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

Shipman is a name that was formed by the Anglo-Saxon society of old Britain. The name was thought to have been used for someone who once worked as a person who worked as a mariner or as a ship-builder. Occupational names frequently were derived from the principal object associated with the activity of the original bearer, such as tools or products. These types of occupational surnames are called metonymic surnames. The most common suffixes for occupational names are maker, herd, hewer, smith, er, ing, and man.


The surname Shipman was first found in Herefordshire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest in 1066.

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 Shipman include Shipman, Shippman, Chipman, Shipham and others.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Shipman research. Another 111 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1664, 1662, 1664, 1639 and 1712 are included under the topic Early Shipman History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 149 words (11 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Shipman Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


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 Shipman were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records:

Shipman Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • William Shipman settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Wm Shipman, aged 22, landed in Virginia in 1635
  • Edward Shipman settled in Saybrook in 1639
  • Edward Shipman, who arrived in Connecticut in 1639
  • Martha Shipman, who landed in Virginia in 1664

Shipman Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • H. Shipman arrived in San Francisco in 1850

Shipman Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • William Shipman, who arrived in Canada in 1841

Shipman Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Isidore Shipman arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Pestonjee Bomanjee" in 1851


  • William Shipman (1831-1894), American sailor during the American Civil War, recipient of the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Second Battle of Fort Fisher on January 15, 1865
  • Helen Shipman (1899-1984), American Broadway singer, dancer and actress
  • Herbert Shipman (1869-1930), American suffragan bishop in the Episcopal Diocese of New York
  • Dee Shipman, American songwriter, best known for co-writing the 1990 West End musical Someone Like You
  • Claire Shipman, American television journalist who received a Peabody Award for her work covering the 1991 Soviet coup
  • David Shipman (1730-1813), American colonist who is generally considered to be the real-life inspiration for James Fenimore Cooper's character Natty Bumppo
  • Gary Shipman (b. 1966), American comic book artist
  • Ellen Biddle Shipman (1869-1950), American landscape architect
  • Charles E. Shipman, American Democrat politician, Candidate for Connecticut State House of Representatives from Chester, 1916
  • Aubrey Shipman, American Republican politician, Chair of Benton County Republican Party, 1943-49



  • Mount Hope by Pauline Callaway Sheriff.

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  1. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  2. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  3. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  4. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  5. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  6. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  7. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  9. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  10. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  11. ...

The Shipman Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Shipman 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 22 October 2015 at 11:40.

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