Tree History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Tree is a name of ancient Anglo-Saxon origin and comes from the family once having lived near some prominent tree or in one of the settlements in Devon called Tree, Trew, True, or Trow. The surname is derived from the Old English words treow, trew, or trow, which are in turn derived from the Old English word treow, which means tree. However, the surname Tree is occasionally derived from residence at Trow Farm or Trow Down in Wiltshire. The derivation in this case is from the Old English word trog, which means trough.

Early Origins of the Tree family

The surname Tree was first found in Warwickshire, where Rannulfus Truue was recorded in 1180.

Early History of the Tree family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Tree research. Another 120 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1185, 1200, 1273, 1301, 1327, 1595, 1624, 1774, and 1807 are included under the topic Early Tree History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Tree Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Tree family name include True, Truue, Trew, Trewe, Truwe, Trow, Trowe and others.

Early Notables of the Tree family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Tree Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Tree migration to the United States +

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, Canada, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Tree surname or a spelling variation of the name include:

Tree Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Richard Tree, who arrived in Virginia in 1629 [1]
  • Humph Tree, who landed in Virginia in 1643 [1]
  • Geo Tree, who arrived in Virginia in 1665 [1]

Australia Tree migration to Australia +

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

Tree Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Miss Trephonia (Tryphena) Tree, (b. 1820), aged 20, Cornish housemaid travelling aboard the ship "Lady Clarke" arriving in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia on 14th August 1840 [2]
  • Ann Tree, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Sultana" in 1851 [3]

New Zealand Tree 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:

Tree Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. James Tree, (b. 1848), aged 30, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Western Monarch" arriving in New Zealand in 1879 [4]
  • Mrs. Elizabeth Tree, (b. 1850), aged 28, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Western Monarch" arriving in New Zealand in 1879 [4]
  • Mr. George Tree, (b. 1873), aged 5, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Western Monarch" arriving in New Zealand in 1879 [4]
  • Mr. John A Tree, (b. 1876), aged 2, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Western Monarch" arriving in New Zealand in 1879 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Tree (post 1700) +

  • Michael Tree (1934-2018), born Michael Applebaum, was an American violist from Newark, New Jersey
  • Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree (1853-1917), English actor/manager
  • Tree Ryde, Canadian actress, known for her role in The Taste of Relation (2009)


  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, May 30). Ships' Passenger Lists of Arrivals in New South Wales on (1828 - 1842, 1848 - 1849) [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_nsw_1838_on.pdf
  3. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) SULTANA 1851. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1851Sultana.htm
  4. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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