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

Origins Available: English, French, Irish


The name Terry was brought to England by the Normans when they conquered the country in 1066. It comes from the Norman given name Theodoric.

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The surname Terry was first found in Kent where they held a family seat from ancient times, where Thierry, son of Deorman of London was granted lands by Gilbert, Earl of Pembroke between 1138 and 1149. Thierry continued to be an under tenant of Richard FitzGilbert of Clare.

Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Terry family name include Terry, Terrie and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Terry research. Another 223 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1172 and 1190 are included under the topic Early Terry History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Terry Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Terry family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 115 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Terry family to immigrate North America:

Terry Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Stephen Terry and Jane Hardey Terry, who came to New England in 1630, aboard the "Mary & John"
  • Stephen Terry, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1631
  • Tho Terry, aged 28, landed in New England in 1635
  • Thomas Terry, who arrived in Braintree, Massachusetts in 1635
  • Rich Terry, aged 17, landed in New England in 1635


Terry Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Wm Terry, who arrived in Georgia in 1733
  • John Terry, who arrived in Georgia in 1742

Terry Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • James Terry, aged 25, arrived in South Carolina in 1812
  • George Terry, aged 48, arrived in South Carolina in 1812
  • J Terry, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • H Terry, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • T Terry, aged 25, arrived in New Orleans, La in 1859


Terry Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • James Terry, who came to Newfoundland in 1706
  • Thomas Terry, who settled in Harbour Grace Newfoundland in 1760
  • Paul Terry, a British Loyalist, who arrived in Canada from America in 1796

Terry Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Charles Terry, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1827
  • Benjamin Terry, who landed in Canada in 1831
  • Mary Terry, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1832
  • David Terry, who arrived in Canada in 1841

Terry Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Alfred Terry arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Buckinghamshire" in 1839
  • Mary Terry arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Buckinghamshire" in 1839
  • Mary Ann Terry arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Buckinghamshire" in 1839
  • Dorias Terry arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Buckinghamshire" in 1839
  • Ester Terry arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Buckinghamshire" in 1839


Terry Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Henry Terry, aged 27, a bricklayer, arrived in Hawkes Bay aboard the ship "Clarence" in 1875
  • Mary A. Terry, aged 26, arrived in Hawkes Bay aboard the ship "Clarence" in 1875
  • Henry W. Terry, aged 7, arrived in Hawkes Bay aboard the ship "Clarence" in 1875

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  • Wallace Houston Terry (1938-2003), African-American journalist and oral historian
  • Captain Seymour W Terry (1918-1945), American Army officer awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1945
  • Charles L Terry Jr. (1900-1970), American politician, attorney, judge, and Governor of Delaware from 1965 to 1969
  • Nigel Terry (1945-2015), English stage and film actor, best known for his portrayal of King Arthur in Excalibur (1981)
  • Sir Joseph Terry (1828-1898), English industrialist, co-founder of Joseph Terry & Sons Ltd (1895), a chocolate and confectionery maker, better known as Terry's Chocolates
  • Air Marshall Peter Terry (b. 1926), English Royal Air Force commander, Governor of Gibraltar (19851989)
  • John George Terry (b. 1980), English professional footballer
  • Charles Sanford Terry (1864-1936), English historian and Bach scholar
  • Fred Terry (1863-1933), English actor
  • Edward O'Connor Terry (1844-1912), English comedian

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  • All About Terrys: A Genealogy of the Surname Terry by Paul Terry Thompson.
  • The Story of a Family by Henry Vernon Hall.
  • Terry and Allied Families of Virginia, Kentucky, Illinois, Texas by Frances Terry Ingmire.
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  1. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  2. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  4. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  5. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  6. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  7. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. 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. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  10. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  11. ...

The Terry Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Terry 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 18 May 2016 at 10:21.

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