Surname Name Meaning, Origin, and Etymology
This is a local surname meaning “of Montgomerie”, which is a place near Lisieux, in Normandy, France. A great noble family of this name arose and the town of Montgomery, Wales bears their name. Roger de Montgomery accompanied William the Conqueror during the Norman Conquest and led part of his army at The Battle of Hastings. He was also called Roger Bigod (or Bigot). It derives from the Latin Mons Gomeris, meaning Gomer’s mount. Gomer, the son of Japher, the hereditary name of the Gauls. For his service, he was granted manors in several counties (ex. Sussex). He was made the Earl of Arundel and he obtained the earldom of Shewsbury in Shropshire in 1071 AD. A book called “The surnames of Scotland” by George Fraser Black claims “a noble Roman” was the root of this surname, and was a soldier who settled on a hill between Rome and Spain named Gomericus. Another source states it comes from a place near Calvados, France. It derives from the Old French word mont (hill) and a Germanic personal (first) name that contains the words guma (man) and ric (power). Once source claims the name was first found in Renfrewshire, Scotland and the manor of Eaglesham became the seat of the family. Roger’s grandson, Robert, went to Scotland with Walter Fitzalan.
Some spelling variants include Montgomerie, Montgomray, Mongomery, and Mungummery. In Ireland this surname has been Gaelicized as Mac Iomaire and in Scotland as Mac Gumaraid.
Popularity & Geographic Distribution
The last name ranks Montgomery ranks 246th in popularity in terms in the United Status as of the 2000 Census and the variant Montgomerie does not rank at all. The name is highest rank in the following eight states: Ohio, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. The name ranks 759th in England. It ranks highest in the following counties: Northamptonshire, Northumberland, Warwickshire, and Cumberland. It ranks the following in other countries: Canada (508), Australia (531st), South Africa (1,842nd), Scotland (235th), Northern Ireland (66th), Ireland (857th), and New Zealand (525th). The 1890 book Homes of Family Names by H.B. Guppy states “A gentle family of Montgomery resided in Daventry last century; the ancient distinguished family of De Montgomery held extensive estates in Ecton between the 13th and the 16th centuries”.
Early Bearers of the Surname
In addition to Roger mentioned above, one of the earliest bearers of this last name was Hugo de Montgomeri who was documented in the Domesday Book of 1086 AD, which was a survey of England and Wales ordered by William the Conqueror. In Scotland, the first beater was Roger de Mundegumri who was recorded in 1165 AD. The Hundred Rolls of 1273 AD, a census of Wales and England, known in Latin as Rotuli Hundredorum, documents two people bearing this surname: Fulco de Mongomery in county Devon, Lucia de Mongomery in counting Nottinghamshire, and Gregory de Montgomery in county Salop. Early marriages involving this surname include Elizabeth Montgomery to John Dalton in 1530, Margaret Montgomery at St. George’s Hanover Square in 1745, and George Montgomerie to Elizabeth Lloyd in 1758.
History, Genealogy, and Ancestry
The famous genealogist Bernard Burke’s book “The Landed Gentry” discusses nine branches of this family: Montgomery of Bealieu, Montgomery-Moore of Garvey, Montgomery of Convoy House, Montgomery of Benvarden, Montgomery of Belhavel, Montgomery of Crilly House, Montgomery of Grey Abbey, Montgomery of Tyrella, and Montgomery of Blessingbourne. Lengthy lineages and pedigrees are given for each.
The discussion of Montgomery of Beauliue begins with Richard Thomas Montgomery, Esq. of Beaulieu in county Leath. He was a Justice of the Peace and High Sheriff in 1855. He was in the 3rd Light Dragoons. He was born in 1813 and in 1845 he married Frances Barbara, daughter of St. George Smith of Greenhills, and had seven children with her: Richard Johnston, Willoughby, Tichnorne, Sidney, Emily (married Reverend Lucius H. O’Brien), Rosa, and Violet. Burke traces the lineage to Alexander Montgomery, who was the first family member to settle in Ireland, and who was the Prebendary of county Donegal. He was brought there by Sir Hugh Montgomery (Viscount of). He married Margaret, daughter of Alexander Cunningham (Dean of Raphoe) and has a son with her named John. John was of Corghan and was a Major in the Army. He had three sons, the second of whom was Alexander Montgomerie. Alexander married Elizabeth, daughter and co-heiress of Thomas Cole of Ballyleck, in 1669. He left issue: Thomas (Member of Parliament for Lifford), John (Member of Parliament of Ballyleck), Matthew, Robert (of Brandrum who married Sarah Maxwell of Falkland), Dorcas (married Christopher Irvine), Sarah (married Godfrey Wills), and Elizabeth (John Moutray). The second son John was an Esquire and Member of Parliament for county Monaghan. He married Mary Cox, and had issue with her.
The second branch discussed is Montgomery-Moore of Garvey. It begins with a mention of Alexander George Montgomery Moore who was an Esquire of Garvey House in county Tyrone. He was a Colonel in the army and a Lieutenant-Colonel of the 4th Hussars. In 1857, he married Honorable Jane Colborne, daughter of Field-Marshal Lord Seaton. Burke traces the lineage back to Alexander Montgomery, Esq. of Ballyleck who with his second wife Eleanora, daughter and co-heir of Acheson Moore, had two daughters, Maria and Sidney, and a son named Nathaniel. Nathaniel was an Esq. of Garvey, Revella, and Fassaroe who was a Member of Parliament of Tyrone. He was Colonel of the Tyrone Militar and he assumed the surname and arms of his mother, Moore. He married Mary Anne, daughter of Alexander Boyd, in 1785 and had numerous children with her: Alexander James (his heir), Acheson, Nathaniel, Robert, James, Anna Maria, Sydney (married Thomas Smallcombe of Bath), and Ellen (married Colonel De Naucaze of the French service).
The third branch discussed begins with Robert James Montgomery, Esq. of Benvarden in county Antrim who was a Justice of the Peace and D.L. He was a former Captain in the 5th Dragoon Guards who served in Crimea. He was also High Sheriff in county Londonderry in 1867. In 1864, he married Elizabeth, the daughter of Robert James White and had four issue with her: Ion Alexander (1866), Francis James (1869), Janet Maude, and Elizabeth Barbara Isabel. Burke traces the lineage back to the great Scottish House of Montgomerie. Robert Montgomery was born in 1711 in Glenarm and in 1742 he married Isabella Stewart. He had issue with her, including a son named Hugh. Hugh was born in 1743 and married Margaret, daughter of John Allen. He had numerous issue, including his heir, John Montgomery who was born in 1790. John was a Justice of the Peace and D.L. He married Jane, daughter of Sir Andrew Fergusson, had several issue including Robert James (his heir), Barbara Anne (married Reverend Andrew Fegusson), and Isabella Dorthea. This family bore a coat of arms blazoned as follows: Quarterly; 1st and 4th, azure, three fleurs-de-lis or; 2nd and 3rd gules, three gem-rings or, gemmed azure.
Roger de Montgomery, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury, 1st Earl of Arundel (d. 1094 AD)
The lineage of this family traces all the way back to Guilluame (or William) de Montegomeri who was born in France in 927 AD. He married Elizabeth Tripon and had a son named Hugues. Hugues (or Sir Hugh I) was born in 958 AD in St. Germain Montgomery, France. He married a woman named Josceline and together they had a son named Roger. Roger de Montgomery was born in 984 AD in the same city. He married a woman named Emma and had the following issue with her: Hugues, Robert, Guillaume, Gilbert, and Roger. Robert was born in 1022 in Shrewsbury, Shropshire. He married Mabile Belleme in 1048 AD in Perche, France and later married Adealis Breteuil in 1080 AD. He left behind the following children: Maud, Hugues, Rissa (de Berkeley), Arnoulf, Rober de Belleme, Roger, Sybil (FitzHamon), Philip, Emma, Mabel, Adeline, America, Ebrard, and Ponce. His son Arnoulf was born in 1048 AD in Pembroke, Wales. He married Lafracloth O’Brien and had three issue with her: Alice, Philip, and Alice (FitzGerald). His son Philip was born in 1102 in the same city. He married Margaret Dunbar in East Lothian Scotland. They had three children: Hugh, Robert, and Alice. His son Robert was born in Innerwick, Renfrewshire in 1125 AD. He married Marjory Margaret Stewart and had three issue with her: Alan, John, and William. Alan de Montgomery was born in 114 in Eagelsham, Scotland. He married a woman with the last name S.t Martin and had four issue with her: William, John, Henry, and Robert. His son John was born in 1170 in the same town. He married Helen Kent and had a son with her named Alan, who was born in 118 in Inerwick. Sir Alan had a son named John who was born in 1220 AD in Eastwood, Scotland. John married Margaret Murray and had the following issue: Murthaw, Margaret (Menteith), Alan, Thomas, and John. His son John was born in 1244 and married Janet Erskine. He had three children with her: Alexander, Marjory, and William. Alexander was born in 1305, married Margaret Douglas Dunbar and had a son with her named John. John Montgomery was born in 1338, known as Sir John, the 9th Lord of Eaglesham. He married Elizabeth Eglinton and had numerous issue with her: Hugh, John, Elizabrth, Alexander, Anne, Joanna, and another whose name was born recorded. His son John Montgomerie was born in 1362 and was known as Sir John, Knight and Lord of Ardrossan. He married Ages Isles and later Margaret Maxwell. He left behind the following children: Joanna (Boyd), Robert of Giffen, Hugh, Isabella, Agnes, Anna Anne (Cunningham), Isabel (Mure), and Alexander. His son Robert was born in 1383 and married Jane Murrey of Tulchadam. He had four children: John, William, Robert, and James.
William Montgomery was born in 1752 in Scotland. He married Rebekah Erwin and went to America. He had three children: Robert, Erwin, and Thomas Levi. His son Robert was born in 1773 in Guilford, North Caroline, United States. He married Sarah Hiatt and had a son named Hiatt and a daughter named Elmira. Hiatt was born in 1802 in Carroll, VA. He married Elizabeth Marby and had a daughter with her named Louisa Jane (born in 1832 and married Jackson Lewsy McPeak).
Early American and New World Settlers
James and Edmond Montgomery arrived in the Barbados in 1635 aboard the Alexander. A one Thomas Montgomery was appointed the Attorney General of Barbados. One of the earliest settlers with this surname in Canada was Henry Montgomery who came in 1816. One of the first settlers in colonial American with this last name was Adam Montgomery, who settled in Boston in 1694. Other early settlers include William Montgomery (New Jersey 1702), Ester Montgomery (Virginia 1724), Peter Montgomery (with children Francis & John, Maryland 1727), and Patrick Montgomery (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1746).
Frank Montgomery lived in Brooklyn, New York. He was the eldest son of Irving Montgomery Avery who was a Lieutenant 48th Regiment. He was born in 1847 and was educated at the University of Heidelberg in Germany and the University of the City of New York. He married Therese Marie, daughter of George Craddock of Philadelphia, PA and had three sons with her: Irving (1881), Henry Craddock (1885) and Marion Frances. He bore a coat of arms with the following blazon: Gules, a fess between three bezants or, Crest is two lion’s gambs or, supporting a bezant.
William Montgomery of Brigend, Ayrshire, Scotland came to New Jersey in 1706. He bore the following arms with the following blazon: Gules, three fleurs-de-lis or; quartering—Azure, three annulets or, stoned gules, all within a bordure engrailed of the second. Crest—A female figure, attired azure, in dexter hand an anchor or, in sinister a head.
The Montgomery family motto is 1) tout bien ou rien, meaning “All or nothing” or “Do it well or not at all”, 2) procedamus in pace, meaning “Let us proceed in peace”, 3) Spero meliora, meaning “I aspire (or hope) for greater things”, 4) Fideliter, meaning “Faithfully”, 5) An I may, 6) Honneur sans repos, meaning “Honor without rest”, 7) Gardez bien, meaning “Watch well” (Montgomery of Stanhope), and 8) Patriae infelici fidelis, meaning “Faithful to my strife-ridden country”.
We have 32 coats of arms for the Oakes surname depicted here. These 32 blazons are from Bernard Burke’s book The General Armory of England, Ireland, and Scotland, which was published in 1848. The bottom of this page contains the blazons, and in many instances contains some historical, geographical, and genealogical about where coat of arms was found and who bore it.
Later grantees of arms bearing this last name include: 1) Montgomerie after Molineux, of co. Norfolk, Captain Norfolk Militia , 2) Henry Herbert Earl of Pembroke , 3) Reverend George Augustus Montgomery, B.A. Oriel College, Oxf. Of Wiltshire , 4) Allenby H.C., of Gainsgate Hall, Long Sutton, county Lincolnshire , and 5) S. Hynman (Montgomery, formerly Allenby), of co. Linc. 1894.
Famous people with this last name include: 1) William Allen Montgomery (1829-1905) who was an American attorney, farmer, and Baptist minister in Tennessee who served as a chaplain in the Confederate Army during the America Civil War, 2) Alexander Montgomerie (1550-1598) who was a poet in the court of King James VI of Scotland and a Scottish Jacobean, 3) Zachariah Montogomery (1825-1900) who was a lawyer, politician, and published who became the Assistant Attorney General of the U.S., and 4) Edward William Montgomery (1865-1948) who served in the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba and was a minister in the government of John Bracken (11th Premier of Manitoba).
Major General Richard Montgomery, (1738-1775)
Stobo Castle, Scottish Borders
General Sir Alexander George Montgomery Moore (1833-1919)
Elizabeth Victoria Montgomery, American actress known for role in Bewitched (1993-1995)
Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein (1887-1976)
© private collection; on loan to the National Portrait Gallery, London
Alfred Montgomery, Commissioner for Inland Revenue; son of Sir Henry Montgomery, baronet (1814-1896)