already had an established system of hereditary surnames
when the Strongbownians arrived. Often the two traditions blended together quite well due to some of their basic similarities, but the incoming Anglo-Norman system brought in some forms that were uncommon amongst the Irish. One of these Anglo-Norman anomalies was the prevalence of local
surnames, such as Sarnsfield. Local
names were taken from the names of a place or a geographical feature where the person lived, held land, or was born. Originally, the place names were prefixed by de, which means from in French. This type of prefix was eventually either made a part of the surname if the place name began with a vowel or was eliminated entirely. The local surnames of these Strongbownian invaders referred to places in Normandy
, or more typically England
, but eventually for those Anglo- Normans
that remained in Ireland
, the nicknames referred to places or geographical features of the island: they became true local names. The Sarnsfield family appears to have originally lived in either of the settlements named Sarnesfield in the English counties of Herefordshire
. The surname Sarnsfield belongs to the large category of Anglo-Norman habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. The Gaelic form of the surname Sarnsfield is Sáirséil.
Early Origins of the Sarnsfield family
The surname Sarnsfield was first found in County Cork
(Irish: Corcaigh) the ancient Kingdom of Deis Muin (Desmond), located on the southwest coast of Ireland
in the province of Munster
, where they were granted lands by Strongbow
, Earl of Pembroke, for their assistance in the invasion of Ireland
in 1172. Another reference claims "the first of the family of Sarsfield who settled in Ireland
is said to have been Thomas de Sarsfield. 'chief banner-bearer' to King Henry II., AD 1172." CITATION[CLOSE]
Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
Early History of the Sarnsfield family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sarnsfield research.Another 283 words (20 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1300, 1636, 1701, 1528, 1598, 1570, 1636, 1648, 1687, 1701, 1660 and 1693 are included under the topic Early Sarnsfield History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Sarnsfield Spelling Variations
Since church officials and medieval scribes spelt each name as it sounded to them; as a result, a single person could accumulate many different versions of his name within official records. A close examination of the origins of the name Sarnsfield revealed the following spelling variations: Sarsefield, Sarnesfield, Sarsfield, Sharisfield, Sarisfield, Sarisfell, Sarsfell, Sarnesfell and many more.
Early Notables of the Sarnsfield family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the family up to this time was Jenet Sarsfield, Baroness Dunsany ( c.1528-1598 ), an Irish noblewoman from County Meath
, memorable for having six husbands; Dominick Sarsfield, 1st Viscount Sarsfield (c.
1570-1636), Chief Justice of the Irish Common Pleas, but was removed... Another 44 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sarnsfield Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Sarnsfield family to the New World and Oceana
During the middle of the 19th century, Irish families
often experienced extreme poverty and racial discrimination in their own homeland under English rule. Record numbers died of disease and starvation and many others, deciding against such a fate, boarded ships bound for North America. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine
of the late 1840s. Unfortunately, many of those Irish that arrived in Canada or the United States still experienced economic and racial discrimination. Although often maligned, these Irish people were essential to the rapid development of these countries because they provided the cheap labor required for the many canals, roads, railways, and other projects required for strong national infrastructures. Eventually the Irish went on to make contributions in the less backbreaking and more intellectual arenas of commerce, education, and the arts. Research early immigration and passenger lists revealed many early immigrants bearing the name Sarnsfield: Will Sarsfield settled in Georgia in 1734; Monarch Sarsfield arrived in Philadelphia in 1871.
The Sarnsfield Motto
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: Virtus non vertitur
Motto Translation: Virtue not changed.