Tony Arrowsmith's Web Site



The Arrowsmith Name

My Grandfather always used to say that the family name was originally Harrowsmith and the family manufactured Harrows for use on the farm, but I have never been able to find any proof of this.

The following derivations were  gleaned from several sources.

1. The Guinness Book of names says that the Arrowsmith's were the makers of the arrow heads and Fletchers made the rest and assembled the arrows,

2. From a publication called "Monmouth Roots - The Arrowsmith Family" - this is about the N J Arrowsmith's, but probably applies to all of us (from the Internet):

"This name does not, as it may seem, denote derivation from an ancestor who was a fabricator of arrowheads. It comes, rather from the Frisian "Atteschmidt" (itself the equivalent of the German "Ritter-Schmidt" or  Knightssmith) which softened in to Athersmith, became finally, the Arrowsmith of the present day. Originally it denoted an armourer a class hat rated so high in the days of chivalry that its members, by the very fact of their occupation, belonged to the lower orders of nobility."

3. Neville Arrowsmith in 1990 traced the Athersmith name in Cumbria back to its origins in the Midlands and from there have found links going back to the 1600,s in Worcester where the name was recorded as Athersmyth,

4. From the Internet:

a) I have been told that the Arrowsmith were in fact the makers of the arrow heads and that the Fletcher family made the rest.

b) Arrowsmith: A maker of iron arrow tips.

c) Some of the variations of the name are apparent in the following origins: A Dictionary of British Surnames by P.H. Reaney gives these variants;
Roger le  Aruesmith        
William le Arwesmyth
Richard Arsmith

A smith who makes arrows, especially iron arrowheads (1278 MED).
Harrismith and Harrowsmith are rare but exist side by side with Arrowsmith in Yorks and Lancs.

The Ballinger Name

From Bullinger - Baker (Latin - a Round Loaf)

Or Boulanger - French for Baker - name origin for the New Zealand Ballinger's is from the French word 'boulanger' which means baker.  According to Esme Ballinger, the ancestors of the New Zealand Ballinger's were bakers from France who left for England after the Normandy evasion.  

The German surname Ballinger had two distinct origins.  Firstly, the surname Ballinger is of patriotic origin, deriving from the name of the father of the original bearer.  In this instance, the surname Ballinger derives from the German personal name Baldo, which in turn derives from the Gothic "balds", the Old High German "bald" meaning "courageous,  bright".  Here, the surname Ballinger literally translates into "son of Baldo".  Alternatively, the surname Ballinger is of toponymic origin, deriving from the name of the place, where the original bearer of the name once lived or held land.  Here, the surname Ballinger derives from the cith of Balingen, which is located in the south western German.  The city of Balingen, was probably founded by someone with the personal name Ball or Baldo.  The ending "inger" is usually found being of  patriotic origins meaning "coming from" a town or a family.  The surname Ballinger and its variant forms of Balle and Balinger can be found in documents dating back to the fourteenth century.  One Heinrich dictus de Baldinger was a monk of the monastery of Saint Trubert, as documents for the year 1309 indicate.  One Konrad Ball was a resident and citizen of Mengen, near Saulgau, in the yeart 1377.  Documents for the year 1432 indicate one Johannes Balinger, he was a notary and resident in Hechingen.  One Melchior Balles was a resident of Semmesweiler, near Oberkochen, in the year 1680.  

The Brain Name

Brain is one of the many new names that came to England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Brain family lived in Gloucestershire . The family is believed to have been from "Brain", near Hainaut in Normandy where they were nobles of the order of St. Empire.

The name was spelled Brain, Braine, Brayne, Brane, Brayn and others. First found in Gloucestershire where they held a family seat from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy , their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.

The Endicott/Endacott Name

1. The family can only be traced to the year 1327 A.D. and to a place of the same name in Devonshire, England, said to have been an estate in South Tawton. The evident meaning of the name is "end cot" or cottage; but one historian maintains that the original orthography of the name was Yondecote, meaning "yonder cottage." In ancient English and early American records the name appears in at least 17 different spellings, varying from Yendicott, Edecot, Edycott, Indicott to Endicott. Of these, the last name is most generally used in America.

2. The ancient Devonshire family of Endecott took its name and origin from the estate of Endicott, parcel of the Manor of Itton, alias South Tawton, in the sub-Dartmoor parish of South Tawton.  The present homestead has been partially rebuilt as a modern farmhouse, but includes part of the ancient house.  It is situated about a mile south of the North Tawton Station of the London and South Western Railway. The name is spelt by the Post Office and the neighbours, "Endacott”; but it appears on the six-inch Ordnance Survey map as “Hendicott," and on the ancient Tithe-map as "Yendicott."  The last spelling is the nearest to the original.  In the Court Roll of the Manor of Itton, alias South Tawton, for 1719 (see Devonshire Association Transactions, Vol. Xxxiv, page 616), mention is made of "Endicott's hedge" at Itton Green and from the Court Roll of 1725, it appears that the last of the Endicott family had died in that year, and his estates of Itton and Taw Green had passed to John Eastchurch, his next heir."

The Gallihawk Name


This rare and interesting name is a good example of the intriguing surname variants that can be created when names of one nationality are adopted into another, with subsequent phonetic spelling, clerical errors, and changes due to "folk etymology", the popular perversion of the element of the name in order to give it a meaning. In this instance, the modern surnames found in England as Gallehawk, Gallihawk, Gallihau(l)k, Gallehock and Gollyhaock, are all "Anglicized" versions of the Italian names Gallico and Gallichio, or any of their variants. This was originally a regional name in North West Spain, so called from the Latin "Gallaecia", a derivative of the tribal name "Gallaeci" of unknown origin; the Spanish forms of the name are Gallego and Gallegos. Among recordings of the name in England are those of the marriages of Prudence Gallihawke and Richard Read, in Milton next Sittingbourne, in Kent, on December 1st 1783, and of Charles Gallehawk and Eliza Youens at St. Paul's Deptford, on November 17th 1873. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Gaetano Gallichio (baptism), which was dated April 13th 1637, in Calvera, Potenza, Italy, during the reign of Ferdinand 11, known as " The Holy Roman Emperor", 1619 - 1637. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

The Grandfield Name

Grandfield is a name that was brought to England by the ancestors of the Grandfield family when they migrated to the region after the Norman Conquest in 1066. The Grandfield family lived in one of the many places named Grenville in Normandy . Grenville was a seaport in Lower Normandy. There are also many places in Normandy called Grainville, which is a place-name derived from the Germanic personal name Guarin, which means guard, and the Old French word "ville", which means village or settlement. Many variations of the name Grandfield have been found, including Granville, Granfield, Grandfield, Greenfield and others.

First found in Cornwall where they held a family seat from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy , their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.

The Hayward Name

1. Hayward is English, meaning "the Manorial official who had charge of the hedges and was guardian of the cultivated land to protect it from straying cattle".
(Many of the Hayward's changed their name to Howard through the years).

2. The duties of a Hayward were of a varied nature. His chief task seems to have been to guard the cattle at pasture, but he also protected the crops from thieves, trimmed the hedges etc. In old poems he is generally represented as carrying a horn.

3. High or Chief guardian.

The Buggins Name

Buggins turn - appointment of person by rotation, or promotion as a result of mere length of service, rather than on merit
The earliest recorded use of this expression is by Admiral Fisher, later First Sea Lord, in 1901. It is not known whether he invented it or was merely the first to write down and make public, in disparaging terms, an existing piece of private Civil Service jocularity. Certainly the Buggins principle was deeply embedded, and perhaps still is, in the higher ranks of the Civil Service and the armed forces.

The surname Buggins was probably chosen because it was thought to be appropriately nondescript.


The surname of BUGGINS was a locational name 'of Biggin' a township in the parish of Church Fenton, County York. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. The names introduced into Britain by the Normans during and in the wake of the Invasion of 1066, are nearly all territorial in origin. The followers of William the Conqueror were a pretty mixed lot, and while some of them brought the names of their castles and villages in Normandy with them, many were adventurers of different nationalities attached to William's standard by the hope of plunder, and possessing no family or territorial names of their own. Those of them who acquired lands in England were called by their manors, while others took the name of the offices they held or the military titles given to them, and sometimes, a younger son of a Norman landowner, on receiving a grant of land in his new home dropped his paternal name and adopted that of his newly acquired property.

The Bush Name

Bush family crest and coat of arms - Bush Web Site

The surname "Bush" means "People who dwelt near a particular bush.
The same families are written "Busch" in German , "Struder" in Swedish.

The Phillips Name

Phillips/Philips : Philip was an extremely popular name in medieval times -- Philip was one of the apostles, and four French kings were named Philip from the 11th to the 13th century. The name -- which means 'lover of horses' -- came into England from France at the time of the conquest. Philips is patronymic (named after the father Philip, whose sons would be referred to as Philip's sons). The common Welsh and English version of the surname is spelled with two l's, giving the descendants the surname Phillips. Phillips is a variation of the English, French, Dutch/Flemish, and Danish/Norwegian Patronymic name Phillip/Philip from the Greek name Philippos and elements philein = to love + hippos = horse. Its popularity seems to have been due to medieval stories about Alexander the Great, whose father was Philip of Macedon. Variations are Philipp, Phillip, Philp, Phelp, Phalp (English); Philippe, Phelip, Felip, Phelit, Philip, Phalip (French); Filip (Flemish/Dutch). There are numerous other diminutive, patronymic, and cognitive forms.

Phillips -  Greek for horse lover.

The Chalmers-Francis name

Chalmers Clan Crest

Chalmers - "son of the lord". Clamer, Chalmer.

Image result for francis family crest coat of arms

Francis -  From a Latin name meaning Frenchman.

The Inglis name

Inglis Clan Crest

Inglis -  Old English for ‘Englishman’

The Dixon name

Dixon - "son of Richard".

The Roles name

Roles is a name whose history on English soil dates back to the wave of migration that followed the Norman Conquest of England of 1066. The Roles family lived in Yorkshire . Their name, however, is a reference to Roullours, in Calvados, in the arrondissement of Dieppe, Normandy , the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066.

The various spellings include Rolls, Rowles, Rolston, Rolleston, Rollesby, Rolles, Rholes and many more. First found in Yorkshire where they were undertenants in the honour of Richmond being descended from the distinguished Norman family of Rollos of Roullours in Calvados, arrondisement of Dieppe, in Normandy . A century later it appears that William de Rollos, Lord of Bourne in the county of Lincoln to the south, was also a branch of this distinguished family. Richard Rolle (1290–1349) was an English religious writer, Bible translator, and hermit. He is also known as Richard Rolle of Hampole or de Hampole. He studied at Oxford.

The Llewellyn name

 The Llewellyn surname is derived from the Welsh personal name Llewellyn, which was also spelled Llywelin. This name is often explained as meaning lion-like, but is in fact probably derived from the Welsh word "llyw," which means leader. The Welsh double l was a constant source of trouble to English speakers, and was often translated "f."

The spelling variations of the name Llewellyn have included Flewelling, Flewellen, Llewellen, Llewillan, Llewellyn, Alewellyin, Flewellyn, Flywillan, Fleuellan, Llewallin, Llewallyn, Flewellan, Flewellin, Llewellan, Lewellin, Lewellen, Lewillan, Lewellyn, Lywellen, Lywellin, Lewallin and many more. First found in Pembrokeshire (Welsh: Sir Benfro), a county in south-west Wales , anciently part of the Welsh kingdom of Deheubarth, where they held a family seat from very ancient times.

The Probert name

The Probert name was taken by Welsh families as contact with the English became more pronounced.During the era when the Acts of Union (1536/1542) were passed, Thomas Cromwell sought to integrate English customs and practices in Wales. The "ap" (son of) and "ferch" (daughter of) features of the Welsh patronymic system were discouraged in favour of adopting surnames: Morgan ap Rhys became Morgan Preece/Price,   Gwilym ap Robert became Gwilym (William) Probert.

Thus, the family name simply means "son of Robert." There were probably several Roberts living in an area, centred roughly around Abergavenny (based on what little analysis I have done), whose sons/daughters took the name Probert, which was then passed to their descendants.

During the 17th and 18th centuries, there certainly seems to be a great number of Probert surnames in the Abergavenny, Brecon, Builth, Crickhowell, Penalt, Glasbury, Llanvetherine area. I have yet to discover many Probert names in the far south of Wales, far west, or north of the Brecon region during the 17th/18th centuries.

Thus, the family name simply means "son of Robert." There were probably several Roberts living in an area, centred roughly around Abergavenny (based on what little analysis I have done), whose sons/daughters took the name Probert, which was then passed to their descendants.


Recorded in a very wide range of spellings including Probart, Probert, Probertt, Probat, Probet, Probatts, Probate, Probetts and others, this is a surname of pre 7th century Olde English and later Welsh origins. It derives from a fused form of the patronymic prefix "ap" or sometimes "ab" meaning son of, with, in this case Robert or perhaps in some cases, from "Batt", a short form of Bartholomew. Both personal names were occasionally found in England before the Norman Conquest of 1066, were mainly introduced thereafter, and quickly became popular. Robert derives from the Germanic elements "hrod", meaning renown, and "berht", bright or famous, and has generated a wide variety of surnames, whilst Bartholomew was biblical and means a farmer. Early examples of the surname recording taken from surviving church registers of the diocese of Greater London include such examples as those of Thomas Uprobarte, who died in 1540 and was buried at St. Antholin's church, Lucie Probatts, who was married at St Brides, Fleet Street, on November 29th 1612, James Probate, who was christened at St Mary-le-Bone, on September 1st 1690, Humphrey Probet, who married Judeth Brooks at St Mary Lothbury, on October 18th 1698, Esther Probate who was christened at St Lukes Finsbury, on February 5th 1769, and Joseph Probert, who married Sarah Owen at St. George's, Hanover Square, in 1792. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Philip ab Robert. This was dated 1250, in the ancient deeds of Hertfordshire, during the reign of King Henry 111rd of England, 1216 - 1272. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.