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The ancestors of the West surname lived among the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. The name comes from when they lived in Devon. The name West is derived from the fact that the original bearer of the name came from the west. This rather general nickname could be an indication that the person moved from the west to where he received the name, or that he lived in the western portion of some area such as a county or parish.

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The surname West was first found in Devon, where the family "are remarkable, not so much for the antiquity of the family as for the early period at which they attained the honour of the peerage. Sir Thomas West is the first recorded ancestor; he died in the seventeenth of Edward II., having married the heiress of Cantilupe, and thus became possessed of the lands in Devonshire, and at Smitterfield in Warwickshire." [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
Another reference states "the noble family (Earl Delawarr) ... wrote themselves De West; not it appears, from any place so called, but from their large possessions in the West of England." [2]CITATION[CLOSE]
Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
Later some of the family held estates at Aughton in the West Riding of Yorkshire. "This place, called in Domesday Book Actone, Hactone, and Hacstone, was formerly the residence of the family of West, of whom was Sir William West, a soldier in the army of Henry VIII., and who had, in reward for his services, beneficial grants of abbey lands: the family resided here till the latter end of the reign of Elizabeth." [3]CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname West include West, Weste and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our West research. Another 335 words (24 lines of text) covering the years 1570, 1365, 1405, 1312, 1386, 1386, 1399, 1401, 1399, 1402, 1642, 1636, 1674, 1660, 1556, 1601, 1590, 1659, 1635, 1637, 1632, 1691, 1670, 1716, 1710 and are included under the topic Early West History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Distinguished members of the family include Thomas West, 1st Baron West (1365-1405), only son of Sir Thomas West, of de Hampton Cantilupe (1312-1386), served alongside his father under Richard II; one of them was in active service in Calais in 1386, A knight banneret, he served in Ireland with the Duke...

Another 211 words (15 lines of text) are included under the topic Early West Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Some of the West family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 141 words (10 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:

West Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Francis West, who arrived in Jamestown, Va in 1607
  • Francis West settled in Virginia in 1608
  • Anthony West settled in Virginia in 1622 along with Henry, John, Nathaniel
  • Anthony West, who landed in Jamestown, Va in 1624
  • Grace West, who arrived in Virginia in 1636
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West Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Dorcas West, who arrived in Virginia in 1701
  • Giles West, who arrived in Virginia in 1719
  • Anne West, who arrived in Virginia in 1719
  • Caspar West, aged 32, landed in Pennsylvania in 1740
  • Charles West, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1745
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West Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Gobbs West, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1805
  • David West, aged 26, landed in New York in 1812
  • Bartholomew West, aged 25, arrived in New York in 1812
  • Beale West, aged 47, landed in New York in 1812
  • John West, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1852
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West Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Mr. James West U.E. who settled in Bell Vue, Beaver Harbor, Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1783 was a passenger aboard "Cyrus" on August 21, 1783 from New York to Saint John River
  • Mr. William West U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 he became a Freeman in 1785 was a Butcher
  • Robert West was a merchant in St John's Newfoundland in 1794

West Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Benjamin West, who arrived in Canada in 1831
  • Isaac Newton Duzan West, who arrived in Canada in 1833
  • James West, aged 23, a weaver, arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the brig "Ugoni" from Belfast, Ireland

West Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • John West, English convict from Dorset, who was transported aboard the "Ann" on August 1809, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • James West, English convict from Buckinghamshire, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on July 29th, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
  • William West, English convict from Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "Andromeda" on October 16, 1826, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
  • Edward West, English convict from Cambridge, who was transported aboard the "Argyle" on March 5th, 1831, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Austraila
  • John West, English convict from Essex, who was transported aboard the "Argyle" on March 5th, 1831, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Austraila
  • ...

West Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Joseph West landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1840
  • Daniel West, aged 16, a farm labourer, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Martha Ridgeway" in 1840
  • Catherine West a servant, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Eagle" in 1854
  • Joseph West arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Cresswell" in 1856
  • Felix West arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alma" in 1857
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  • Wilson H. West, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Illinois, 1972
  • William Stanley West (1849-1914), American Democrat politician, Member of Georgia State House of Representatives, 1892-1901; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Georgia, 1908; U.S. Senator from Georgia, 1914
  • William S. West, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Texas, 1928
  • William H. West, American Republican politician, Ohio State Attorney General, 1866-68; Justice of Ohio State Supreme Court, 1872-73; Delegate to Ohio State Constitutional Convention from Logan County, 1873
  • William B. III West, American politician, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, 1958-61
  • William B. West, American politician, Prohibition Candidate for Wisconsin State Assembly from Rock County 1st District, 1902
  • William B. West, American politician, U.S. Vice Consul in Dublin, 1863-67
  • William West (1822-1919), American politician, Member of Ohio State Legislature, 1848; Hotelier; Mayor of Ames, Iowa, 1870-71
  • Wayne West, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from North Carolina, 1964
  • Walter E. West, American Republican politician, Candidate for Michigan State House of Representatives from Muskegon County 1st District, 1958
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West Historic Events



Halifax Explosion

  • Mr. James  West, Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion on 6th December 1917
  • Mrs. Levi  West (1889-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion on 6th December 1917
  • Mr. William  West, Scottish stationed aboard the SS Curaca from Anderson, Scotland, United Kingdom who died in the Halifax Explosion on 6th December 1917

HMS Hood

  • Mr. Robert W West (b. 1901), English Chief Engine Room Artificer serving for the Royal Navy from Portsmouth, Hampshire, England, who sailed into battle on the HMS Hood and died on 24th May 1941 in the sinking
  • Mr. Alfred P West (b. 1914), English Petty Officer Cook (S) serving for the Royal Navy from Birchington-on-Sea, Kent, England, who sailed into battle on the HMS Hood and died on 24th May 1941 in the sinking

RMS Titanic

  • Mr. Edwy Arthur West (d. 1912), aged 36, English Second Class passenger from Bournemouth, Dorset who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
  • Mrs. Ada Mary West, (née Worth), aged 33, English Second Class passenger from Bournemouth, Dorset who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping on life boat 10
  • Miss Constance Mirium West, aged 4, English Second Class passenger from Bournemouth, Dorset who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping on life boat 10
  • Miss Barbara Joyce West, aged 10 mths, English Second Class passenger from Bournemouth, Dorset who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping on life boat 10
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  • A Chart of Some Ancestors of Benjamin Holmes West, 1861-1919 by William J. Harrison.
  • Hill-West, Fisher-Beauchamp and Related Families by Olive M. Fisher.
  • Some Descendants of Anthony West of Accomack, Virginia by Elmer D. West.
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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Jour de ma vie
Motto Translation: Day of my life, i.e. “Most glorious day of my life.”.

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Citations



  1. ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
  2. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Other References

  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  4. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  5. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  6. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  7. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  8. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  9. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  10. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  11. ...

The West Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The West 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 12 July 2016 at 10:26.

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