Sawyer History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

The Sawyer name was coined by the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. Sawyer was originally a name given to someone who worked as a person who worked as the sawyer. [1] [2] This individual bought wood and cut it with his saw in order to sell it the towns people. Occupational names frequently were derived from the principal object associated with the activity of the original bearer, such as tools or products. These types of occupational surnames are called metonymic surnames.

One source claims the name could have been Norman in origin as in "Radulphus de Sahurs, and the Ville of Sahurs, Normandy 1198." [3] While this entry is quite a bit later than the Norman Conquest, the presumption is that not all of the family accompanied the Conqueror in 1066.

Early Origins of the Sawyer family

The surname Sawyer was first found in various counties and shires throughout ancient Britain. The earliest record of the family was found in Berkshire where Nicholas le Sagyere was listed c. 1248. A few years later, Humfrey le Sayhare, le Sawyere, and Robert le Sawyere, le Saweare were both listed in the Assize Rolls of Somerset in 1270. [4]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 also listed some of the first entries for the family: Ralph le Sawiere in Huntingdonshire; and Geoffrey le Sawere in London. [2] Further to the north, Philip le Sagher was listed in the Yorkshire in 1324. [4]

By the 15th century, the name was frequented much further north in Scotland where Alexander Sawer was burgess of Glasgow in 1447 and Andrew Sauer was juror on inquest at Prestwick in 1470. "Thomas Sawar was friar preacher in St. Andrews, 1545." [5]

Important Dates for the Sawyer family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sawyer research. Another 81 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1633, 1692, 1681, 1687, 1783, 1833 and 1812 are included under the topic Early Sawyer History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Sawyer Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Sawyer are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Sawyer include: Sawyer, Sawier, Sawer and others.

Early Notables of the Sawyer family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include Sir Robert Sawyer, of Highclere (1633-1692), Attorney General for England and Wales (1681-1687) and Speaker of the English House of Commons; and Admiral Sir...
Another 31 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sawyer Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Sawyer migration to the United States

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Sawyer or a variant listed above:

Sawyer Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Sawyer, who settled in Virginia in 1623
  • Thomas Sawyer, who arrived in Virginia in 1623 [6]
  • William Sawyer, who settled in Virginia in 1624
  • Francis Sawyer, who settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Fra Sawyer, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Sawyer Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Eliza Sawyer, who landed in Virginia in 1700 [6]
Sawyer Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William Sawyer, who arrived in Savanna(h), Georgia in 1806 [6]
  • C Sawyer, aged 30, who arrived in New York, NY in 1822 [6]
  • S Sawyer, aged 33, who arrived in New York, NY in 1822 [6]
  • John Sawyer, aged 15, who landed in Key West, Fla in 1837 [6]
  • George Sawyer, aged 50, who arrived in Key West, Fla in 1837 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Sawyer migration to Canada

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Sawyer Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Michael Hyland Sawyer, who landed in Canada in 1812
  • Joseph Sawyer, who landed in Canada in 1831

Sawyer migration to Australia

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

Sawyer Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • William Sawyer, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on April 1st, 1822, settling in New South Wales, Australia [7]
  • Lavinia Sawyer, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Fairlee" in 1840 [8]
  • William Sawyer, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Anna Maria" in 1849 [9]
  • George Sawyer, English convict from Wiltshire, who was transported aboard the "Adelaide" on August 08, 1849, settling in Van Diemen's Land and Port Phillip, Australia [10]
  • John Sawyer, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "The Stebonheath" in 1850 [11]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Sawyer migration to New Zealand

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Sawyer Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • John Sawyer, aged 24, a currier, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Aurora" in 1840
  • Mary Sawyer, aged 27, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Aurora" in 1840
  • John Sawyer, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1842
  • Miss Hannah Sawyer, (b. 1828), aged 30, British dressmaker and domestic servant travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Maori" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 14th April 1858 [12]
  • William Sawyer, aged 40, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bombay" in 1865
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Sawyer (post 1700)

  • Connie Sawyer (1912-2018), born Rosie Cohen, an American stage, film and television actress, nicknamed "The Clown Princess of Comedy"
  • Daniel Edward Sawyer, American winner of an Olympic gold medal for golf at the 1904 Summer Games
  • William Edward Sawyer (1850-1883), American inventor
  • Charles W Sawyer (1887-1979), American politician, U.S. Secretary of Commerce from 1948 to 1953
  • Thomas Charles Sawyer (b. 1945), American politician, member of the U.S. House of Representatives for Ohio, from 1987-2002
  • Diane Sawyer (b. 1945), American television newscaster
  • Charles W. Sawyer, American fighter pilot and flying ace in the American Volunteer Group, during World War II, credited with 8 aerial victories
  • Amos Sawyer (1769-1842), American politician, Member of Massachusetts State House of Representatives [13]
  • Alvah L. Sawyer, American Democrat politician, National Democratic Candidate for Presidential Elector for Michigan, 1896; Member of Michigan National Democratic State Central Committee, 1899 [13]
  • Alfred J. Sawyer, American politician, Mayor of Monroe, Michigan, 1869-70, 1877 [13]
  • ... (Another 121 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Historic Events for the Sawyer family

HMS Prince of Wales
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Robert James Sawyer (d. 1912), aged 30, English Window Cleaner from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [15]
  • Mr. Frederick Charles Sawyer (d. 1912), aged 33, English Third Class passenger from Basingstoke, Hampshire who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking and was recovered by CS Mackay-Bennett [15]

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Citations

  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  4. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  6. ^ 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)
  7. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1822 with 190 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1822
  8. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) FAIRLIE/FAIRLEE 1840. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1840Fairlie.htm
  9. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The ANNA MARIA 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849AnnaMaria.htm
  10. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 17) Adelaide voyage to Van Diemen's Land and Port Phillip, Australia in 1849 with 303 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/adelaide/1849
  11. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The STEBONHEATH 1850. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1850Stebonheath.htm
  12. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  13. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 23) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  14. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  15. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html
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