name Erneshaw comes from when the family resided in or near a woods where golden eagles lived. Erneshaw 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 Erneshaw family
The surname Erneshaw 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 Erneshaw family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Erneshaw research.Another 183 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 131 and 1316 are included under the topic Early Erneshaw History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Erneshaw Spelling Variations
The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore, spelling variations
are common among early Anglo-Saxon
names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Erneshaw has been recorded under many different variations, including Earnshaw, Earnshawe, Ernshaw, Earnshay and others.
Early Notables of the Erneshaw family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Erneshaw Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Erneshaw family to the New World and Oceana
For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England
made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Erneshaw or a variant listed above: 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.