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

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

Self is an ancient Anglo-Saxon name that is derived from the Old English given name Saulf. Self is a patronymic surname, which belongs to the category of hereditary surnames. Many patronymic surnames were formed by adopting the given name of an ancestor of the bearer, while others came from popular religious names, and from the names of secular heroes. In this case, the surname arose out of the vernacular tradition, and was likely the name of an ancestor of the bearer. The given name Saulf was composed of the elements and wulf, which mean sea and wolf.


Self has been spelled many different ways, including Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Self, Selfe and others.

First found in Derbyshire where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Self research. Another 275 words(20 lines of text) covering the year 1086 is included under the topic Early Self History in all our PDF Extended History products.


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


Some of the Self family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 107 words(8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Selfs to arrive on North American shores:

Self Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Isaac Self settled in Pennsylvania in 1682
  • Isaac Self, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1682

Self Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • John Self settled in Pennsylvania in 1771
  • Samuel Self settled in Pennsylvania in 1771

Self Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Jane Self, who arrived in New York in 1834


  • Bill Self (b. 1962), American college basketball coach at the University of Kansas
  • William Shuford Self (1906-1998), American organist and choirmaster
  • William Self (b. 1921), American actor and producer
  • Will Self (b. 1961), English novelist
  • Mr. Alfred Henry Self (d. 1912), aged 39, English Fireman/Stoker from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
  • Mr. Albert Charles Edward Self, aged 25, English Greaser from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping on life boat 4


  • Lizzie's Legacy and our Coffey Cousins by Mary Elizabeth Coffey Self.
  • Self Heritage by Larry Brown.


  1. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  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).
  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. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  7. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  8. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  9. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  10. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  11. ...

The Self Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Self 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 11 September 2014 at 17:16.

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