Terry History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Terry is a ancient name whose history on English soil dates back to the wave of emigration that followed the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. The name comes from the Norman personal name Therry, which in turn comes from the Germanic Theodoric. [1] Edward the Confessor (c.1004-1066) employed a German goldsmith named Theoderic for some of his coinage design; so it is certainly possible that the name in Britain predates the coming of the Normans.

Early Origins of the Terry family

The surname Terry was first found in Kent 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.

Some of the first listings of the name were found in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273, specifically: Terry (without surname) in Yorkshire; Richard Terry in Huntingdonshire; Terricus le Alemaunde in Buckinghamshire; and Geoffrey Terri in Oxfordshire. [2]

The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls had two listings: Johannes Tyrry; and Petrus Terre. "Terry is a name now also represented in Buckinghamshire and the West Riding [of Yorkshire]; and it is remarkable that, as far back as the reign of Edward I., it occurred still in Yorkshire, and also in the counties adjacent to Buckinghanshire, namely those of Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire, and Huntingdonshire. In Elizabeth's time the Terrys held the manors of Bicknor and Swanton Court; and in the same reign there lived a family of yeomen of the name in Herne, and in the time of Charles I." [3]

Early History of the Terry family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Terry research. Another 107 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1190, 1590, 1660, 1615, 1616, 1616, 1555, 1625 and 1555 are included under the topic Early Terry History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Terry Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Terry family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Edward Terry (1590-1660), English writer of travels, born at Leigh, near Penshurst, Kent. "In February 1615-1616, Terry went out to India as chaplain with a fleet sent by the London East India Company, sailing in the Charles with Benjamin...
Another 46 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Terry Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Terry World Ranking

In the United States, the name Terry is the 265th most popular surname with an estimated 99,480 people with that name. [4] However, in Australia, the name Terry is ranked the 994th most popular surname with an estimated 3,972 people with that name. [5] And in New Zealand, the name Terry is the 770th popular surname with an estimated 948 people with that name. [6] The United Kingdom ranks Terry as 600th with 10,925 people. [7]

Ireland Migration of the Terry family to Ireland

Some of the Terry family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 69 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Terry migration to the United States +

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 settled in New England in 1630, aboard the "Mary & John"
  • Stephen Terry, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1631 [8]
  • Tho Terry, aged 28, who landed in New England in 1635 [8]
  • Thomas Terry, who arrived in Braintree, Massachusetts in 1635 [8]
  • Rich Terry, aged 17, who landed in New England in 1635 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Terry Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • William Terry, who arrived in Georgia in 1733 [8]
  • John Terry, who arrived in Georgia in 1742 [8]
Terry Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James Terry, aged 25, who arrived in South Carolina in 1812 [8]
  • George Terry, aged 48, who arrived in South Carolina in 1812 [8]
  • J Terry, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850 [8]
  • H Terry, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [8]
  • T Terry, aged 25, who arrived in New Orleans, La in 1859 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Terry migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Terry Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • James Terry, who settled in Newfoundland in 1706 [9]
  • David Terry, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Thomas Terry, who settled in Harbour Grace Newfoundland in 1760 [9]
  • Mr. Paul Terry U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784 [10]
  • Mr. Paul Terry Sr., U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784 [10]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
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
  • Mary Terry, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1843
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Terry migration to Australia +

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

Terry Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Samuel Terry, British Convict who was convicted in Lancaster, Lancashire, England for 7 years for theft, transported aboard the "Earl Cornwallis" in August 1800, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [11]
  • Mr. Joseph Terry, English convict who was convicted in Chelsea, London, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Duke of Portland" in January 1807, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [12]
  • Miss Ann Terry, (b. 1816), aged 15, English nursery maid who was convicted in Evesham, Worcestershire, England for 7 years for robbery, transported aboard the "Burrell" on 31st December 1831, arriving in New South Wales [13]
  • Mrs. Elizabeth Terry, (b. 1783), aged 48, English servant who was convicted in Evesham, Worcestershire, England for 7 years for receiving stolen goods, transported aboard the "Burrell" on 31st December 1831, arriving in New South Wales [13]
  • Miss Sarah Terry, (b. 1805), aged 26, English house maid who was convicted in Evesham, Worcestershire, England for 7 years for robbery, transported aboard the "Burrell" on 31st December 1831, arriving in New South Wales [13]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Terry 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:

Terry Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Terry, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Norman Morrison" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand, Via Wellington and Lyttleton in 1854 [14]
  • J. Terry, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Northfleet" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand, Via Wellington and Lyttleton in February 1854 [14]
  • Miss Susan Terry, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Tamar" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 28th January 1858 [15]
  • Mr. Henry Terry, (b. 1825), aged 33, English agricultrual labourer from Kent travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Zealandia" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 21st September 1858 [15]
  • Mrs. Elizabeth Terry, (b. 1834), aged 24, English settler from Kent travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Zealandia" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 21st September 1858 [15]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Terry migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [16]
Terry Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Basil Terry, who settled in Barbados in 1635
  • Bassell Terry, aged 22, who arrived in Barbados in 1635 [8]

Contemporary Notables of the name Terry (post 1700) +

  • Wallace Houston Terry (1938-2003), 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
  • Daniel Terry (1780-1829), English actor and playwright, born in Bath
  • 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 (1985–1989)
  • John George Terry (b. 1980), English professional footballer
  • Fred Terry (1863-1933), English actor
  • Edward O'Connor Terry (1844-1912), English comedian
  • ... (Another 9 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Empress of Ireland
  • Mr. John Terry, British Assistant Steward from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [17]
HMS Cornwall
  • Albert Edgar George Terry, British Supply Chief Petty Officer aboard the HMS Cornwall when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he survived the sinking [18]
HMS Hood
  • Mr. Gordon V Terry (b. 1922), English Telegraphist serving for the Royal Navy from Marske, Yorkshire, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [19]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Hunter Terry, British Lieutenant Commander, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [20]
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Benjamin J Terry, British Stoker, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [21]
HMS Royal Oak
  • Philip Terry, British Chief Stoker with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he survived the sinking [22]
  • Anthony H. Terry, British Lieutenant with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he survived the sinking [22]


Suggested Readings for the name Terry +

  • 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.

  1. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  4. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  5. ^ https://forebears.io/australia/surnames
  6. ^ https://forebears.io/new-zealand/surnames
  7. ^ https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
  8. ^ 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)
  9. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  10. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  11. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 13th August 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/earl-cornwallis
  12. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 28th July 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/duke-of-portland
  13. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 5th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/burrell
  14. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  15. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  16. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  17. ^ Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 17) . Retrieved from http://www.empress2014.ca/seclangen/listepsc1.html
  18. ^ Force Z Survivors Crew List HMS Cornwall (Retrieved 2018, February 13th) - Retrieved from https://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listcornwallcrew.html#A
  19. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  20. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  21. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html
  22. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html


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