The Earnshay name has descended through the generations from the ancient Anglo-Saxon
culture. Their name comes from having lived in or near a woods where golden eagles lived. Earnshay 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 Earnshay family
The surname Earnshay 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 Earnshay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Earnshay research.Another 183 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 131 and 1316 are included under the topic Early Earnshay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Earnshay Spelling Variations
Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Earnshay has undergone many spelling variations
, including Earnshaw, Earnshawe, Ernshaw, Earnshay and others.
Early Notables of the Earnshay family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Earnshay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Earnshay family to the New World and Oceana
To escape the unstable social climate in England
of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Earnshay were among those contributors: 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.