Earnshaw History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The present generation of the Earnshaw family is only the most recent to bear a name that dates back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. Their name comes from having lived in or near a woods where golden eagles lived. Earnshaw is a compound of the Old English words earn and sceaga. Earn was the Old English name for the golden eagles, and sceaga was a word that meant forest or wilderness. The original bearer of this name must have lived in or near a woods noted for its eagle population. Interestingly, the modern word erne is the name of the sea eagle, a related but separate species of bird to the golden eagle. Golden eagles are very rare in the British Isles today, but in the Middle Ages they were a common bird of prey. Their range was in the northern part of the island, and they were particularly fond of mountainous terrain. Most golden eagles were found in the Pennines and in the Scottish Highlands.
Early Origins of the Earnshaw family
The surname Earnshaw was first found in Yorkshire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.
Important Dates for the Earnshaw family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Earnshaw research. Another 92 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 131 and 1316 are included under the topic Early Earnshaw History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Earnshaw Spelling Variations
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 Earnshaw include Earnshaw, Earnshawe, Ernshaw, Earnshay and others.
Early Notables of the Earnshaw family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Earnshaw Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Earnshaw migration to the United States
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 Earnshaw were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records:
Earnshaw Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Eli Earnshaw, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1848
- Francis, George, and Lewis Earnshaw, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1860
- John Earnshaw, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1876
Contemporary Notables of the name Earnshaw (post 1700)
- Charlotte Earnshaw, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New Jersey, 1952 
- Thomas Earnshaw (1749-1829), English watchmaker who first simplified the process of chronometer production
- Anthony Earnshaw (1924-2001), English anarchist and surrealist author and illustrator
- Brigadier Philip Earnshaw (1892-1978), District Officer Commanding 1st Military District (1944-1945) 
- Brian Earnshaw (b. 1929), British science fiction author, primarily known for his Dragonfall 5 series
- Adrian John Earnshaw (b. 1950), Minister of Tourism and Leisure in the Isle of Man Government
- ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 7) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
- ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2011, September 15) Philip Earnshaw. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Earnshaw/Philip/Canada.html