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The name St James arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name St James comes from the personal name Jacob, the Latin Jacobus via the Late Latin Jacomus. The Latin Jacobus is derived from the Hebrew name Yaakov which is traditionally interpreted as coming from the Hebrew akev, which means heel.

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The surname St James was first found in Surrey where they were granted lands by William the Conqueror after the Norman Conquest in 1066. Anciently they held lands in Normandy as St. James.

Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled James, Fitzjames, St. James, Jaimes, Geames and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our St James research. Another 397 words (28 lines of text) covering the years 1210, 1610, 1681, 1653, 1620, 1700, 1661, 1679, 1689, 1690, 1619, 1670, 1654, 1656, 1624, 1705, 1659, 1626, 1685, 1659, 1673, 1702, 1644 and 1719 are included under the topic Early St James History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John James ( c. 1610-1681), an English politician who sat in the House of Commons in 1653 who served in the Parliamentary army in the English Civil War; Roger James (c 1620-1700), an English landowner and politician, Member of Parliament for Reigate (1661-1679) and...

Another 81 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early St James Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Some of the St James family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 43 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name St James or a variant listed above: Edmund James, who settled in Salem Massachusetts in 1630; Blanch James, a servant sent to Barbados in 1658; David James, who came to Nevis in 1661; Abel James, who arrived in Maryland in 1670.

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  • Lyn St. James (b. 1947), born Evelyn Gene Cornwall, American retired professional IndyCar driver
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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: J'aime jamais
Motto Translation: I love forever.

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Citations



    Other References

    1. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
    2. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
    3. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
    4. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
    5. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
    6. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
    7. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
    8. 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).
    9. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
    10. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
    11. ...

    The St James Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The St James 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 9 September 2015 at 12:46.

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