Show ContentsProthero History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

This old, proud name is a patronymic name created from the Welsh personal name Rhydderc, Riderch, or Roderick, all of which mean "reddish-brown." The surname Prothero features the distinctive Welsh patronymic prefix "ap-," which means "son of." The original form of the name was ap-Rhydderc, or ap-Riderch, but the prefix has been assimilated into the surname over the course of time.

Early Origins of the Prothero family

The surname Prothero was first found in Carmarthenshire (Welsh: Sir Gaerfyrddin), located in Southwest Wales, one of thirteen historic counties and presently one of the principal area in Wales, where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.

Early History of the Prothero family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Prothero research. Another 60 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Prothero History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Prothero Spelling Variations

Welsh surnames are relatively few in number, but they have an inordinately large number of spelling variations. There are many factors that explain the preponderance of Welsh variants, but the earliest is found during the Middle Ages when Welsh surnames came into use. Scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, which often resulted in a single person's name being inconsistently recorded over his lifetime. The transliteration of Welsh names into English also accounts for many of the spelling variations: the unique Brythonic Celtic language of the Welsh had many sounds the English language was incapable of accurately reproducing. It was also common for members of a same surname to change their names slightly, in order to signify a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations. For all of these reasons, the many spelling variations of particular Welsh names are very important. The surname Prothero has occasionally been spelled Protheroe, Prytherch, Prothers, Rhydderch and others.

Early Notables of the Prothero family (pre 1700)

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

United States Prothero migration to the United States +

The Welsh migration to North America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries contributed greatly to its rapid development. These migrants were in search of land, work, and freedom. Those Welsh families that survived the long ocean journey were critical to the development of new industries and factories, and to the quick settlement of land. They also added to an ever-growing rich cultural heritage. A search of the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name Prothero:

Prothero Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Evan Prothero, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1693 [1]

Australia Prothero migration to Australia +

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

Prothero Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Evan Prothero, aged 19, who arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Amazon"

Contemporary Notables of the name Prothero (post 1700) +

  • Stephen Prothero, American professor in the Department of Religion at Boston University and the author of numerous books on religion in America
  • Mark W. Prothero (1957-2014), American attorney in Washington State, best known for serving as defense co-counsel for the Green River Killer, serial killer Gary Ridgway
  • Dan Prothero, San Francisco-based independent record producer, recording engineer, and record collector
  • Rolla W. Prothero, American politician, Mayor of Baraboo, Wisconsin, 1951-54 [2]
  • John A. Prothero, American Republican politician, Presidential Elector for South Dakota, 1892 [2]
  • Gareth John Prothero (b. 1941), Welsh international rugby union player
  • Rowland Edmund Prothero (1851-1937), British administrator, author, and politician, created 1st Baron Ernle in 1919
  • Sir George Walter Prothero (1848-1922), English writer and historian, a former President of the Royal Historical Society

The Prothero 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: Deus pascit corvos
Motto Translation: God feeds the ravens.

  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. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 9) . Retrieved from on Facebook