Rimmer History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Rimmer is Anglo-Saxon in origin. It was a name given to a poet, from the Old English words rime or ryme, in other words, one who was called the rhymer. Occupational names that were derived from the common trades of the medieval era transcended European cultural and linguistic boundaries. Occupational names have remained fairly common in the modern period. This is attested to by the continuing appearance of occupational suffixes at the end of many English surnames. Some of these suffixes include: herd, monger, maker, hewer, smith, and wright.

Early Origins of the Rimmer family

The surname Rimmer was first found in Lancashire where they held a family seat from ancient times, having manors and estates in that shire. Anciently they undoubtedly derived their name from the court Rhymer or Versificator, a practice that started with King Henry III of England.

"In South-west Lancashire Rimmer has ramified very strongly; but it was spelt Rymer in the 16th century." [1]

Early History of the Rimmer family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rimmer research. Another 117 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1579, 1591, 1614, 1615 and 1617 are included under the topic Early Rimmer History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Rimmer Spelling Variations

Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Rimmer include Rimmer, Rimer, Remmer and others.

Early Notables of the Rimmer family (pre 1700)

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


United States Rimmer migration to the United States +

Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Rimmer were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records:

Rimmer Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Alice Rimmer, who arrived in Virginia in 1664 [2]
Rimmer Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Johan Stephan Rimmer, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1729 [2]

Canada Rimmer migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Rimmer Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • John Rimmer, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
Rimmer Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Frederick Rimmer was a hatter in St. John's, Newfoundland in 1861 [3]

Australia Rimmer migration to Australia +

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

Rimmer Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Rimmer, (b. 1792), aged 24, English convict who was convicted in Lancaster, Lancashire, England for life for larceny, transported aboard the "Atlas" on 16th January 1816, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died in 1818 [4]

New Zealand Rimmer 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:

Rimmer Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Rimmer, aged 23, a joiner, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Arethusa" in 1879
  • Ellen Rimmer, aged 22, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Arethusa" in 1879
  • William A. Rimmer, aged 2, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Arethusa" in 1879
  • Annie Rimmer, aged 1, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Arethusa" in 1879

Contemporary Notables of the name Rimmer (post 1700) +

  • Robert Henry Rimmer, American author of several books, most notably "The Harrad Experiment"
  • Alfred Rimmer (1829-1893), English artist and author, son of Thomas Rimmer, timber merchant, born at Liverpool
  • John James "Jimmy" Rimmer (b. 1948), English former football goalkeeper
  • Ms. Heather Elizabeth Rimmer M.B.E., British Commander for the Royal Navy, recipient of Member of the Order of the British Empire on 8th June 2018 [5]
  • Mr. Bernard Rimmer M.B.E., British Estates Supervisor for Myerscough College, was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire on 29th December 2018 for services to the Agricultural community [5]
  • David Rimmer, Canadian visual artist and winner of the Governor General's Award in visual and media arts in 2011
  • John Thomas "Jack" Rimmer (1878-1962), British athlete, winner of two gold medals at the 1900 Summer Olympics
  • Eve Rimmer (1937-1996), New Zealand athlete

RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Gilbert Rimmer (d. 1912), aged 27, English Saloon Steward from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [6]


  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  4. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th July 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/atlas
  5. ^ "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018, www.thegazette.co.uk/honours-lists
  6. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


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