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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


The Sawyer name was coined by the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. Sawyer was originally a name given to someone who worked as a person who worked as the sawyer. This individual bought wood and cut it with his saw in order to sell it the towns people. Occupational names frequently were derived from the principal object associated with the activity of the original bearer, such as tools or products. These types of occupational surnames are called metonymic surnames.

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It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Sawyer are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Sawyer include: Sawyer, Sawier, Sawer and others.

First found in Norfolk 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 Sawyer research. Another 161 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1633, 1692, 1681, 1687, 1783, 1833 and 1812 are included under the topic Early Sawyer History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 109 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sawyer Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Sawyer or a variant listed above:

Sawyer Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • John Sawyer settled in Virginia in 1622
  • John Sawyer, who arrived in Virginia in 1622
  • William Sawyer settled in Virginia in 1623
  • William Sawyer settled in Virginia in 1624
  • Francis Sawyer settled in Virginia in 1635


Sawyer Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Eliza Sawyer, who landed in Virginia in 1700

Sawyer Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Wm Sawyer, who arrived in Savanna(h), Georgia in 1806
  • S Sawyer, aged 33, arrived in New York, NY in 1822
  • Edw Sawyer, aged 24, landed in Key West, Fla in 1837
  • George Sawyer, aged 50, arrived in Key West, Fla in 1837
  • R Sawyer, aged 25, landed in Key West, Fla in 1838


Sawyer Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Michl Hyland Sawyer, who landed in Canada in 1812
  • Joseph Sawyer, who landed in Canada in 1831

Sawyer Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • William Sawyer, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on April 1st, 1822, settling in New South Wales, Austraila
  • Lavinia Sawyer arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Fairlee" in 1840
  • William Sawyer arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Anna Maria" in 1849
  • George Sawyer, English convict from Wiltshire, who was transported aboard the "Adelaide" on August 08, 1849, settling in Van Diemen's Land and Port Phillip, Australia
  • John Sawyer arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "The Stebonheath" in 1850


Sawyer Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • John Sawyer, aged 24, a currier, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Aurora" in 1840
  • Mary Sawyer, aged 27, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Aurora" in 1840
  • John Sawyer landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1842
  • William Sawyer, aged 40, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bombay" in 1865
  • Mary Ann Sawyer, aged 38, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bombay" in 1865


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  • Daniel Edward Sawyer, American winner of an Olympic gold medal for golf at the 1904 Summer Games
  • William Edward Sawyer (1850-1883), American inventor
  • Hiram Arthur Sawyer (b. 1875), American Democrat politician, Washington County District Attorney, 1907-15; U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, 1915-23
  • Hiram Wilson Sawyer, American Democrat politician, Candidate for Governor of Wisconsin, 1898; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Wisconsin, 1904
  • Horace W. Sawyer, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from South Carolina, 1944
  • Howard P. Sawyer, American Republican politician, Elected New Hampshire State House of Representatives from Brookfield 1956
  • J. E. Sawyer, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Michigan, 1884
  • J. S. Sawyer, American politician, Member of Minnesota State House of Representatives 8th District, 1859-60
  • J. Theodore Sawyer, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Tioga County, 1878-79
  • Jack Sawyer, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from North Carolina, 2008

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  • Four Generation of the Descendants of William Sawyer of Newbury, Massachusetts, in 1644 by Noreen C. Pramberg.
  • A Genealogical Dictionary of the Early Sawyer Families of New England, ca 1632-1900 by Fred E. Sawyer.
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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: Cherches et tu trouveras
Motto Translation: Search and you will find.

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  1. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  2. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  3. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  4. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  5. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  6. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  7. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  8. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  9. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  10. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  11. ...

The Sawyer Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Sawyer 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 5 December 2015 at 15:44.

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