Sarah History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

When the ancestors of the Sarah family emigrated to England following the Norman Conquest in 1066 they brought their family name with them. They lived in Essex. Their name, however, is a reference to St. Saire, Normandy, the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. Alternatively, the name could have been a trade name for someone who was "an assayer of metals." [1] And another variation is that it could have been "an Anglo-Norman personal name, as Saher de Quincy, the famous Earl of Winchester." [1] There are at least three other listed origins of the name, but these latter three seem the most probable.

Early Origins of the Sarah family

The surname Sarah was first found in Essex where the family's first listing of the name was found during the reign of Edward II. [1] Omitting the entries as a personal name, we also found: Stephanus filius Seir (1148-1152) and ? filius Saheri (Saieri) c. 1160 in Lincolnshire.

Robertus filius Seer was listed in the 12th century in Nottinghamshire and Richard Sayer was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Devon in 1230. Thomas Sare and John Sayer were listed in the Feet of Fines of Essex in 1292. [2]

The Thayer variant produced the Pilgrim Fathers and brothers Thomas Thayer (1596-1665) and Richard Thayer (1601-1664) who were born in Thornbury, Devon. The family were originally from Glastonbury, Somerset, the oldest found was John Tahyer, born c. 1450.

Early History of the Sarah family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sarah research. Another 116 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1560, 1602, 1655, 1718, 1695, 1705, 1603, 1625, 1603, 1631 and are included under the topic Early Sarah History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Sarah Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries. For that reason, spelling variations are common among many Anglo-Norman names. The shape of the English language was frequently changed with the introduction of elements of Norman French, Latin, and other European languages; even the spelling of literate people's names were subsequently modified. Sarah has been recorded under many different variations, including Sayer, Sayers, Sayres and others.

Early Notables of the Sarah family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Robert Sayer or Seare (1560-1602), a Benedictine monk, born at Redgrave, Suffolk, the son of John Seare; Sir John Sayer of Bourchers Hall in Essex; and his son, George Sayer (c. 1655-1718), an English courtier and politician, Member of Parliament...
Another 47 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sarah Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Sarah family to Ireland

Some of the Sarah family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 61 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Sarah migration to the United States +

To escape the uncertainty of the political and religious uncertainty found in England, many English families boarded ships at great expense to sail for the colonies held by Britain. The passages were expensive, though, and the boats were unsafe, overcrowded, and ridden with disease. Those who were hardy and lucky enough to make the passage intact were rewarded with land, opportunity, and social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families went on to be important contributors to the young nations of Canada and the United States where they settled. Sarahs were some of the first of the immigrants to arrive in North America:

Sarah Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Grace Sarah, who arrived in Virginia in 1651 [3]
  • Mordecah Sarah, who arrived in America in 1679 [3]
Sarah Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Sarah, aged 20, who landed in New Orleans, La in 1829 [3]
  • Mr. Richard N. Sarah, (b. 1858), aged 34, Cornish labourer travelling aboard the ship "Teutonic" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 29th June 1892 en route to Globe, Arizona, USA [4]
  • Mr. Harry Sarah, (b. 1867), aged 26, Cornish labourer travelling aboard the ship "New York" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 15th April 1893 en route to Boston, Massachusetts, USA [4]
  • Mr. James Sarah, (b. 1862), aged 31, Cornish miner travelling aboard the ship "New York" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 15th April 1893 en route to Boston, Massachusetts, USA [4]
Sarah Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Mrs. Mary Sarah, (b. 1870), aged 35, Cornish settler travelling aboard the ship "St Paul" arriving at Ellis Island, New York in 1905 en route to Globe, Arizona, USA [4]

Canada Sarah migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Sarah Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • William Sarah, aged 30, a miner, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Alchymist" in 1833
  • Mary Ann Sarah, aged 28, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Alchymist" in 1833
  • Elizabeth Sarah, aged 2, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Alchymist" in 1833
  • William Sarah, aged 4 months, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Alchymist" in 1833

Australia Sarah migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Sarah Settlers in Australia in the 18th Century
  • Mrs. Sarah Bond, (b. 1754), aged 38, English convict who was convicted in London, England for 7 years for grand larceny, transported aboard the "Bellona" in July 1792, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [5]
  • Miss Sarah Mason, English convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 14 years for receiving stolen goods, transported aboard the "Bellona" in July 1792, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [5]
  • Miss Sarah Pulson, English convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Bellona" in July 1792, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [5]
Sarah Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Richard Sarah, Cornish convict who was convicted in Cornwall, England for life, transported aboard the "Circassian" on 4th November 1832, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [6]
  • Mr. Richard Sarah, (b. 1810), aged 22 born in Cornwall, UK convicted in Cornwall on 24th March 1832, sentenced for death reduced to life for stealing a hat, transported aboard the ship "Circassian" in 1832 to Van Diemen's Land, Tasmania, Australia [7]
  • Mr. Richard Sarah (b. 1810), aged 22, Cornish settler convicted in Cornwall, UK on 24th March 1832, sentenced for life for stealing a bat, transported aboard the ship "Circassian" on 4th October 1832 to Van Diemen's Land, Tasmania, Australia [8]
  • Miss. Sarah Braerton, (b. 1821), aged 29, English labourer who was convicted in Taunton, Somerset, England for 7 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Baretto Junior" on 5th April 1850, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [9]
  • Miss. Sarah Broom, English convict who was convicted in Stafford, Staffordshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Baretto Junior" on 5th April 1850, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Sarah (post 1700) +

  • Hilda Sarah Bernard (1920-2022), Argentine actress, credited with 86 appearances, active from 1941
  • Jaimee Sarah Provan (b. 1978), New Zealand Olympic gold medalist field hockey forward at the 2004 Summer Olympics
  • Ms. Judith Sarah Bernstein O.B.E., British Joint Head for Coroners, Burials, Cremation and Inquiries Policy Team for the Ministry of Justice, was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire on 8th June 2018, for public service [10]
  • Miss Annabel Sarah Jones M.B.E. (b. 1989), British Risk and Governance Manager for Card and Payment Team at Barclays Chief Controls Office and Wales Advisory Committee Member for Stroke Association, was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire on 29th December 2018 for volunteering including raising £60,000 for the Stroke Association [10]
  • Ms. Jane Sarah Dawson M.B.E., was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire on 29th December 2018 for public service [10]
  • Miss Alexandra Sarah Gavin M.V.O., British Executive Assistant and Programme Co-ordinator to The Private Secretary to The Queen, was appointed Member of the Royal Victorian Order on 29th December 2018 [10]
  • Alice Sarah Kinkead (1871-1926), Irish artist
  • Helen Sarah Willetts (b. 1972), English meteorologist on the BBC from Chester
  • LtCol Sarah Deal, American aviator who became the Marine Corps' first female aviator in 1993
  • Dame Pamela Sarah Coward DBE, British educator and teacher


  1. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  4. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_ellis_island_1892_on.pdf
  5. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 5th October 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/bellona
  6. ^ Convict Records of Australia (Retrieved 8th February 2021, retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/circassian)
  7. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 30th May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/tasmanian_convicts_cornish.pdf
  8. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 30th May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_australia_convicts.pdf
  9. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/baretto-junior
  10. ^ "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018, www.thegazette.co.uk/honours-lists


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