Last name: Phelps

Recorded in over one hundred spelling forms from Phillipus, Philip, Phipps, Phelps, and apparently Pherps, and found through Christendom, this is a surname of Greek origins. However spelt it derives from the personal name of Ancient Greek origins "Philippos", a compound of the words "philein" meaning to love and "hippos", a horse; and hence "lover of horses". Philip of Macedon, the father of Alexander the Great, was the first famous bearer of the name, and its popularity throughout Greece and Asia Minor was largely due to him. The name was borne by five kings of France, including Philip 1st, who reigned from 1060 to 1108. It entered England via France in the 12th Century and appears as "Filippus" in the "Documents relating to the Danelaw", for Lincolnshire in the year 1142. Henry Phelipe was noted in the Hundred Rolls of Norfolk in 1273 and the patronymic form of the name also appears at this time, with the final "-s" being a reduced form of "son of". John Phippes is registered in the Calendar of Plea and Memoranda Rolls in 1364, and the Phipps family, the marquesses of Normandy and earls of Mulgrave, are descended from Constantine Phipps (1656 - 1723), Lord Chancellor of Ireland. A slightly more humble cousin Sir William Phipps (1651 - 1695), was born in Maine, America, where his parents had emigrated. He was originally a ship's carpenter, but was knighted by Charles 11, and rose to become Governor of Massachusetts. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alicia Philippes, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Huntingdonshire". Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2017

Surname Scroll

Enjoy this name printed onto our colourful scroll, printed in Olde English script. An ideal gift. View Details.

Leila Phelps
Phelps is a variant of Guelph (Bavarian) not Phillips.Nothing stated above is correct.

I don't know about German origins of the name, but I can tell you that my Phelps came to America from England on the ship Mary and John in 1630. They were Puritans.

Anthony Phelps
Im a Phelps from Cardiff, Wales. Now Live in Merseyside, England. If I had it my way, in 1,000 years Merseyside will be covered with Phelps' of my DNA. lol.

Neil Moray Urqhhart Phelps

My great-great-grandfather was the famous actor manager of Sadlers Wells Theatre fame. I believe his family came originally from The Great House at Shepton Mallet in Somerset - more I don't know, but would love to find out !!!


My family's genealogical research has my ancestor Thomas Felps, coming to the American colonies from the British Isles (born in Limerick, Ireland) in the 17th century. Felps was changed to Phelps with Thomas's grandson Aventon Phelps.

Kim Phelps
i am searching for some relatives on my fathers side that i have not seen in almost 20 years, my last name is Phelps i live in canada and my aunts last name is Hipkiss and also have a cousin Donna lynn both lived around vernon or levington area in British Colombia. Would love to see them again.But not sure where to start

Subscribe to our newsletter

View previous newsletters.

Powered by MailChimp