Everett Surname Meaning, History & Origin

Everett Surname Meaning

Everard derived from the Old English personal name Eoforheard and the Germanic Eberhard, both composed of the elements eber, meaning “wild boar” and hard meaning “brave” or “strong.”  The pet form of Everhard was Ever and this led to the surname Evers.

Curiously the Everard name was popular with the 1066 Norman invaders of England and it is possible that the German spelling was brought by them and then intermixed with the English form.

Everard was particularly popular among the Bretons who had come as part of William’s army and who were, in recognition of their feats, granted extensive lands in East Anglia.

Everett Surname Resources on The Internet

Everett Surname Ancestry

  • from England (East Anglia)
  • to America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand

England.  A Somerset family of Everard claimed their descent from Ranulph Fitzeverard who supposedly held lands at Luxborough, Somerset in 1066.

East Anglia.  However, the Everard surname was and is mainly to be found in East Anglia, an area of heavy Norman and Breton settlement after the Conquest. Early examples of the name were Richard Everard in Bedfordshire in 1204, Simon Eborard in Norfolk in 1275, and Geoffrey Everad in Norfolk in 1304.

Later spellings were Evered and Everett and these names were also mainly to be found in East Anglia. The Evered spelling was more common at first. But Everett had come to predominate by the late 1600’s.

Everetts date from the 1560’s in East Harling records in Norfolk. One family history starts with the marriage of John Everett and Elizabeth Oliver in Melbourn, Cambridgeshire in 1729.

Elsewhere.  Joseph Everett was a prominent clothier in Salisbury, Wiltshire in the late 1700’s. His industry resulted in the subsequent family purchase of the Greenhill estate in Sutton Veny.

America. A notable Everett presence was in New England.

New England.  Richard Everett arrived in New England and in 1636 he and a party of settlers bought land from Indians on the Connecticut river at Agawan, now the town of Springfield, Massachusetts.

He had eleven children from his two marriages and is the ancestor of many notable Americans – the list said to include Sarah Palin, Tom Seaver, Sam Shepard, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, and perhaps Ginger Rogers. The genealogy was first covered in E.F. Everett’s 1902 book Descendants of Richard Everett of Dedham, Massachusetts.

Notable Everett descendants were Horace Everett, who represented Vermont in the US Congress from the 1820’s to the 1840’s, and his first cousins Alexander Everett, the diplomat and man of letters, and Edward Everett, the great Boston orator.

“Everett is generally remembered today as the featured orator at the dedication ceremony of the National Cemetery in Gettysburg in 1863, where he spoke for over two hours immediately before President Lincoln delivered his famous, two-minute Gettsburg address.”

The town of Everett in Massachusetts was named after him.

Virginia and North CarolinaWilliam and Anne Everett were early arrivals in Virginia in 1635. They disembarked on the mouth of the James river and eventually settled in Williamsburg. Their descendants were in North Carolina by the time of the Revolutionary War and later moved to Georgia and NW Florida.

Another early Everett line in Virginia stemmed from George and Mary Everett who were recorded in Northumberland county in the 1650’s. A line from them led to Jeremiah Everett who left Virginia in the 1790’s for Kentucky and Arkansas. In Arkansas his family was embroiled in a bitter land dispute with their neighbors the Tutts. Thomas Ewell Everett departed in 1849 and was a pioneer settler in Bosque county, Texas.

Everetts were among the early arrivals in North Carolina when it first opened up in the 1670’s. Nathaniel Everett was the first of these settlers, in 1683, in the eastern part of the state. Many later Everetts migrated elsewhere in the South. But there remains an Everett colony near Williamston in Martin county, North Carolina. Alvaretta Register’s 1987 book Everett/Everitt Family: A Genealogical History traced Nathaniel Everett and his descendants.

Canada. Three Everett brothers from Bedfordshire – William, Joseph, and Samuel – came to New Brunswick in 1824. Samuel’s son William, who was four at this time, made his home at Riley Brook along the Tobique river where he started up a sawmill in the 1860’s. From another line came the Everetts of the Everett family orchard near Fredericton, an enterprise which has been with the family through eight generations.  

Australia. Everetts came to Australia from various parts of England during the 19th century and had varying experiences. Among them were:

  • George and Edwin Everett, the sons of a Wiltshire MP, who came to Sydney on the Hope in 1838 and initially squatted on farming land. Over time they became large-scale and successful sheep and cattle ranchers in NSW.
  • Charles Everett from Suffolk who came to Victoria on the Anna Robertson in 1839. His brother John followed him in 1854 after he had gotten established and his father William came a year later in 1855.
  • John Everitt from Essex who came out as a young lad on the Fortitude in 1849. He went with his cousins to the Victorian goldfields where he struck lucky and then had his gold stolen. He returned to the goldfields, but with little reward the second time round. And this time his young wife became disillusioned with the country and its harsh conditions.
  • and Arundel Everett from Somerset who managed to get to Australia on his second attempt in 1857. Ten years later he died there in tragic circumstances.

New Zealand.  Charles and Edward Everett came to New Zealand from Quebec on the Sir Thomas Paget in 1852. When they first came to Quebec is unclear. But it is likely that they arrived there on the Montreal from London in 1835. Charles died in New Plymouth in 1855. Edward settled in Nelson and was elected mayor of Nelson in 1876. He died in 1904, leaving seven sons and one daughter.

Everett Surname Miscellany

Evered and Everett.  H.B. Guppy in his 1968 study of the geographical origins of family names in Britain found that the Evered and Everett names appeared most frequently in the following counties – Norfolk, Suffolk, Wiltshire, Lincolnshire, Cambridge, and Essex – in other words the area northeast of London known as East Anglia.

The Evered spelling accounted for approximately 60 percent of the surname recorded there in the 1500’s.  But that share had dropped to 35 percent by the late 1600’s. Interestingly the changeover to Everett happened faster in the capital London than in the outlying counties (Essex, Suffolk, and Norfolk).

Everetts in East Harling, Norfolk.  East Harling is a small market town along the river Waveney near Thetford in Norfolk.  It was once famous for the manufacture and sale of yarn and linen cloth.  The town population was 1,031 in 1831.

Many of them at one time were Everetts.  Their name in East Harling records goes back to the 1560’s. Some were well-to-do gentry and a number Quakers.  The Friends’ Meeting House, erected in 1823, has a small burial ground and a vault of the Everetts.

One family line dates back to Thomas Everett who married Ann Bransby in East Harling in 1772.  Charles and John Everett of this family emigrated to Australia in the 1840’s.  John Everett was the licensee of the White Horse in East Harling in 1879.  But the 1881 census showed that there were few Everetts left in the town.

Richard Everett of Dedham, Massachusetts.  Edward F. Everett’s book on Richard Everett, published in 1902, indicated that he had arrived by 1636 and had perhaps settled first in Watertown before coming to Dedham.   However, it reported no other evidence of his British origins except the suggestion that he was related to the “Everard family of county Essex.”

In a book published nine years later another descendant, Dr. C. C. Everett, the Dean of the Divinity School at Harvard University believed that he was born at Dedham in England.  This view was then adopted in the Everett genealogy.

The first positive record of Richard Everett in America was at Springfield in 1636 when he witnessed a deed with Indians transferring land.

Recent DNA testing suggests that this Richard was related to another Richard Everett who settled on Long Island in the 1850’s.

Charles Everett, Presidential Physician.  Charles Everett was physician to two US Presidents, Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe.  He had moved to Charlottesville, Virginia in 1803 where he made his office and stables.  Ten years later he established a plantation at Belmont seven miles out of town.  He later purchased a 400 acre tract from Jefferson which became known as Everettville.

He died unmarried in 1848, freeing his slaves and willing his estate to his nephew, Dr. Charles D. Everett.

Ewell and Pleas Everett of Bosque County, Texas.  The Everett name was one of the oldest family names in Bosque county in central Texas.  It was said that Ewell Everett and his family left their home in Marion county, Arkansas in 1849 after a bitter fight with their neighbors.

“The Tutt family had bought land from the Everetts and built a barn over some of the Everett graves that were on the land.  The Everetts wanted the barn moved off the graves but the Tutts wouldn’t move it.  The feud started between the two families.  Before it was over it engulfed almost every family in the county and became known as the Marion County War.”

Another account recorded the following:

“When Sim and Bart Everett were killed in Arkansas in a fight in 1849, Jesse heard of the death of his brothers and went to Arkansas to avenge their deaths. After one of Jesse Everett’s men killed Hamp Tutt they finally considered their vengeance to be complete.”

Ewell brought his mill stones with him to Texas and operated what is believed to have been the first grist mill in Bosque county on Hornbeak Hollow. These mill stones have been handed down through the generations and become a family heirloom.

Another memento was the rifle with its heavy steel barrel and fancy brass work on the stock that was used by the youngest of Ewell’s sons Pleas in the Dover Creek battle of 1865.

“In late 1864 word came that a large party of Indians was moving southwestward through Texas.  Pleas Everett and a cousin of his were in the total of 370 militia men sent to find them. They caught up with the Indians on Dove Creek, just west of San Angelo, on January 7, 1865.  It was cold and beginning to snow and 1,400 Kickapoos were camped there.

The battle was fought the next morning. It was said to be one of the fiercest Indian battles ever fought on Texas soil.  The battle raged all day and the rain turned to snow.  Pleas Everett, aged 19, saw an Indian kill his cousin during the hottest part of the battle.  He then shot the Indian with his rifle.”

Ewell Everett died in 1870 and Pleas in 1934, the last survivor of the Dover Creek battle.  Both are buried in the Valley Mills cemetery in Bosque county.

Arundel Everett and His Family in Australia.  Arundel Everett from Somerset came to Australia around 1857 on his second attempt (his first had apparently ended when he was shipwrecked off the Irish coast).  His wife Georgiana and their six daughters followed two years later.

“Arundel Everett did not live to see his daughters married. His body was found on the road from Nanango to Toromeo, Queensland, on 23rd April 1867.  He had been staying for a day or two at a hotel at Nanango and had told one of the witnesses that he had fallen off the roof of a house he had been building.  He then proceeded on his journey and was found dead or dying some time later.”

Mystery surrounded Arundel Everett even after his death.   One of the Everett daughters told a newspaper in Melbourne that they had once lived in a haunted cottage outside London and had seen strange apparitions.  Her story appeared in The Echo of October 19, 1880.

Everett Names

  • Henry Everett started W.H. Everett & Son, described as the world’s oldest independent bookseller, in London in 1793. He was a friend and colleague of William Smith who started the W.H. Smith bookshops.
  • Edward Everett was one of the great American orators of the ante-bellum and Civil War era. He served as both Governor and Senator for Massachusetts.
  • Kenny Everett, born Maurice Cole, was a popular if eccentric English comedian and radio and TV entertainer.

Everett Numbers Today

  • 12,000 in the UK (most numerous in Lincolnshire)
  • 15,000 in America (most numerous in Texas)
  • 10,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Canada)

Everett and Like Surnames

The Norman Conquest brought new rulers to England and they brought their names and language, a form of French, with them.  Over time their names became less French and more English in character.  Thus Hamo became Hammond, Reinold Reynolds and Thierry Terry and so forth.  The names Allen, Brett, Everett, and Harvey were probably Breton in origin as Bretons also arrived, sometimes as mercenaries.

The new Norman lords often adopted new last names, sometimes from the lands they had acquired and sometimes from places back in Normandy.  Over time the name here also became more English.  Thus Saint Maur into Seymour, Saint Clair into Sinclair, Mohun into Moon, and Warenne into Warren.

Here are some of these Norman and Breton originating names that you can check out.



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Written by Colin Shelley

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