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

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

The name Sorter finds its origins with the ancient Anglo-Saxons of England. It was given to one who worked as a person who played the psaltery, which was a stringed instrument. The surname Sorter is an occupational surname, which belongs to the category of hereditary surnames. Occupational surnames were derived from the primary activity of the bearer. In the Middle Ages, people did not generally live off of the fruits of their labor in a particular job. Rather, they performed a specialized task, as well as farming, for subsistence. Other occupational names were derived from an object associated with a particular activity. In this case, the surname Sorter is a metonymic surname, which means it is derived from an object associated with an occupation.

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The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore, spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Sorter has been recorded under many different variations, including Salter, Sallter, Saltier, Saltire and others.

First found in Shropshire 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.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sorter research. Another 175 words(12 lines of text) covering the years 1404, 1383, 1386, 1388, 1397, 1397 and 1399 are included under the topic Early Sorter History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 61 words(4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sorter Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Sorter or a variant listed above: Edward Salter settled in Virginia in 1635; along with Elizabeth in 1653; Francis 1655; John 1623; Joseph 1663; Richard 1656; Robert 1649; Robert 1774.

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  1. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  2. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  3. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  4. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  5. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  6. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  7. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  8. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  9. 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.
  10. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  11. ...

The Sorter Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Sorter 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 12 July 2013 at 13:41.

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