The name Ernshaw is part of the ancient legacy of the Anglo-Saxon
tribes of Britain. It is a product of when the family lived in or near a woods where golden eagles lived. Ernshaw 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 Ernshaw family
The surname Ernshaw 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 Ernshaw family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ernshaw research.Another 183 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 131 and 1316 are included under the topic Early Ernshaw History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Ernshaw Spelling Variations
The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred
years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations
in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Ernshaw has been spelled many different ways, including Earnshaw, Earnshawe, Ernshaw, Earnshay and others.
Early Notables of the Ernshaw family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Ernshaw Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Ernshaw family to the New World and Oceana
Thousands of English families in this era began to emigrate the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. Although the passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe, those who made the voyage safely were rewarded with opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Ernshaws to arrive in North America:
Ernshaw Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Mary, Anna, and Ann Ernshaw who, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1820