Isherwood Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History


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Isherwood Origin:


Origins of Isherwood:

This unique name, with the alternatives Esherwood and Usherwood, is of English origin and is geographical from a now so-called “lost” Hamlet in the church of Bolton-le-Moors, Lancashire. The name first appeared in Lancashire documents in the 13th Century and is still largely limited to that area. The origin could either be from the particular name “Ishere,” hence meaning, “Isheres” which means wooded land, or it could be “the wood of the leader” (door keeper) as the early pre 17th Century spellings being with either a Y or a U. The appearance of the “lost” Hamlet was the result of forced land clearance for sheep meadow in the Middle Ages, as well as natural causes such as disease, war and those migrating to search work to another place. An early documentation of the name appeared in Standish, Lancashire is of one Elizabeth Isherwood who married Milo Standanought in 1571. The most notable ancestor of the name is one Christopher Isherwood, novel writer (1904 – 1986) whose family were landholders in Cheshire since the 16th Century.


More common variations are: Usherwood, Isharwood, Esherwood, Asherwood, Osherwood, Usharwood, Osherod, Ishrd


The surname Isherwood first appeared in Monmouthshire, where they held a family seat from very early times. Some say well before the Norman Invasion and the entrance of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 AD.

The very first recording spelling of the family was shown to be that of William de Serwude, dated about 1246, in the “Assize Rolls,” Lancashire. It was during the time of King Henry III who was known to be the “The Frenchman,” dated 1216 – 1272. The origin of surnames during this period became a necessity with the introduction of personal taxation. It came to be known as Poll Tax in England.


Many of the people with surname Isherwood had moved to Ireland during the 17th century.

United States of America:

Individuals with the surname Isherwood landed in the United States in three different centuries respectively in 18th, 19th, and 20th. Some of the people with the name Isherwood who arrived in the United States in the 17th century included William Isherwood settled in New England in 1703.

Individuals with the surname Isherwood who landed in the United States in the 19th century included Joseph Isherwood arrived in Philadelphia in 1856. John Isherwood, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) Division, Pennsylvania in 1864. Thomas Isherwood, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) Division, Pennsylvania in 1868. Richard Isherwood, who landed in St Clair County, Illinois in 1870. James Isherwood, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1879.

The following century saw more Isherwood surnames arrive. Some of the people with the surname Isherwood who arrived in the United States in the 20th century included Edmund Isherwood at the age of 5, who emigrated to America from Kearsley, England, in 1906. Emma Isherwood at the age of 31, who settled in America from Bolton, England, in 1906. Charles Isherwood at the age of 23, who shifted to the United States from Manchester, England, in 1906. Abraham Isherwood at the age of 30, who settled in America from Blackpool, England, in 1908. Alfred Isherwood at the age of 22, who landed in America from Manchester, England, in 1909.

Here is the population distribution of the last name Isherwood: England 3,651; United States 1,317; South Africa 931; Canada 506; Australia 486; New Zealand 270; Germany 235; Wales 226; Scotland 164; France 122.

Notable People:

Annie Isherwood (1862—1906), was an Anglican novitiate and founder of the Community of the Resurrection of Our Lord in Grahamstown, South Africa.

Benjamin F. Isherwood (1822—1915), was a U.S. ship’s engineer and United States Navy administrator.

Brian Isherwood (born 1946), was a New Zealand cricket player.

Charles Isherwood was a theater expert.

Christopher Isherwood (1904—1986), was an English novel writer.

Geof Isherwood (born 1960), was a Canadian illustrator and comics artist.

George Isherwood (born 1889), was an English rugby union player and part of the first official British Isles team in 1910.

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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) (Windsor, co. Berks; granted 1764). Erm. two bars gemels az. on a chief gu. a leopard (another, a lion) pass. guard. or, spotted sa. Crest—A wolf’s head per pale ermines and erminois erased gu.
2) (Marple Hall, co. Chester, and Bradshaw Hall, co. Lancaster). Motto—Bona benemerenti benedictio. Quarterly, 1st and 4th, Isherwood, ar. a fesse dancettée az. on a chief az. a lion pass. or; 2nd and 3rd, Bradshaw, ar. two bendlets sa. betw. as many martlets of the last. Crests—1st, Isherwood: A wolf’s head erased ppr. issuant out of a crescent az.; 2nd, Bradshaw: On a mount vert a stag at gaze ppr. under a vine brunch also ppr. fructed or.

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