Ussher History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Ussher is an ancient Norman name that arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. It is a name for a door keeper to a king. Further research showed the name was derived from the Old French word l'ussier, meaning the door keeper. This job held considerable status, as it entailed knowing the rank and status of all those who would enter the King's chambers. [1]

Early Origins of the Ussher family

The surname Ussher was first found in Durham where it is said they were descended from Richard de Neuville, the Admiral of Duke William's fleet, who was granted lands originally in Westmorland. His third son was entrusted with the defense of Bridgnorth in 1102.

"James Ussher, the celebrated Archbishop of Armagh, was a son of A. Ussher, one of the six clerks in Chancery, descended from a branch of the Norman family of De Neville, which assumed the name of Le Uschere or Le Huissier, from the office of Ostiarius granted to them by King John. Of this family was the gallant Admiral Sir Thomas Ussher." [2]

In Essex, the first record of the family was found at Colchester where Richard Ussier was registered. William le Usser or Lussier was found in the Assize Rolls for Somerset in 1243 and later, Geoffrey le Uscher was listed in Cambridgeshire in 1300. In Bedfordshire, Richard Lusscher was registered in the Subsidy Rolls of 1319 and in Cumberland, the Subsidy Rolls of 1332 included Adam Husser. [3]

Early History of the Ussher family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ussher research. Another 109 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1200, 1550, 1613, 1581, 1656, 1625, 1656, 1550, 1613, 1581, 1656, 1625, 1656, 1582 and 1629 are included under the topic Early Ussher History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ussher Spelling Variations

Before the last few hundred years the English language had no fixed system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations occurred commonly in Anglo Norman surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Ussher were recorded, including Usher, Ussher and others.

Early Notables of the Ussher family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Henry Ussher (c. 1550-1613), a founder of Trinity College, Dublin and Church of Ireland, Archbishop of Armagh; and James Ussher (Usher) (1581-1656), Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of...
Another 39 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ussher Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Ussher family to Ireland

Some of the Ussher family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 121 words (9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Ussher migration to the United States +

The unstable environment in England at this time caused numerous families to board ships and leave in search of opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad in places like Ireland, Australia, and particularly the New World. The voyage was extremely difficult, however, and only taken at great expense. The cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels caused many to arrive diseased and starving, not to mention destitute from the enormous cost. Still opportunity in the emerging nations of Canada and the United States was far greater than at home and many went on to make important contributions to the cultures of their adopted countries. An examination of many early immigration records reveals that people bearing the name Ussher arrived in North America very early:

Ussher Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Marg Ussher, aged 35, who immigrated to the United States from Melbourne, in 1904
  • Neville Boileau Ussher, aged 32, who landed in America from Lurgan, Ireland, in 1909
  • Jennie Ussher, aged 31, who landed in America from Londonderry, Ireland, in 1909
  • Arnold Ussher, aged 29, who landed in America from Emmeskellin, Ireland, in 1910
  • Edith Ussher, aged 54, who landed in America from Oakham, England, in 1912
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Ussher migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Ussher Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • Margaret Ussher, aged 36, who immigrated to Toronto, Canada, in 1909
  • Charles Essex Edgeworth Ussher, aged 64, who settled in Montreal, Canada, in 1924

Contemporary Notables of the name Ussher (post 1700) +

  • Elizabeth Freeman Barrows Ussher (1873-1915), American Christian missionary, wife of Clarence Ussher
  • Clarence Douglas Ussher (1870-1955), American physician and missionary during the Armenian Genocide
  • Henry Ussher (d. 1790), Irish astronomer, a direct descendant of Arland Ussher, Mayor of Dublin (1469-1471), the fourth son of Samuel Ussher, rector of Dunganstown, co. Wicklow
  • Richard John Ussher (1841-1913), Irish ornithologist
  • Jane Ussher MNZM (b. 1953), New Zealand portrait photographer, best known as the chief photographer of the New Zealand Listener for over 25 years
  • Rear-Admiral Sir Thomas Thomas Ussher KCH CB (1779-1848), Irish-born, officer of the British Royal Navy; he conveyed Napoleon Bonaparte into exile in Elba
  • Beverley Ussher (1868-1908), Australian architect, partner to Henry Kemp
  • John "Johnny" Ussher (1830-1879), Canadian frontiersman and Gold Commissioner in the Thompson Country, British Columbia
  • Katharine "Kitty" Anne Ussher (b. 1971), British economist and politician, Labour Member of Parliament, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury in 2009
  • Herbert Taylor Ussher, Governor of Tobago 1872-1875


  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  3. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)


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