Phelps Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- Thomas Phelps, who arrived in Jamestown, Va in 1607
- George, Richard, Nathaniel, Sarah, Samuel, and William Phelps, who all settled in Nantucket, Massachusetts in 1630
- George Phelps, who landed in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1630
- Samuel Phelps, who landed in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1630
- Henry Phelps, who arrived in New England in 1634
Phelps Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- Roger Phelps, who arrived in Virginia in 1714
Phelps Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Lewis Phelps, who landed in Mississippi in 1853
- Andrew Phelps, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1876
Phelps Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
- Mr. Edward Phelps U.E. who settled in Parr Town, Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784
- Mr. Elijah Phelps U.E. who settled in Home District [York County], Ontario c. 1786 he served in Butler's Rangers
- Amos Phelps, who arrived in Quebec in 1793
Phelps Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
- Hiram Phelps, who landed in Canada in 1833
- Orson Phelps, who arrived in Canada in 1834
- Calvin Phelps, who landed in Canada in 1839
- Oliver Seymour Phelps, who landed in Canada in 1840
Phelps Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
- John Phelps arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Anglia" in 1851
- John Phelps, aged 48, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "William Hammond"
- Thomas Phelps, aged 16, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "William Hammond"
- William Phelps, aged 25, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "William Hammond"
- Jane Phelps, aged 23, a housemaid, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "William Hammond"
Phelps Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
- James Phelps, aged 35, a farm labourer, arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Lady Nugent" in 1841
- Mary Ann Phelps, aged 23, arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Lady Nugent" in 1841
- Benjamin Phelps, aged 41, a shoemaker, arrived in Bluff, New Zealand aboard the ship "Adamant" in 1875
- Sarah J. Phelps, aged 34, arrived in Bluff, New Zealand aboard the ship "Adamant" in 1875
- William E. Phelps, aged 9, arrived in Bluff, New Zealand aboard the ship "Adamant" in 1875
- Brigadier-General Joseph Vinvil Phelps (1898-1981), American Senior Instructor to Pennsylvania National Guard (1948-1949)
- John Wolcott Phelps (1813-1885), Union Army general in the American Civil War
- John Jay Phelps (1810-1869), American railroad baron and financier, one of the founders of the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad
- William Wines Phelps (1792-1872), early American leader of the Latter Day Saints
- Edmund Strother Phelps Jr. (b. 1933), American economist, winner of the 2006 Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel
- Michael Fred Phelps (b. 1985), American Olympic swimmer, winner of 18 gold, two sliver, and two bronze Olympic medals
- Private Wesley Phelps, American soldier awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1944
- William Lyon Phelps (1865-1943), American literary critic
- Edward John Phelps (1822-1900), American diplomat, and lawyer, who was the ambassador to Britain (1885-1889)
- Jaycie Phelps, American gymnast
- Phelps Family from Z to A by William Herald Swango.
- Phelps-Marshall Kinship by Nancy G. McBride.
- Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
- Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
- Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
- Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
- Morgan, T. J. Morgan and Prys Morgan. Welsh Surnames. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1985. Print.
- Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
- Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
- Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
- Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
- Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
The Phelps Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Phelps Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.
This page was last modified on 9 March 2016 at 15:17.
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