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An excerpt from archives copyright 2000 - 2016

The name Sangster finds its origins with the ancient Anglo-Saxons of England. It was given to one who worked as a person who was a singaere or musician. During the Middle Ages people were identified by the type of work one did and were referred to in this manner. The traveling musician was therefore named the singaere, and was a well known and respected figure in medieval times. He was the main entertainer at fairs and festivals and was also a source of news and idle gossip from the neighboring towns.


The surname Sangster was first found in Devon where one of the first records of the name was Lucas le Syngere who was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of 1296. The same rolls listed William le Syngur one year later in Yorkshire.

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. Sangster has been recorded under many different variations, including Singer, Singers, Singar and others.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sangster research. Another 350 words (25 lines of text) covering the years 1400 and 1811 are included under the topic Early Sangster History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


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


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 Sangster or a variant listed above:

Sangster Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • James Sangster, who landed in Maryland in 1680

Sangster Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Thomas Sangster, who landed in Virginia in 1770
  • John Sangster, aged 21, arrived in Virginia in 1773

Sangster Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • William Sangster, aged 25, arrived in Connecticut in 1812

Sangster Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • James Sangster, aged 32, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1851 aboard the ship "Oregon"

Sangster Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Mary Sangster, aged 65, a domestic servant, arrived in Bluff, New Zealand aboard the ship "Oamaru" in 1878
  • Elizabeth Sangster, aged 31, arrived in Bluff, New Zealand aboard the ship "Oamaru" in 1878

  • Margaret Elizabeth Sangster (1838-1912), American poet, author, and editor
  • Thomas Brodie- Sangster (b. 1990), English four-time Young Artist Award nominated film and television actor best known for his roles in Love Actually, Nanny McPhee and The Last Legion
  • James "Jimmy" Sangster (1927-2011), Welsh Saturn Award winning screenwriter and director from Kinmel Bay, Wales
  • Donald F. Sangster, Canadian economic geologist, President of the Society of Economic Geologists in 1994, recipient of the 1984 The Society of Economic Geologists Silver Medal
  • James Alexander Sangster (1861-1937), Canadian merchant and politician who represented Glengarry in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1923 to 1926
  • James Sangster (1796-1866), Canadian farmer and politician, represented Falmouth township in the Nova Scotia House of Assembly from 1847 to 1851
  • William Andrew "Will" Sangster (b. 1978), former Australian rules footballer
  • Charles Sangster (1822-1893), Canadian poet from Kingston, Ontario, best known for his 1856 volume, The St. Lawrence and the Saguenay, which many claim was the most important book of poetry produced in Canada until that time
  • Robert Edmund Sangster (1936-2004), British businessman, thoroughbred racehorse owner and breeder
  • Mike Sangster (1940-1985), British former No. 1 tennis player of the 1960s
  • ...

Sangster Historic Events

RMS Titanic

  • Mr. Charles Edward Sangster (d. 1912), aged 32, English Engineering Storkeeper from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic, died in the sinking and was recovered by CS Mackay-Bennett

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Fidelitas vincit
Motto Translation: Fidelity prevails.


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    Other References

    1. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
    2. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
    3. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
    4. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
    5. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    6. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
    7. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
    8. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
    9. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
    10. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
    11. ...

    The Sangster Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Sangster Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

    This page was last modified on 5 July 2016 at 09:15.

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