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 Sarsfel. 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 Sarsfel family appears to have originally lived in either of the settlements named Sarnesfield in the English counties of Herefordshire
. The surname Sarsfel 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 Sarsfel is Sáirséil.
Early Origins of the Sarsfel family
The surname Sarsfel 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 Sarsfel family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sarsfel 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 Sarsfel History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Sarsfel Spelling Variations
A single person's name was often spelt simply as it sounded by medieval scribes and church officials. An investigation into the specific origins the name Sarsfel has revealed that such a practice has resulted in many spelling variations
over the years. A few of its variants include: Sarsefield, Sarnesfield, Sarsfield, Sharisfield, Sarisfield, Sarisfell, Sarsfell, Sarnesfell and many more.
Early Notables of the Sarsfel 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 Sarsfel Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Sarsfel family to the New World and Oceana
In the 1840s, Ireland
experienced a mass exodus to North America due to the Great Potato Famine
. These families wanted to escape from hunger and disease that was ravaging their homeland. With the promise of work, freedom and land overseas, the Irish looked upon British North America and the United States as a means of hope and prosperity. Those that survived the journey were able to achieve this through much hard work and perseverance. Early immigration and passenger lists revealed many bearing the name Sarsfel: Will Sarsfield settled in Georgia in 1734; Monarch Sarsfield arrived in Philadelphia in 1871.
The Sarsfel 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.