Select Tempest Genealogy

The Tempest surname is thought perhaps to reflect behavioral characteristics, a nickname for someone who had a blustery temperament. 

Alternatively, the name may be locational.  The surname was appropriated by one family in particular in west Yorkshire, starting with de Tempest soon after the Domesday survey of 10

Select Tempest Resources on The Internet

Select Tempest Ancestry

EnglandThe Tempest family origins were in the Bracewell parish of what was then the West Riding of Yorkshire. Roger Tempest was probably born around 1098 and Roger and Richard Tempest descendants alternated there over the next two hundred years.  The family head at the time of Henry V was Sir Piers Tempest who fought at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415.

At an early period the Tempests were to separate into several distinct branches, of which the main ones were:
  • those of Bracewell, Tong and Broughton in Yorkshire
  • and those of Holmside, Stella and Wynyard in Durham.
Durham.  Many of the Durham Tempests were recusants, adherents to the old Catholic faith after the Reformation.  They were Royalist and it was said in the 17th century: "Tempests resided there in Catholic splendor and loyalty during the reign of four Stuart kings."

After their religious wobble, the Temples of Old Durham re-established themselves as country gentry in the 18th century and three generations of Tempests served as Durham MP's during that time.  From this line through Frances Tempest came the Vane-Tempests.

Yorkshire.  The Tempest Yorkshire base shifted from Bracewell in west Yorkshire to Broughton Hall near Skipton in north Yorkshire when they built the present house there in 1597.  Eleanor Blanche Tempest, who married into this family, produced the 600 page document Tempest Pedigrees shortly before her death in 1928.  Her work was followed by M.E. Lancaster's 1978 book The Tempests of Broughton.

Broughton Hall fell into decay during the 20th century under the eccentric Stephen Tempest.  But after his younger brother Henry took over in 1970, there has been a revival in Broughton Hall fortunes.

Tempests Elsewhere.  There were Tempests elsewhere in England, mostly related to the main family lines.

In 1569 Tempests from Durham had fled the north to escape retribution from the failed Catholic Northern Rebellion.
Robert Tempest, the Sheriff of Durham, and his eldest son Michael fled abroad and both died in exile.  Another son William ended up in Cambridgeshire and his family held Scalor Manor in Haddon between 1608 and 1661.  William Tempest, born at Shepherds in Cranbrook, Kent in 1682, was a descendant.

Durham Tempests owned the Little Grove estate at East Barnet on the outskirts of London in the late 18th century. But the property was sold on Anne Tempestís death in 1817.

Marie Tempest, the famous soprano in late Victorian and Edwardian times, took her Tempest stage name from Lady Susan Vane-Tempest whom she referred to as her godmother.

.  Tempest crossed the Irish Sea to Ireland, the name appearing in county Louth records in 1659. 

William Tempest was recorded as a musician owning a lodging house in Rostrevor, county Down in 1815.  His son or grandson William moved to Dundalk in Louth in the 1850ís and soon started a printing and stationary business there. The Tempests became a well-known family in Dundalk and a later William Tempest was a Justice of the Peace in the early 1900ís. 

The Tempest Annual
, first produced in Dundalk in 1861, was essentially a business directory.  It continued under Temple descendants until 1959 when a Centennary Annual was published

Select Tempest Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for further stories and accounts:

Select Tempest Names

Roger Tempest, born around 1098 in Yorkshire, was the first recorded of the Tempest family.
Pierce Tempest
from Yorkshire was an English book and print seller, best known for his series Cries of the City of London published in 1711.
Marie Tempest
, born Mary Etherington, was a famous
 soprano in England in late Victorian and Edwardian times.
Gerard Tempest
, born Gerard Tempesta in Italy in 1918, was an American painter who is considered the father of Abstract Spiritualism.

Select Tempests Today
  • 2,000 in the UK (most numerous in Yorkshire)
  • 400 elsewhere (most numerous in Australia)

PS.  You might want to check out the surnames page on this website.  It covers surname genealogy in this and companion websites for more than 800 surnames.

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