Protheroe 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 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.

Early Origins of the Protheroe family

The surname Protheroe 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 Protheroe family

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

Protheroe Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Protheroe family (pre 1700)

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

United States Protheroe migration to the United States +

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 [1]

New Zealand Protheroe 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:

Protheroe Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Protheroe, (b. 1842), aged 21, British blacksmith travelling from London, UK aboard the ship "Brothers Pride" arriving in Lyttelton, South Island, New Zealand on 8th December 1863 [2]
  • Mr. William Protheroe, (b. 1844), aged 19, British farm labourer travelling from London, UK aboard the ship "Brothers Pride" arriving in Lyttelton, South Island, New Zealand on 8th December 1863 [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name Protheroe (post 1700) +

  • Matt Protheroe (b. 1996), Welsh rugby union player for Bristol Rugby, born in Swansea
  • Daniel Protheroe (1866-1934), Welsh composer and conductor, from Cwmgiedd, Brecknockshire
  • Alan Protheroe (1934-2013), British BBC executive who served as assistant Director-General in the 1980s
  • Philip Protheroe (d. 1763), British ship captain, and a merchant slaveship owner
  • Guy Protheroe, British conductor, musical director, composer, arranger, lyricist and musicologist/forensic musicologist
  • Brian Protheroe (b. 1944), English musician and actor, born in Salisbury, Wiltshire of Welsh descent

HMS Royal Oak
  • Gwyn Protheroe, British Warrant Supply Officer with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak (1939) when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he survived the sinking [3]

The Protheroe 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. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from
  3. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from on Facebook