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

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

The name Sunderland belongs to the early history of Britain, it's origins lie with the Anglo-Saxons. It is a product of their having lived at Sunderland, a seaport parish in Durham.

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Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Sunderland include Sunderland, Sundeland and others.

First found in Yorkshire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say they were descended from the ancient Baron Scrope of Bolton, who it was said in 1385 "was the best knight of the whole county at jousts and tournaments."


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sunderland research. Another 291 words(21 lines of text) covering the years 1627, 1630, 1673, 1750, and 1762 are included under the topic Early Sunderland History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Sunderland were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records:

Sunderland Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • John Sunderland, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1640
  • Samuel and Nathaniel Sunderland who settled in Virginia in 1663

Sunderland Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Rich Sunderland, who landed in Virginia in 1703
  • Frances Sunderland settled in Maryland in 1719
  • Mary Sunderland settled in Maryland in 1750

Sunderland Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Thomas Sunderland settled in Portsmouth Virginia in 1820
  • William Sunderland arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1876

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  • Thomas Sunderland, American Lawyer and Company Director
  • Paul Benedict Sunderland (b. 1952), American sportscaster, Olympic medalist
  • Irvon Sunderland, English Judge
  • Alan Sunderland (b. 1953), English former football player
  • Scott Sunderland (1883-1956), English actor
  • Mr. Victor Francis Sunderland, aged 20, English Third Class passenger from London who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking in collapsible B
  • Sir Sidney Sunderland, Professor and Neurologist, University of Melbourne
  • Harry Sunderland (1889-1964), Australian rugby league football administrator and journalist


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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: Devant si je puis
Motto Translation: Foremost if I can.

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  1. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  2. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  3. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  4. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  5. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  6. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  7. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  8. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  9. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  11. ...

The Sunderland Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Sunderland 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 February 2014 at 10:13.

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