The origins of the Ernshawe name lie with England's ancient Anglo-Saxon
culture. It comes from when the family lived in or near a woods where golden eagles lived. Ernshawe 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 Ernshawe family
The surname Ernshawe 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 Ernshawe family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ernshawe research.Another 183 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 131 and 1316 are included under the topic Early Ernshawe History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Ernshawe Spelling Variations
Before the last few hundred
years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations
are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon
surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Ernshawe were recorded, including Earnshaw, Earnshawe, Ernshaw, Earnshay and others.
Early Notables of the Ernshawe family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Ernshawe Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Ernshawe family to the New World and Oceana
To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England
went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Ernshawe family emigrate to North America: 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.