Show ContentsSailors History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Sailors is derived from the Old Norman French word "sailleor," which denotes a "leaper" or "dancer." Thus the name was most likely originally born by someone whose occupation was that of a dancer or entertainer.

Early Origins of the Sailors family

The surname Sailors was first found in Yorkshire where Herbert le Sayllur was on record in "Early Yorkshire Charters" dating from 1191 to 1210. "The surname is very rare indeed. This is not a little singular, considering the commonness of the employment. In the Hundredorum Rolls we have it in the forms of Le Sailliur, Le Saylliur, and Le Saler." 1

Early History of the Sailors family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sailors research. Another 92 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1275, 1327 and 1790 are included under the topic Early Sailors History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Sailors Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Saylor, Sayler, Saylur, Sailor, Sailer and others.

Early Notables of the Sailors family

More information is included under the topic Early Sailors Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Sailors family to Ireland

Some of the Sailors family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Sailors family

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Sailors or a variant listed above were: Arthur Saylor, who came to Virginia in 1642; Robert Saylor, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1682, Henry Saylor, who arrived in Schaefferstown, PA in 1767.

Contemporary Notables of the name Sailors (post 1700) +

  • Kenneth Lloyd Sailors (1921-2016), American professional basketball player active in the 1940s and early 1950s, inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2012
  • Kenny Sailors, American Republican politician, Candidate in primary for U.S. Senator from Wyoming, 1964 2

  1. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 26) . Retrieved from on Facebook