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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

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

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 Protheroe 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.


Although there are not an extremely large number Welsh surnames, there are an inordinately large number of spelling variations of those surnames. This variety of spellings began almost immediately after the acceptance of surnames within Welsh society. As time progressed, these old Brythonic names were eventually were recorded in English. This process was problematic in that many of the highly inflected sounds of the native language of Wales could not be properly captured in English. Some families, however, did decide to modify their own names to indicate a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even a patriotic affiliation. The name Protheroe has seen various spelling variations: Protheroe, Prytherch, Prothers, Rhydderch and others.

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.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Protheroe research. Another 183 words (13 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Protheroe History in all our PDF Extended History products.


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


In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, many people from Wales joined the general migration to North America in search of land, work, and freedom. These immigrants greatly contributed to the rapid development of the new nations of Canada and the United States. They also added a rich and lasting cultural heritage to their newly adopted societies. Investigation of immigration and passenger lists has revealed a number of people bearing the name Protheroe:

Protheroe Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Elizabeth Protheroe who settled in Virginia in 1663

Protheroe Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • James Protheroe, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1712


  • Daniel Protheroe (1866-1934), Welsh composer and conductor, from Cwmgiedd, Brecknockshire
  • Brian Protheroe (b. 1944), English musician and actor, born in Salisbury, Wiltshire of Welsh descent


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.


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  1. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  2. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  3. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  4. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  5. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  6. Davies, R. R. The Age of Conquest: Wales, 1063-1415. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. Print.
  7. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  8. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  9. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  10. 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.
  11. ...

The Protheroe Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Protheroe 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 17 July 2013 at 00:44.

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