Humphrys genealogy

Genealogy research by Mark Humphrys.

My ancestors - Humphrys - Contents

  Early records of Humphrys (and variants) in Ireland:

Co.Limerick and Co.Tipperary

Miscellaneous Humphrys (other)

Miscellaneous Humphrys (and Humphreys and Humphrey and variant spellings):
  1. In Ireland, other than in Co.Limerick and Co.Tipperary (which are likely to be related to us).
  2. Outside of Ireland.

Normally I do not bother looking at people of a surname unless there is reason to believe they are actually related to us. But I make an exception here, since this is the surname I inherited.

This is a broad survey of Humphrys and variants in Ireland in the past, with a few notes on the name outside of Ireland. We have no idea if any of these are related to our family, who were of Co.Limerick and Co.Tipperary. It is just interesting to see how old the name is and how long the surname has been in Ireland.

St. Humphrey (Carolingian Empire, 869 AD)

The name Humphrey (and variant spellings) as a first name pre-dates this 9th century saint.
But it was this saint that made the name popular, in particular with the Normans, who brought the name to England.


List of the Bishops of Thérouanne.
Note "St. Humfroi" in 856 to 869 AD.
At St.Martin's church, Thérouanne. See street view.
Photo 2013. From here.


Humphrey de Bohun (England, 1066)

"Humphrey" was used as a first name for generations in the powerful medieval English family of de Bohun.
The name goes back to their ancestor Humphrey de Bohun (or Humfredus de Bohun), of Bohun, Normandy, who took part in the Norman conquest of England in 1066.

Effigy of Humphrey de Bohun, 4th Earl of Hereford (died 1322).
My wife descends from him.
So do I, through Blennerhassett.


Earliest Humphreys (and variants) in Ireland: 1277

Earliest record of Humphreys (and variant spellings) in Ireland.
I did a few searches to see how early I could find the surname. I have not remotely done a thorough search.
So far the earliest record I have found is the following.
Again, we have no idea if this or any of the following are related to our family. It is just interesting to see how early we can find the surname in Ireland.


Richard Humphrey is listed at Swords, Co.Dublin, in a document of 7 Dec 1277.
In the time of Robert Burnell, Bishop of Bath and Wells.
In the reign of Edward I.
From p.264 of vol.2 (1877) of Calendar of documents relating to Ireland, H.S. Sweetman.

Humphreys (and variants) in Ireland: 14th and 15th centuries

Some sample records of Humphreys (and variant spellings) in Ireland in the 14th and 15th centuries.

Thomas Umphree is party to a deed about property in Dublin, 22 Dec 1382.
In the reign of Richard II.
From History of the Religious Gild of S. Anne, in S. Audoen's Church, Dublin, 1430-1740, Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, Vol. 25 (1904/1905), pp. 21-106.
The paper lists other Humphrey (various spellings) in Dublin, all in the 1500s.

Thomas Humfrey is one of the constables in Dublin city, Fourth Friday after 24 June 1493.
In the reign of Henry VII.
From p.379 of Vol.1 of [Gilbert's Records of Dublin].

Humphreys (and variants) in Ireland: 16th century

Some sample records of Humphreys (and variant spellings) in Ireland in the 16th century.

Nicholas Umfre was Mayor of Dublin in 1541.
The above is an Assembly Roll dated Friday after 29 Sept 1541.
From p.409 of Vol.1 of [Gilbert's Records of Dublin].


Nicholas Umffre, shoe maker, is party to a legal case in Dublin, 20 Mar 1586.
From p.1 of Court book of the Liberty of Saint Sepulchre within the juisdiction of the Archbishop of Dublin, 1586-1590, Herbert Wood, 1930.

James Unffry is listed on 27 Nov 1586 as an official at Lusk, Co.Dublin.
From p.4 of above book.
He is also mentioned later, spelled "Unfry". See index.
Noted in [Ni Mhurchadha, 2005, p.93], which writes him as "James Humphrey".

Vicars' index of wills (1604 on)

All entries for Humphrys (and variants) in [Vicars' index of wills 1536-1810].
All of these wills were burnt in 1922.
The earliest ones are:


Parish records, 1640 on

Humphreys and variants appear in parish records from at least 1640.

Marriage of Mary Humfry, 29 June 1640, St.Michan's CoI church, Dublin.
From here.

Baptism of Alice Humphreys, 26 September 1649, St.John's CoI church, Dublin.
From here.


Cromwellian settlers, 1642 to 1646

The list of Cromwellian adventurers for land in Ireland in 1642 to 1646 includes the following.

Nathaniel Humphreys of London, ironmonger.
Listed on p.418 of The Cromwellian settlement of Ireland by John P. Prendergast, 3rd end, 1922.

John Humphreys of London, "imbroyderer".
Listed on p.434 of same.
He is said to be ancestor of the Protestant Humphreys family of Midleton, Co.Cork.

Down Survey, 1655-1656


Lewis Smith and his colleague John Humphreys were employed by Sir William Petty to carry out a Survey of Kerry.
This was part of what became called the Down Survey.
Survey finished Dec 1655 - Jan 1656.
The above is a transcript of a report of June 1656.
From pp.93-101 of The History of the Survey of Ireland (1851).


TCD students (1674 on)


Entries for Humphreys (and related spellings) in [TCD Alumni].
Ones born in 17th century: Ones born in 18th century who entered TCD before 1750:


Humphrystown, Co.Wicklow

Humphrystown (also called "Humphreystown"), Boystown par, Co.Wicklow (S side of Poulaphouca Reservoir, opposite Valleymount).

If (as one assumes) there once was a Humphrys (or variant spelling) family at this place, they were gone long before 1750 and never returned.
Note in Vicars' index of wills above there is a "Humfrey" family found in the 18th century at Donard, Co.Wicklow, a bit to the S (see modern map and old map).


Gilbert, not Humphrys, is found at Humphrystown in [Vicars' index of wills].
William Gilbert is found at "Humphreystown" before 1735.
Humphrystown House was built c.1750.

Humphrystown House, Humphrystown, on 1829 to 1842 map.

BOYSTOWN in [Lewis, 1837] shows W. Cotton at "Humphreystown".
Leinster Express, March 13, 1858, shows William Simmons holding auction of his effects at "Humphreystown House" since he is moving to England.

Humphrystown House.
Photo 2002. From Geograph.
Humphrystown House was a youth hostel in 20th century.

Humphrystown House.
From NIAH.
See more pictures.

Humphrystown House is now Church at HH, a Christian community.
See modern street view (and gate).


Other placenames




This is the earliest Humphreys (or related spelling) I can find in any Irish trade directory.
William Humphreys, Cornmarket, Dublin, listed in [Wilson's Directory of Dublin, 1771, p.42].




The entry in [Burkes Irish, 1912] starts with William Humphrys of Ballyhaise, married before 1786.


Pelham Humphries (America, 1834)

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