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

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

Short is a name of Anglo-Saxon origin. It was a name given to a person who because of their physical characteristics was named short. In this case the surname Short can be traced back to the Old English word sceort which means short. The original bearer would have been known as the short one, because of his low stature. As height is one of the most easily distinguished features of a person, names derived from this aspect of a person's physique are by no means rare.


Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Short were recorded, including Short, Shorte, Shortt, Schorte and others.

First found in Dorset where one of the first records of the name was Ordic Scort who was listed there in the Pipe Rolls of 1176. Other early records include Richard le Sorte who was listed in the Assize Rolls of 1269 in Somerset and William Short who was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex of 1327. [1] The Hundred Rolls of 1273 list William Short in Suffolk. [2]


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Short research. Another 177 words(13 lines of text) covering the year 1600 is included under the topic Early Short History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 35 words(2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Short Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Short family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 87 words(6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Short family emigrate to North America:

Short Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • John Short, who came to the Jamestown settlement in Virginia in 1606
  • Henry Short who settled in Massachusetts in 1634
  • Anthony Short, who landed in Newbury, Massachusetts in 1634
  • Samvell Short, aged 24, landed in Bermuda in 1635
  • Wm Short, who landed in Virginia in 1635

Short Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Saml Short, who landed in Virginia in 1706
  • Richard Short, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1712
  • Thos Short, who arrived in Virginia in 1715

Short Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Barney Short, who arrived in Maryland in 1809
  • Thomas Short, who arrived in New York in 1810
  • Josiah Short, who arrived in New York in 1834
  • Owen Short, who landed in Tippecanoe County, Ind in 1842
  • James Short, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1846


  • William Short (1759-1849), American diplomat, Thomas Jefferson's Private Secretary, US ambassador to France, the Netherlands, and to Spain
  • Charles Wilkins Short (1794-1863), American botanist and physician
  • Wes Short Jr. (b. 1963), American professional (PGA) golfer
  • Walter Campbell Short (1880-1949), American general
  • Gregory Norman Short (1938-1999), American composer and pianist
  • Lieutenant-General Walter Campbell Short (1880-1949), American Commanding General Hawaiian Department in 1941
  • Sir Francis Job Short (1857-1945), English engraver
  • Nathaniel Short (b. 1985), English footballer
  • Martin Hayter Short CM (b. 1950), Canadian Emmy Award winning actor and comedian
  • Nigel Short (b. 1965), British chess player



  • Baxter-Short, Miller-Gill, and Related Families by Mary Cynthia Baxter Harrell.
  • Descendants of Wingate Short by Lucille Day English.

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  1. ^ Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)

Other References

  1. 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.
  2. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  3. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  4. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  5. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  6. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  7. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  9. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  10. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  11. ...

The Short Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Short 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 6 May 2014 at 20:21.

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