Terry Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History


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Terry Surname Name Meaning, Origin, History, & Etymology
The surname Terry is an primarily English and Irish name derived from the French-Norman personal (first) name Therry or Terry, a masculine given name, derived from the Old French word thierri, composed of the Germanic elements þeudo, meaning race or people, and ric, meaning power. It should be noted that Theodoric the Great (454-526), King of the Ostrogoths, and later King of Italy, is derived from the Greek name Theodoros. It should also be noted an Anglo-Norman family named Terry established itself in Cork, Ireland. In some cases, in Ireland, the last name Terry is an Anglicized form of the Gaelic Mac Toirdhealbhaigh. Lastly, in southern France, the Terry was also found, as an occupational surname for a potter, from the Latin occitan terrin, meaning “earthenware vase”. The book Patronymica Britannica states the following in regard to this family surname: “Not ‘the tearful one’ as some etymologists have it, but a corruption of Theodoric, the personal name, like the French Thierry. In H.R. Terri and Terry are without prefix”. The book A Dictionary of English and Welsh names states the following in regard to the origin and meaning of the last name: “This surname is derived from the name of an ancestor. ‘the son of Theodorie’ (Tedric, Domesday), from the nick. Terry, probably from the French nick. Thierry”.

The name first established itself in county Kent, England, where Gilbert, Earl of Pembroke, granted lands to Thierry, son of Deorman of London, circa 1142 AD. The Terry family motto is Ex cruce leo, a Latin motto meaning “From the cross a lion”. Spelling variants or names with similar etymologies include Tyrry, Terrey, Terre, Terri, Tarry, Torry, Torrie, Thierry, Thery, Thiery, and Terrey.

Early Bearers of the Terry Surname
The first known bearers of this surname was Ralph Teri, who was recorded in the Register of the Freemen of the City of Leicester in 1199 AD. Some other early bearers of this last name were John Terry (Warwickshire 1221 AD), Thomas Therry (Somerset 1243 AD), and Hugo Tyry (Bedfordshire 1250 AD). The Hundred Rolls of 1273 AD, a census of Wales and England, known in Latin as Rotuli Hundredorum lists two bearers of this surname: Richard Terry (Huntingdonshire) and Geoffrey Terri (Oxforfshire). The Poll Tax Rolls of Yorkshire in 1379 AD also list two bearers: Johannes Tyrry and Petrus Terre.

Popularity & Geographic Distribution
The last name Terry ranks 336th popularity in the United Status as of the 2000 Census. The name ranks particularly high in the following four states: Alabama (122nd), Utah (123rd), Virginia (220th), and Tennessee (227th).

The surname Terry frequency/commonness ranks as follows in the British Isles: England (531st), Scotland (2,204th), Wales (778th), Ireland (333rd) and Northern Ireland (4,518th). In England, it ranks highest in counties Kent and West Sussex. In Scotland, the surname ranks highest in East Dunbartonshire. In Ireland, it ranks highest in county Munster. In Wales, it ranks highest in Brigend and Neath Port Talbot.

The name is also present throughout the remainder English speaking world: Canada (1,552nd), New Zealand (761st), Australia (992nd), and South Africa (3,921st).

In his 1890 book, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain, Henry Brougham Guppy, states the following in regard to this last name: “The Terrys or Terreys include an old Thanet family of gentry, several of whom were buried in Monckton church in the latter half of the 17th century (H.). In Elizabeth’s time the Terrys held the manors of Bicknor and Swanton Court; and in the same reign there lived a family of yeomen of the name in Herne, and in the time of Charles I. inShoreham. Much property was held by the Terrys in the early part of last century, when there were Terrys or Terreys of Faversham, Brookland, Ospringe, Staplehurst, Trapham, etc. (H.). It was also an old clerical name in the county. The incumbents of Petham in 1664, of St. Mary church, Sandwich, in 1622, and of Goodneston in 1736, were thus named (H.). Terry is a name now also represented in Bucks and the West Riding; and it is remarkable that, as far back as the reign of Edward I., it occurred still in Yorkshire, and also in the counties adjacent to Bucks, namely those of Oxford, Northampton, and Hunts”.

Terry Family Tree & Terry Genealogy
Anthony Terry was born in Kent, England in 1546. He married Sarah and had a son with her named Thomas. This son, Thomas Terry Sr., was born in London, Middlesex, England in 1585 AD. He married Joan Bing. He went to colonial America. He had the following issue prior to his death in New York in 1618: Thomas, Robert, Agnes, Anthony, and Kitheren. His son Thomas was born in Barnet, Wiltshire, England around 1606 AD. He went to colonial America with his father. He married Marie, daughter of Henrye Bigge and Alice Holman, and had children with her as follows: Thomas Jr., Elizabeth, Ruth, Daniel, Mary, and Ann. Thomas Terry Jr. was born in England around 1631 AD and came to Massachusetts. He married Hanna, daughter of John and Anna Rogers, and had the following issue with her: Thomas, Benjamin, and John. His son, Thomas Terry, was born in Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts in 1679. He married Abigail, daughter of Isaac Dean and Hannah Dean, and had the following issue with her: Abiel, Hannah, Abiah, Jonathan, Deborah, and Nathaniel. His son, Abiel, was born in Freetown, Bristol County, Massachusetts in 1714. He married Hannah Tisdale and had the following children with her: Abial, Zebedee, Joseph, Hannah, and Thomas, all born in the 1740s.

Tomas Terry was born in Long Sutton, Hampshire, England in 1571 AD. He married Joan Binge, and had a son with her named Richard. Richard Terry was born in London, England in 1618. He married Abigail, daughter of Richard and Ann Lynes. In 1635, Richard, age 17, came to colonial America (Salem, Massachusetts), along with his brothers Thomas and Robert. He was the father of the following children: Abigail, Gershom, Elizabeth, Nathaniel, Sarah, John Sr., Samuel, Richard, Mary, and Bethia. He lived in the New Haven Colony in Connecticut and died in what is present day Suffolk, County, New York.

Marriages of Terrys
1) Ellin Terry married Raphe Bromsgrave in Saint Clement Danes, Westminster, London, England in September 1591
2) William Terry married Gooddye Pucke in Ightham, Kent, England in February 1586
3) Thomas Terry married Margerett Nottingham in Horley, Surrey, England in June 1580
4) James Terry married Joan Mills in Rudgwick, Sussex, England in July 1638
5) Robert Terry married Martha Price in Westminster, Middlesex, England in September 1726
6) Richard Terry married Margaret Brodway in Saint Munchin, Limerick, Ireland in June 1753
7) Samuel Terry Jr. married Hannah Morgan in Springfield, Hampden, Massachusetts in May 1682
8) William Terrey married Elizabeth Cooper in Christchurch, Middlesex, Virginia in April 1689
9) Thomas Terry married Hannah Chapin in Springfield, Hampden, Massachusetts in February 1735
10) Mary Terry married Daniel Chapin in Springfield, Hampden, Massachusetts in February 1793
11) Linus Terry married Nancy C. Statler in Miami, Ohio in September 1847
12) Lana C. Terry married William H. Mettler in Ross, Ohio in 1889

Early American and New World Settlers
Some of the earliest settlers in colonial America bearing this name include:
1) Richard Terry came to Nantucket, Massachusetts in 1630
2) Sylvester Terry came to Nantucket, Massachusetts in 1630
3) Stephen Terry came to Nantucket, Massachusetts in 1630
4) Jane Hardey Terry came to New England in 1633
5) Anthony Terry, age 50, came from England to Virginia aboard the Thomas and John in June 1635
6) Thomas Terry, age 25, came from England to Virginia aboard the Thomas and John in June 1635
7) Thomas Terry, age 33, came from England to Virginia aboard the Thomas and John in June 1635
8) Jo (John, Joseph?) Terry, age 32, came aboard the Abigall in 1635
9) Thomas Terry, age 28, came to New England aboard the James in July 1635
10) Robert Terry, age 25, came to New England aboard the James in July 1635
11) Richard Terry, age 17, came to New England aboard the James in July 1635
12) Samuel Terry came to Boston, Massachusetts in 1650
13) William Terry came to Virginia in 1653
14) Sarah Terry came to Virginia in 1653
15) Michael Terry came to Maryland in 1655
16) Thomas Terry came to Maryland in 1671
17) Jonas Terry came to Virginia in 1693
18) Elizabeth Terry came to Virginia in 1727
19) William Terry came to Georgia in 1733
20) John Terry came to Savannah, Georgia in 1733

Several thousand members of the Terry family came to the United States through Ellis Island, during the nineteenth century, including:
1) Ann Terry came from Ireland aboard the City of New York in 1872
2) Tom Terry came from England aboard the Neptune in 1869
3) Melly Terry came from Bermuda aboard the Bermudian in 1906
4) Bernard Terry came from Donegal, Ireland aboard the Furnessia in 1905
5) Patrick Terry came from Cork, Ireland aboard the Saxonia in 1902
6) Helene Terry came from Mexico City aboard the Monterey in 1913
7) Victoria Terry came from England aboard the Baltic in 1913
8) Edward Terry came from Kingstown, Ireland aboard the Columbia in 1913
9) Jose Terry came from Havana, Cuba aboard the Saratoga in 1913
10) Leonard Terry came from Australia aboard the Venetia in 1908

11) Marion B. Terry came from London, England aboard the Lusitania in 1908
12) William Henry Terry came from Liverpool, England aboard the Arabic in 1904

Some of the earliest settlers in Canada bearing this name include:
1) David Terry came to Nova Scotia, Canada in 1749
2) John Terry came to Nova Scotia Canada in 1761
3) Zedebee Terry came to Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1776

Some of the earliest settlers in Australia and New Zealand bearing this name include:
1) Alfred, Mary, Mary Ann, Dorias, and Esther Terry came to Adelaide, Australia aboard the Buckinghamshire in 1839
2) Alex R. Terry came to Australia aboard the Indus in 1873
3) Henry Terry, a 27 year old bricklayer, along with his wife Mary A. and son Henry W. Terry, came to Hawkes Bay, New Zealand aboard the Clarence in 1875

Grantees of Arms
1) Sir J. Terry of Dringhouses, county York, 1887
2) Major General Astley Fellows and Thomas Henry Fellows, 1887

There are hundreds of notable people with the Terry surname. This page will mention a handful. Famous people with this last name include:
1) Edward Terry (1590-1660) was an English cleric posted at the English Embassy to the Great Mogul who wrote a book titled A Voyage to East-India
2) Charles Layman Terry Jr. (1900-1970) was the 65th Governor of Delaware from 1965-1969, having DFGBN
3) Colonel Benjamin Franklin Terry (1821-1861) was the organizer and commander of the 8th Texas Cavalry Regiment during the American Civil War, known as Terry’s Texas Rangers, born in Russelville, Kentucky
4) Alfred Howe Terry (1827-1890) was a Union General during the American Civil War, born in Hartford, Connecticut, who led soldiers to victory at the Second Battle of Fort Fisher, and was the commander of the Dakota Territory from 1866-1869
5) Adam Terry (1982) was a former professional football player in the NFL, born in Queensbury, New York, who played for five different teams, including the Baltimore Ravens, from 2005-2011
6) Luther Leonidas Terry (1911-1985) was the 9th Surgeon General of the United States from 1961-1965, born in Red Level, Alabama
7) Dame Alice Ellen Terry (1847-1928), better known as Ellen Terry, was an actress from Coventry, England who became the preeminent Shakespearean actress in Great Britain during the 1870s
8) Ralph Willard Terry (1936) was a former professional baseball player (pitcher), born in Big Cabin Oklahoma, who played for six different teams in the MLB from 1956 to 1967, including the New York Yankees, and was an All-Star in 1962, as well as World Series MVP
9) Robert Terry (1980) was a professional wrestler and bodybuilder from Swansea, Wales who wrestled in the WWE, TNA, and other circuits
10) William Terry (1824-1888) was the commander of the Stonewall Brigade during the American Civil War, and later was a Congressman in the US House of Representatives from Virginia who served from 1871-1873 and again from 1875-1877

Wikipedia also states the following about a branch of this family: “The Terry family was a theatrical dynasty of the late 19th century and beyond. The family includes not only those members with the surname Terry, but also Neilsons, Craigs and Gielguds, to whom the Terrys were linked by marriage or blood ties. The dynasty was founded by the actor Benjamin Terry and his wife, Sarah. The first member of the family to achieve national prominence was their eldest surviving daughter, Kate. Her younger sister, Ellen, achieved international fame, in partnership with Henry Irving. Ellen Terry was seen as the greatest star of the family for many decades, but her great-nephew John Gielgud became at least as celebrated from the 1930s to the end of the 20th century. Among those of the family who did not become actors, Gordon Craig, Ellen’s son, was an internationally-known theatre designer and director. Members of the family who were professionally associated with the theatre, as performers, designers or managers, are given individual paragraphs below”.

Terry America Civil War Veterans
There were several soldiers with the last name Terry who served in the American Civil War, including the following:
1) Edmund K. Terry of the 1st Independent Battery New York Light Artillery (Union)
2) Albert J. Terry of the 42nd Regiment Mississippi Infantry (Confederacy)
3) Kinchen L. Terry of the 11th Regiment Kentucky Infantry (Union)
4) Clay H. Terry of the 2nd Regiment Mississippi Infantry (Confederacy)
5) Henry S. Terry of the Jeff Davis Legion Mississippi Cavalry (Confederacy)
6) Matthew C. Terry of the 4th Regiment Mississippi Infantry (Confederacy)
7) Anthony T.B. Terry of the 1st Regiment Ohio Cavalry (Union)
8) Daniel Terry of the 13th Regiment Ohio Infantry (Union)
9) Benjamin F. Terry of the 3rd Regiment New York Light Artillery (Union)
10) William Terry of the 3rd Regiment Connecticut Infantry (Union)
11) Thomas J. Terry of the 11th Regiment New Jersey Infantry (Union)
12) John H. Terry of the 55th Regiment Alabama Volunteers (Confederacy)

Terry America Revolution Veterans
There were several soldiers with the last name Terry who served in the Revolutionary War, including the following:
1) Private Joseph Terry of North Carolina
2) Surgeon Samuel Terry of Rhode Island
3) Corporal Ephraim Terry of Connecticut
4) Private Alexander Terry of Virginia
5) Corporal Ruben Terry of Massachusetts
6) Private John Terry of Virginia
7) Lieutenant Nathanial Terry of Virginia
8) Private Obadiah Terry of Virginia
9) Private Samuel Terry of New York
10) Corporal Isaac Terry of Connecticut
11) Giddeon Terry of Virginia
12) Private Vincent Terry of Virginia

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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) Ar. a cross betw. four martlets gu. Crest—A demi lion ppr. holding a fleur-de-lis gu.
2) or Tyrry (Baghyughis, co. Cork; Reg. Ulster’s Office). Az. a fess ar. betw. three crosses crosslet or, on a chief of the last a demi lion ramp. gu. Crest—A demi lion ramp. gu. holding betw. the paws a shield or.
3) (city of Cork, and Spain; allowed by Fortescue, Ulster, 1789, to Don Ramon Terry, an officer in the service of the King of Spain, son of William Terry, grandson of Ignatius Terry, b. 1686, and great-grandson of William Terry, Esq., of Cork). Same Arms. Crest—A demi lion ramp. gu. holding betw. the paws a shield with the representation of a human face thereon az. garnished and rimmed or. Motto—Ex cruce leo.

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