Primes History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Norman Conquest of England in 1066 brought many new words to England from which surnames were formed. Primes was one of these new Norman names. It was specifically tailored to its first bearer, who was a slender or a small man having derived from the Old French word prim, meaning delicate. [1] [2] [3]

However, another source claims that while the name is Norman, it is derived from the "Latin primus-first, best, chief, as in the old French phrase, 'Le prime de Chevaliers,' defined by Cotgrave as 'a prime Knight, the flower of Knights.' The French surname De la Pryme has, however, the appearance of a local origin." [4]

Early Origins of the Primes family

The surname Primes was first found in Lincolnshire where William Prime was recorded in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1279. A few years later, Ralph Prime was recorded in the Subsidy Rolls for Sussex in 1296. [3] In Sussex they acquired the manor of Walberton House.

Early History of the Primes family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Primes research. Another 92 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1550, 1596, 1671, 1704, 1628, 1629 and 1701 are included under the topic Early Primes History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Primes Spelling Variations

A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Pryme, Prime and others.

Early Notables of the Primes family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John Prime (1550-1596), English divine, son of Robert Prime, a butcher of Oxford, born in the parish of Holywell. Abraham de la Pryme (1671-1704), was an Presbyterian minister and English antiquary and descendant of a Huguenot family which migrated from Ypres in Flanders in 1628-1629, and lost much money in draining the great fens in the levels of Hatfield...
Another 66 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Primes Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Primes family

Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Primes or a variant listed above: Mark Prime, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1630; Edmund Pryme and Michael Pryme, who came to Virginia in 1635; Nicholas Prime, who settled in Philadelphia in 1683.



The Primes 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: Nil invita minerva
Motto Translation: Nothing contrary to one’s genius.


  1. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  3. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.


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