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

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

Sayre is one of the names that was brought to England in the wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Sayre family lived in Essex. Their name, however, is a reference to St. Saire, Normandy, the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066.


Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Sayre family name include Sayer, Sayers, Sayres and others.

First found in Essex where they held a family seat from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sayre research. Another 231 words(16 lines of text) covering the years 1655, 1718, 1695, 1705 and are included under the topic Early Sayre History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 65 words(5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sayre Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Sayre family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 109 words(8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Sayre family to immigrate North America:

Sayre Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Thomas Sayre, who landed in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1630
  • Job Sayre, who landed in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1635

Sayre Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • John Sayre, who arrived in America in 1768

Sayre Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • F F Sayre, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • A. Sayre, aged 55, who landed in America, in 1896

Sayre Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century

  • Clayton C. Sayre, aged 21, who landed in America, in 1903
  • David A. Sayre, aged 63, who emigrated to America, in 1906
  • Aubrey R. Sayre, aged 22, who settled in America, in 1906
  • E. H Sayre, who landed in America, in 1907
  • Edwin H. Sayre, aged 50, who emigrated to the United States, in 1909


  • Stephen Sayre (1736-1818), American revolutionary who allegedly planned to kidnap George III
  • Francis B. Sayre Sr. (1885-1972), American professor at Harvard Law School, High Commissioner of the Philippines, and a son-in-law of President Woodrow Wilson
  • Nora Clemens Sayre (1932-2001), American film critic, essayist and reviewer of films for The New York Times, daughter of Joel Sayre
  • Lewis Albert Sayre (1820-1900), American orthopedic surgeon, noted for performing the first operation to cure the hip-joint ankylosis
  • Joel Sayre (1900-1979), American screenwriter, known for his work on Gunga Din (1939), Fourteen Hours (1951), Annie Oakley (1935) and others
  • James Willis Sayre (1877-1963), American theatre critic, journalist, arts promoter, and historian
  • David Austin Sayre (1793-1870), American silversmith, banker, educator and founder of Sayre Female Institute
  • Robert Heysham Sayre (1824-1907), American businessman, vice president and chief engineer of the Lehigh Valley Railroad, eponym of Sayre, Pennsylvania
  • Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald (1900-1948), American novelist and the wife of writer F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Francis B. Sayre Jr. (1915-2008), Episcopal cleric, Dean of Washington Cathedral, first grandchild of President Woodrow Wilson


  • Brown and Sayre Ancestry: Three Centuries in Northern New Jersey by Mortimer Freeman Sayre.

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  1. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  2. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  4. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  5. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  6. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  7. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  8. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  9. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  10. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  11. ...

The Sayre Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Sayre 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 13 June 2014 at 17:00.

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