The ancient roots of the Earnshawe family name are in the Anglo-Saxon
culture. The name Earnshawe comes from when the family lived in or near a woods where golden eagles lived. Earnshawe 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 Earnshawe family
The surname Earnshawe 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.
Early History of the Earnshawe family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Earnshawe research.Another 183 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 131 and 1316 are included under the topic Early Earnshawe History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Earnshawe 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 Earnshawe has appeared include Earnshaw, Earnshawe, Ernshaw, Earnshay and others.
Early Notables of the Earnshawe family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Earnshawe Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Earnshawe family to the New World and Oceana
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 Earnshawe arrived in North America very early: Mary, Anna, and Ann Ernshaw who arrived in Philadelphia in 1820; Eli Earnshaw arrived in Philadelphia in 1848; Francis, George, and Lewis
Earnshaw arrived in Philadelphia in 1860.