Chairiff History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The name Chairiff is rooted in the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. It is a name for someone who worked as a person who held the office of sheriff. This occupational surname was originally derived from the Old English words scir meaning shire and refa meaning reeve. The surname was originally derived from the "shire-reeve," a Vice Count who was in charge of the law for a shire or county.  Before the Norman Conquest the sheriff was the king's representative in a county, responsible for every aspect of local administration in England.
Early Origins of the Chairiff family
The surname Chairiff was first found in Warwickshire 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.
Early History of the Chairiff family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Chairiff research. Another 77 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 156 and 1567 are included under the topic Early Chairiff History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Chairiff Spelling Variations
It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Chairiff 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 Chairiff include: Sheriff, Sherrif, Sherriff, Shirreffs, Sheriffs and many more.
Early Notables of the Chairiff family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Chairiff Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Chairiff family
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 Chairiff or a variant listed above: Richard Sherife, who came to Virginia in 1619; Lewis and Peter Sherive, who settled in Nevis in 1663; William Sheriff, who settled in Boston in 1716; Thomas Sheriffs, who settled in Virginia in 1649.
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The Chairiff Motto +
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: Esse quam videri
Motto Translation: To be, rather than to seem.
- ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.