Priest History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient name of Priest finds its origins with the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It comes from a name for a priest having derived from the Old English word preost, which means priest. It was also a nickname given to a person with a priestly character, and probably also given to a person with the exact opposite character. A broad and miscellaneous class of surnames, nickname surnames referred to a characteristic of the first person who used the name. They can describe the bearer's favored style of clothing, appearance, habits, or character.

Early Origins of the Priest family

The surname Priest was first found in Hertfordshire, where they held a family seat before the Middle Ages.

Early History of the Priest family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Priest research. Another 391 words (28 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1558, 1379, 1615, 1557, 1579, 1621, 1645 and 1735 are included under the topic Early Priest History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Priest Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Priest family name include Preost, Priest, Prest, Preist, Prestt, Press and many more.

Early Notables of the Priest family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include Agnes Prest (died 1557), an English Protestant martyr burned at the stake at Southernhay in Exeter; Degory Priest (ca. 1579-1621), A London...
Another 29 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Priest Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Priest family to Ireland

Some of the Priest family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 46 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Priest migration to the United States +

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, the Canadas, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Priest surname or a spelling variation of the name include :

Priest Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Priest, his wife Sara, and their daughters Mary and Sarah, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1620 aboard the "Mayflower"
  • Degory Priest who arrived in Massachusetts in 1620 aboard the "Mayflower"
  • Sarah Priest, who landed in America in 1620 [1]
  • Walter Priest, who arrived in Virginia in 1623 [1]
  • Mary Priest, who arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1623 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Priest Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Eliza Priest, who arrived in Virginia in 1717 [1]
  • Catherine Priest, a bonded passenger who arrived in Annapolis, Maryland in 1723
  • Abraham Priest, who arrived in Maryland in 1725
  • Richard Priest, who arrived in New England in 1731 [1]
  • Ann Priest, who settled in Maryland in 1750
Priest Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Angus Priest, aged 46, who landed in North Carolina in 1812 [1]
  • Andreas Priest, aged 26, who arrived in New York, NY in 1847 [1]
  • Albert Priest, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850 [1]

Canada Priest migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Priest Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. John Priest U.E. who settled in St. Andrews, Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1784 member of the Cape Ann Association [2]
Priest Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Phesenton Priest, who landed in Canada in 1828
  • Ezra D Priest, who arrived in Canada in 1841
  • Mr. James Priest, aged 13 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Wellington" departing 29th July 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 20th September 1847 but he died on board [3]

Australia Priest migration to Australia +

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

Priest Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • George Priest, English convict from Oxford, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 17, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [4]
  • John Priest, a turner, who arrived in New South Wales, Australia sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Catherine Priest, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Phoebe" in 1846 [5]
  • Harriet Priest, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Stebonheath" in 1849 [6]
  • George Priest, aged 21, a brickmaker, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Sea Queen" in 1850 [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Priest 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:

Priest Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. George Priest, British labourer travelling from London aboard the ship "Victory " arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 17th October 1863 [8]
  • Mr. John Priest, British labourer travelling from London aboard the ship "Victory " arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 17th October 1863 [8]
  • Mr. William Priest, British labourer travelling from London aboard the ship "Victory " arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 17th October 1863 [8]
  • Charles Priest, aged 30, a sawyer, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Steinwarder" in 1864
  • Mary Priest, aged 22, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Steinwarder" in 1864
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Priest (post 1700) +

  • Dana Priest (b. 1959), American author and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist (2006)
  • John W. Priest (b. 1859), American architect and a founding member of the American Institute of Architects
  • Daniel Badger Priest (1830-1870), American lawyer and legislator
  • Christopher James Priest (b. 1961), born James Christopher Owsley, American writer of comic books, often credited simply as Priest
  • Dorman E Priest, American optical engineer
  • Lee Priest, American male bodybuilder
  • Eddie McCall Priest, American politician, U.S. Collector of Customs, 1932
  • Deliverance S. Priest (b. 1814), American politician, Member of Michigan State House of Representatives, 1871-74 (Macomb County 3rd District 1871-72, Macomb County 2nd District 1873-74)
  • Benjamin Brickett Priest (b. 1910), American Republican politician, Member of Massachusetts State House of Representatives, 1939-43; Member of Massachusetts State Senate, 1943-45
  • Anne P. Priest, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Massachusetts, 1972
  • ... (Another 26 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Royal Oak
  • William Charles H. Priest (1903-1939), British Leading Seaman with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [9]
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Arthur John Priest (d. 1912), aged 24, English Trimmer from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [10]


Suggested Readings for the name Priest +

  • 1472 Descendants of Dwight Solomon Priest of Massachusetts and John Henry Linville of North Carolina by Thomas Merriam Linville.

  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ 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
  3. ^ 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. 92)
  4. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Albion voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1823 with 200 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/albion/1823
  5. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) PHEOBE/PHOEBE 1845. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1846Phoebe.htm
  6. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) STEBONHEATH 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Stebonheath.htm
  7. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) SEA QUEEN 1850. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1850SeaQueen.htm
  8. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  9. ^ 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
  10. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


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