Sydney History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Sydney was brought to England in the wave of migration that followed the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Sydney family lived in Kent. Checking further we found the name was derived from the Old English words sid, meaning wide, and eg, meaning island or dry land in a fen.

Early Origins of the Sydney family

The surname Sydney was first found in Kent where they settled in Lewes Priory in 1188, coming from Anjou in Normandy. The founder of this family in England was Sir William Sydney, Chamberlain of King Henry II., who came from Anjou with that monarch, and was buried at Lewes Priory, East Sussex in 1188. [1]

Early History of the Sydney family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sydney research. Another 117 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1554, 1595, 1580, 1515, 1515, 1534, 1529, 1586, 1563, 1626, 1598, 1659, 1595, 1677, 1619, 1698, 1623, 1683, 1641, 1704, 1649, 1702, 1676, 1705, 1680, 1737, 1681, 1729, 1682 and 1743 are included under the topic Early Sydney History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Sydney Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence in the eras before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate regularly changed the spellings of their names as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Sydney have been found, including Sidney, Sydney and others.

Early Notables of the Sydney family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Richard Sydnor, English clergyman, Archdeacon of Cornwall in 1515 and then Archdeacon of Totnes from 1515 to 1534; Sir Henry Sidney (1529-1586), Lord Deputy of Ireland; his son Robert Sidney (1563-1626), 1st Earl of Leicester, progenitor of the Earls of Leicester; Dorothy Sidney (ca.1598-1659), Countess of Leicester, the eldest daughter of Henry Percy; Robert Sidney, 2nd Earl of Leicester (1595-1677), an English diplomat and politician; Philip Sidney, 3rd Earl...
Another 77 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sydney Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Sydney migration to the United States +

For many English families, the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. For such families, the shores of Ireland, Australia, and the New World beckoned. They left their homeland at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. Many arrived after the long voyage sick, starving, and without a penny. But even those were greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. Numerous English settlers who arrived in the United States and Canada at this time went on to make important contributions to the developing cultures of those countries. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Sydney were among those contributors:

Sydney Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Geo Sydney, who arrived in Arkansas in 1888 [2]

Australia Sydney migration to Australia +

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

Sydney Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Lee Sydney, aged 26, a farm labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1850 aboard the ship "Stag" [3]
  • Mr. George Sydney, British Convict who was convicted in Stafford, Staffordshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Corona" on 13th October 1866, arriving in Western Australia, Australia [4]

New Zealand Sydney 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:

Sydney Settlers in New Zealand in the 20th Century
  • Phyllis Sydney, aged 18, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "S. S. Waimana" in 1926
  • Louie Sydney, aged 15, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "S. S. Waimana" in 1926
  • John Sydney, aged 13, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "S. S. Waimana" in 1926

Contemporary Notables of the name Sydney (post 1700) +

  • Sylvia Sydney, Actress and film star
  • Alan Sydney Minter (1951-2020), British professional boxer who held the undisputed middleweight title in 1980
  • Mr. Robert Sydney Barnes B.E.M., British Trainer and Parent Consultant for Adoption UK, was appointed the British Empire Medal on 8th June 2018, for services to Adoption [5]
  • Alfred Sydney Wigan (1814-1878), English actor-manager who took part in the first Royal Command Performance before Queen Victoria on 28 December 1848 [6]
  • Mr Sydney Tavender, British chairman of the Cotswold branch of the Far East Prisoners of War during World War II
  • John Sydney Buller MBE (1909-1970), English first-class cricketer
  • Sir Arthur Sydney Hutchinson KBE CB CVO (1896-1981), British soldier and civil servant
  • Gerald Sydney Halter OC (1905-1990), Canadian lawyer, 1st Commissioner of the Canadian Football League, inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1966
  • Percy Sydney Twentyman -Jones (1876-1954), South African sportsman who played one Test in 1902, and international rugby union in three Tests in 1896
  • Herbert Sydney Wilcox (1890-1977), British Venice Film Festival Award winning film producer, known for his work on Odette (1950), Victoria the Great (1937) and Irene (1940)


The Sydney 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: Quo fata vocant
Motto Translation: Wherever fate may summon me.


  1. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  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. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) STAG 1850. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1850Stag.htm
  4. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 24th March 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/corona
  5. ^ "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62310, 31 October 2019 | London Gazette, The Gazette, June 2018, https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/62310/supplement/B1
  6. ^ Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 31 Jan. 2019


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