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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the English Sears family come from? What is the English Sears family crest and coat of arms? When did the Sears family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Sears family history?

Sears is a name that was carried to England in the great wave of migration from Normandy following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Sears family lived in Essex. Their name, however, is a reference to Serez, Normandy, the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066.

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Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Sears include Sears, Seares, Seers, Seeres, Sear, Seare, Seer and many more.

First found in Essex where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Colchester from very ancient times, some say from the reign of King Edmund Ironside in 1016, but this date conflicts with the more likely source of Serez, in the arrondisement of Evreux in Normandy, supporting the contention that the family were granted these lands after the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. They held a family seat there continuously from the conquest to 1770.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sears research. Another 210 words(15 lines of text) covering the year 1630 is included under the topic Early Sears History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Sears Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Sears family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 90 words(6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Searss to arrive on North American shores:

Sears Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Richard (Sares) Sears (1590-1676), English settler to both the Massachusetts Bay Colony and Plymouth Colony in 1630
  • William Sears, who arrived in Maryland in 1663

Sears Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Joseph Sears, who landed in Virginia in 1743
  • Joseph Sears settled in Virginia in 1743
  • George Sears who landed in America in 1746

Sears Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Elizabeth Sears settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1820
  • James Sears settled in Portland Me. in 1820
  • Mr. Sears, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1822
  • William Sears settled in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in 1822
  • James Sears settled in New York State in 1823


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  • Jeannette Arthur William Sears (b. 1947), American song lyricist and author
  • Bart Whitman Sears (b. 1963), American artist and author
  • Richard Dudley "Dick" Sears (1861-1943), American male tennis player, inducted in the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1955
  • Ted Sears (1900-1958), American Hugo Award nominated animator who worked with Fleischer Studios in the late-1920s and early-1930s, and later at Walt Disney studio in 1931
  • Isaac Sears (1730-1786), American merchant, sailor, and politician, leader of the Sons of Liberty in 1765
  • Eleonora Randolph Sears (1881-1968), American tennis player of the interwar period
  • Peter "Pete" Sears (b. 1948), English rock musician who played with Rod Stewart, Jefferson Starship and others
  • Richard Warren Sears (1863-1914), American businessman, co-founder of Sears, Roebuck and Company
  • Frederick David "Freddie" Sears (b. 1989), English professional footballer


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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Honor et fides
Motto Translation: Honor and fidelity.

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  1. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  2. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  3. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  4. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  5. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  6. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  7. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  8. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  9. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  10. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  11. ...

The Sears Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Sears Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 14 September 2014 at 21:54.

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