Tempest Genealogy

Tempest surname is thought perhaps to reflect
behavioral characteristics, a nickname for someone who had a blustery
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 1086.

Tempest Resources on

Tempest Ancestry

The Tempest

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

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.

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

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
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
Manor in Haddon
between 1608 and 1661.  William Tempest,
born at Shepherds in Cranbrook, Kent in 1682, was a

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 Tempest’s death in 1817.

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

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

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 1850’s and soon started a printing and stationary
there. The Tempests became a well-known family in Dundalk
and a
later William Tempest was a Justice of the Peace in the early 1900’s. 

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

Tempest Miscellany

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

Tempest Names

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
of the City of London

published in 1711.
Marie Tempest
, born Mary Etherington,
was a famous
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

Tempests Today

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



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