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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Virtue family come from? What is the English Virtue family crest and coat of arms? When did the Virtue family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Virtue family history?

Today's generation of the Virtue family bears a name that was brought to England by the migration wave that was started by the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Virtue family lived in Cumberland. Their name, however, is a reference to the Barony of La Ferte, Normandy, the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066.

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Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Virtue include Vardy, Vardey, Vartey, Varty, Verty, Vertie and others.

First found in Cumberland where they held a family seat anciently after the Norman Conquest in 1066.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Virtue research. Another 175 words(12 lines of text) covering the years 1066, 1473, 1435 and 1645 are included under the topic Early Virtue History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Virtues to arrive on North American shores:

Virtue Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Ann Virtue, aged 25, arrived in New York, NY in 1803
  • Robert Virtue, aged 22, landed in New York, NY in 1803
  • David Virtue, who landed in New London, Conn in 1811
  • Allen Virtue, aged 25, landed in Maryland in 1813
  • James Virtue, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1860

Virtue Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • G B Virtue landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1841
  • William Virtue, aged 23, a farm labourer, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ocean Mail" in 1875

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  • Thomas E. "Tom" Virtue (b. 1957), American actor, known for his work in Iron Man 3 (2013), Even Stevens (1999) and Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)
  • Jacob Kitchline "Guesses" Virtue (1865-1943), American Major League Baseball first baseman who played from 1890 to 1984 for the Cleveland Spiders
  • John Virtue (b. 1947), English monochrome landscape artist, honorary Professor of Fine Art at the University of Plymouth
  • George Virtue (1794-1868), English publisher in London, well known for printing engravings
  • Danny Virtue, Canadian Leo Award winning and two-time Gemini Award nominated stuntman, known for his work on Shooter (2007), Final Destination (2000) and Underworld: Evolution (2006)
  • Tessa Jane McCormick Virtue (b. 1989), Canadian ice dancer who with Scott Moir are the 2010 Olympic champions, the 2014 Olympic silver medalists, the 2010 and 2012 World champions, the 2008 and 2012 Four Continents champions and six-time Canadian national champions
  • Tarita Virtue (b. 1970), Trinidad and Tobago-born actress and model, known for her work in Living the Dream (2006), Bar Starz (2008) and Heart of the Beholder (2005)
  • James Sprent Virtue (1829-1892), British publisher, son of George Virtue
  • Brock Virtue (b. 1986), Canadian gold medalist curler at the 2007 World Junior Curling Championships


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  1. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  2. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  3. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  4. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  5. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  6. 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.
  7. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  8. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  9. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  10. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  11. ...

The Virtue Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Virtue 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 June 2015 at 09:14.

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