Sawyers History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

The origins of the Sawyers surname lie with the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name Sawyers began when someone in that family worked as a person who worked as the sawyer. [1] [2] 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.

One source claims the name could have been Norman in origin as in "Radulphus de Sahurs, and the Ville of Sahurs, Normandy 1198." [3] While this entry is quite a bit later than the Norman Conquest, the presumption is that not all of the family accompanied the Conqueror in 1066.

Early Origins of the Sawyers family

The surname Sawyers was first found in various counties and shires throughout ancient Britain. The earliest record of the family was found in Berkshire where Nicholas le Sagyere was listed c. 1248. A few years later, Humfrey le Sayhare, le Sawyere, and Robert le Sawyere, le Saweare were both listed in the Assize Rolls of Somerset in 1270. [4]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 also listed some of the first entries for the family: Ralph le Sawiere in Huntingdonshire; and Geoffrey le Sawere in London. [2] Further to the north, Philip le Sagher was listed in the Yorkshire in 1324. [4]

By the 15th century, the name was frequented much further north in Scotland where Alexander Sawer was burgess of Glasgow in 1447 and Andrew Sauer was juror on inquest at Prestwick in 1470. "Thomas Sawar was friar preacher in St. Andrews, 1545." [5]

Important Dates for the Sawyers family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sawyers research. Another 81 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1633, 1692, 1681, 1687, 1783, 1833 and 1812 are included under the topic Early Sawyers History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Sawyers Spelling Variations

One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Sawyers has appeared include Sawyer, Sawier, Sawer and others.

Early Notables of the Sawyers family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include Sir Robert Sawyer, of Highclere (1633-1692), Attorney General for England and Wales (1681-1687) and Speaker of the English House of Commons; and Admiral Sir...
Another 31 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sawyers Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Sawyers migration to the United States

At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Sawyers arrived in North America very early:

Sawyers Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Francis B Sawyers, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1824 [6]

Sawyers migration to Australia

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Sawyers Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • John Sawyers, aged 26, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1858 aboard the ship "Frenchman"

Sawyers migration to New Zealand

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Sawyers Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Peter Sawyers, aged 25, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Jane Gifford" in 1842
  • Janet Sawyers, aged 28, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Jane Gifford" in 1842
  • James Sawyers, aged 6 mths., who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Jane Gifford" in 1842

Contemporary Notables of the name Sawyers (post 1700)

  • Rodney Sawyers (b. 1967), American former NASCAR driver
  • Ian Sawyers, American soccer coach
  • Charles L. Sawyers (b. 1959), American physician-scientist and co-winner of a 2009 Lasker Award
  • Robert Sawyers (b. 1978), retired English professional footballer
  • Romaine Theodore Sawyers (b. 1991), English footballer
  • Shawn Sawyers (b. 1976), Jamaican professional football player

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Citations

  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  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. ^ 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)
  4. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  6. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
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