Primmer History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Primmer reached English shores for the first time with the ancestors of the Primmer family as they migrated following the Norman Conquest in 1066. Primmer is a name for a priest or other ecclesiastical official who read at prime, the first canonical hour. The occupational name Primmer is derived from the Latin primus meaning first, prime. there was also another occupation which was known by the name primmer, and that was the Chief Forester of the King's lands. Since each derivation is equally appropriate Primmer is a classic example of an English polygenetic surname, which is a surname that was developed in a number of different locations and adopted by various families independently.

Early Origins of the Primmer family

The surname Primmer was first found in Devon where they held a family seat from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.

Early History of the Primmer family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Primmer research. Another 76 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Primmer History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Primmer Spelling Variations

Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Primer, Primar, Primmer, Brymmer, Brimmer and many more.

Early Notables of the Primmer family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Primmer Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Primmer migration to the United States +

Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Primmer or a variant listed above:

Primmer Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • William Primmer, who settled in America in 1724
  • Adam Primmer, whose oath of allegiance was recorded in Pennsylvania in 1777

Canada Primmer migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Primmer Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • William Primmer was a planter of the Barr'd Islands, Newfoundland in 1821 [1]
  • James Primmer settled at Joe Batts Arm, Newfoundland in 1842 [1]

Australia Primmer migration to Australia +

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

Primmer Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Primmer, British Convict who was convicted in Kent, England for life, transported aboard the "Asia" on 25th April 1840, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name Primmer (post 1700) +

  • Max S. Primmer, American Democrat politician, Candidate in primary for U.S. Representative from Michigan 9th District, 1960
  • Abraham Primmer, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Chemung County, 1846
  • Cyril Graham Primmer (1924-2003), Australian politician, member of the Australian Senate for Victoria
  • Brenton Primmer (b. 1989), Australian thoroughbred racehorse jockey

HMAS Sydney II
  • Mr. John Foster Roy Primmer (1922-1941), Australian Able Seaman from Alderley, Queensland, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II and died in the sinking [3]

  1. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  2. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th January 2020). Retrieved from
  3. ^ HMAS Sydney II, Finding Sydney Foundation - Roll of Honour. (Retrieved 2014, April 24) . Retrieved from on Facebook
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