Show ContentsPlayer History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Player comes from one of the family having worked as a person who worked as a player, which was originally derived from the Old English word plegere. In this case the Player surname referred to those individuals who were musicians or actors who played for a living. 1

While most sources believe the name is Saxon, one source claims that the name may have been Norman as the Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae lists Andreas Placitor in Normandy (1180-1195.) 2

Early Origins of the Player family

The surname Player was first found in Middlesex 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.

Early History of the Player family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Player research. Another 112 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1561, 1582, 1596, 1604, 1606, 1608, 1609, 1619, 1651, 1660, 1672 and 1755 are included under the topic Early Player History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Player Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Player have been found, including: Player, Pleyer, Players and others.

Early Notables of the Player family

Notables of this surname at this time include:

  • Sir Thomas Player (1608-1672), English Chamberlain of London, son of Robert Player of Canterbury. He was one of the leading residents in Hackney, where he had a large house in Mare Street, and he soon...

Player Ranking

In the United States, the name Player is the 6,020th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. 3

United States Player migration to the United States +

Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Among the first immigrants of the name Player, or a variant listed above to cross the Atlantic and come to North America were :

Player Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Elizabeth Player, who landed in Virginia in 1652 4
  • John and Richard Player, who settled in Virginia in 1653
  • Richard Player, who landed in Virginia in 1653 4
  • Thomas Player, who settled in Maryland in 1654
  • Robert Player, who settled in Nevis in 1663
Player Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Jan F Player, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 4

Australia Player migration to Australia +

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

Player Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Miss Ann Player, (Hannah, Blair), (b. 1782), aged 18, British Convict who was convicted in Wiltshire, England for 7 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Earl Cornwallis" in August 1800, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, she died in 1842 5
  • Mr. Thomas Player, (Plyer), (b. 1792), aged 23, English convict who was convicted in Bristol, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Baring" in April 1815, arriving in New South Wales, Australia 6

New Zealand Player 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:

Player Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Edward Player, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alfred The Great" in 1859
  • Margaret Player, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alfred The Great" in 1859
  • David Player, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alfred The Great" in 1859
  • Sarah Player, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alfred The Great" in 1859

Contemporary Notables of the name Player (post 1700) +

  • Gary Player DMS, OIG (b. 1935), South African PGA golfer who has won nine major championships on the regular tour and six Champions Tour major championship victories, inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974, awarded PGA Tour Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012
  • Scott Player (b. 1969), American professional NFL, CFL and UFL football player who played from 1995 to 2009
  • Tchissakid Dre "T-Dre" Player (b. 1992), Canadian CFL football offensive guard for the BC Lions

The Player 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: Servitute clarior
Motto Translation: More illustrious by service.

  1. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  3. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  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. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 13th August 2021). Retrieved from
  6. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th September 2020). Retrieved from on Facebook