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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Player family come from? What is the English Player family crest and coat of arms? When did the Player family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Player family history?

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.


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.

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.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Player research. Another 145 words(10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Player History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Player Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


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
  • John and Richard Player settled in Virginia in 1653
  • Richard Player, who landed in Virginia in 1653
  • Thomas Player 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

Player Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

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


  • Scott Player (b. 1969), American professional (NFL) football player
  • Gary Player (b. 1935), South African Golfer


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. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  2. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  3. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  4. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  5. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  6. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  7. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  8. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  9. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  10. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  11. ...

The Player Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Player 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 5 June 2014 at 14:18.

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