Tempest History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Soon after the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, the name Tempest was recognized on the island as a name for a person with a quick or furious temper. The name is a metaphor derived from the Old French word tempeste, meaning storm. A broad and miscellaneous class of surnames, nickname surnames referred to a characteristic of the first person who used the name. They can describe the bearer's favored style of clothing, appearance, habits, or character. "The name is difficult to account for: it may have reference to some storm which the first bearer encountered." [1]

Early Origins of the Tempest family

The surname Tempest was first found in Yorkshire where the this ancient family is traced to Roger Tempest [1], "progenitor of this the oldest and most distinguished of the Craven families now surviving. That this man was a Norman the name will not permit us to doubt; that he was a dependant of Roger of Poitou is extremely probable; that he was at all events possessed of Bracewell (in Craven) early in the reign of Henry I., is absolutely certain." [2]

Roger Tempest held three carucates and two oxgangs on land in the Shipton Fee, co. York. [1]

Later, the chapelry of Tong, in the West Riding of Yorkshire was home to another branch of the family. "The manor, including the hamlets of Cutler-Height, Far-Street, Rycroft, Holme, and Westgate-Hill, comprises by admeasurement 2643 acres, principally the property of Col. John Plumbe Tempest. Tong Hall, the seat of Col. Tempest, is a stately mansion, erected by Sir George Tempest, on the site of an ancient Hall occupied by the De Tonge, Mirfield, and Tempest families for more than 750 years; it is situated in a finely-wooded demesne, comprising much beautiful scenery, and commanding extensive views." [3]

Early History of the Tempest family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Tempest research. Another 126 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1100, 1400, 1434, 1558, 1562, 1594, 1653, 1697, 1675, 1679, 1653, 1717, 1653, 1700, 1678, 1680, 1689, 1697, 1675, 1675, 1679, 1679, 1738, 1707 and 1708 are included under the topic Early Tempest History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Tempest Spelling Variations

Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Tempest, Tempeste and others.

Early Notables of the Tempest family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Robert Tempest, English High Sheriff of Durham from 1558-1562; Sir Thomas Tempest KT. (1594-1653), Attorney-General of Durham; and his son, John Tempest (died 1697), an English politician, Member of Parliament for County Durham (1675-1679); Pierce Tempest (1653-1717), English printseller, best known for the...
Another 51 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Tempest Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Tempest family to Ireland

Some of the Tempest family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Tempest migration to the United States +

Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Tempest or a variant listed above:

Tempest Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Robert Tempest, who landed in Virginia in 1634 [4]
  • Robert Tempest, who settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Edward Tempest, who landed in Virginia in 1653 [4]
  • Edward Tempest, who settled in Virginia in 1653
  • Mary Tempest, who arrived in Maryland in 1669 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Tempest 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:

Tempest Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Tempest, English settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Dunfillan" arriving in Port Chalmers, South Island, New Zealand on 16th January 1874 [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Tempest (post 1700) +

  • Rone Tempest, American journalist and investigative reporter
  • Henry Roger Tempest (1924-2017), English landowner who held Broughton Hall, in the Craven district of North Yorkshire
  • Dame Marie Tempest DBE (1864-1942), born Mary Susan Etherington, an English singer and actress, instrumental in the founding of the actors' union Equity in Britain
  • Sir John Tempest, MP for Yorkshire (UK Parliament constituency)
  • William Tempest (b. 1893), English footballer
  • Dale Michael Tempest (b. 1963), former English professional footballer
  • Captain Edmund Roger Tempest, British World War I flying ace
  • William Tempest (b. 1985), British fashion designer
  • Marco Tempest, Swiss magician based in New York City
  • Michelle Tempest (b. 1976), British psychiatrist and author
  • ... (Another 3 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

The Tempest 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: Metuenda Corolla Draconis
Motto Translation: The Dragon's Crest is to be Feared.

  1. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html

Houseofnames.com on Facebook