Sayce History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Sayce was carried to England in the enormous movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Sayce family lived in Shropshire. "Cil de Saie," mentioned by Wace in his account of the Battle of Hastings, took his name from the vill of Saium or Say, about nine miles to the west of Exmes, the caput of Roger de Montgomeri's Norman Viscountcy, and held under Roger in Normandy, as he afterwards did in England. He is known as Picot de Say.

Within thirty years of Domesday, Theodoric de Say, a cadet of the Barons of Clun, was enfeoffed by Roger de Lacy of Stoke, afterwards called Stokesay. One of his descendants, Hugh II., was possessed of Moreton Say as early as 1243, and about 1250 exchanged Stokesay with his suzerain, John de Verdon, for some property in Ireland, where he took up his abode. Robert de Say held Moreton Say in 1255, and, with William de Say, had summons to attend a great Council at Westminster. Roger de Say, in 1203, was a tenant of Robert de Buller's at Hope Bowdler and Amaston and left Lucia and Amice his co-heirs. Then we have Eustachia de Say, co-foundress of Westwood in Worcestershire, who, in the time of Henry I., married Hugh Fitz Osborn, Baron of Burford and Richard's Castle, "Most accounts," says Eyton, "would induce us to associate her with the Barons of Clun or the Lords of Stokesay. [1]

Early Origins of the Sayce family

The surname Sayce was first found in Shropshire but the first record of the name was Geoffrey de Saye, Lord of West Greenwich (1135-1214.) His son, Geoffrey de Saye, II (died 1230), Lord of West Greenwich was born in 1155 in West Greenwich, Kent and died in Gascoigne, Poitou, France. His son was Geoffrey de Saye (1155-1230), was an English nobleman, and Magna Carta surety who held lands at Edmonton (now part of London) and Sawbridgeworth (a small town and civil parish in Hertfordshire.) [2]

"Picot de Say was, in the time of the Conqueror, one of the principal persons in the county of Salop, under Roger de Montgomery, Earl of Shrewsbury, and founded the distinguished Baronial House of Say, from which derives, through female descent, the Lord Saye and Sele." [3]

Geoffrey de Say, Baron de Say (ca. 1305-1359), was the second Baron by writ and a descendant of William de Say. [4]

Stratfield Saye is a village and civil parish in Hampshire that includes the hamlets of West End Green, Fair Oak Green and Fair Cross. [5]

Early History of the Sayce family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sayce research. Another 106 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1214, 1478, 1468, 1420, 1404, 1382, 1604, 1685, 1649, 1661, 1681, 1691, 1653, 1691, 1664, 1666, 1676, 1743, 1632, 1692, 1656, 1604 and 1665 are included under the topic Early Sayce History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Sayce Spelling Variations

Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Say, Saye, Sais and others.

Early Notables of the Sayce family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir John Say (d. 1478), Speaker of the House of Commons, is doubtfully said to have been the son of John Heron (d. 1468), son of Sir John Heron (d. 1420), nephew and heir of Sir William Heron (d. 1404). The last-named was styled Lord Say in right of his wife Elizabeth, sister and heir of John de Say, Baron Say (d. 1382.) [4] Evan Seys (1604-1685), was a Welsh lawyer from Swansea, Glamorgan, Attorney General under Oliver Cromwell, Recorder of Gloucester in 1649, Member of Parliament for Gloucester (1661-1681); and Robert Say D.D...
Another 116 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sayce Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Australia Sayce migration to Australia +

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

Sayce Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • William Sayce, English convict from Hereford, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 29, 1828, settling in New South Wales, Australia [6]
  • L. Sayce, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Childe Harold" in 1849 [7]

Contemporary Notables of the name Sayce (post 1700) +

  • B.J. Sayce (1839-1895), English photographer, co-inventor of the collodion emulsion process of dryplate photography, which displaced wet collodion in 1864, eponym of the Sayce Glacier, Antarctica
  • Lynda Sayce, English lutenist and theorbo player who has performed for John Eliot Gardiner and the Monteverdi Orchestra, the Academy of Ancient Music, and the English National Opera
  • Richard Anthony Sayce (1917-1977), British academic, a Reader in French Literature at the University of Oxford
  • Conrad Harvey Sayce (1888-1935), British-born, Australian architect and author who used the pseudonym Jim Bushman
  • Philip Sayce, Welsh-born, Canadian guitarist, singer and songwriter
  • The Rev. Archibald Henry Sayce (1846-1933), British Assyriologist and linguist, Professor of Assyriology at the University of Oxford from 1891 to 1919


  1. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 3 of 3
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  5. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  6. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 24) Albion voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1828 with 192 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/albion/1828
  7. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) CHILDE HAROLD 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849ChildeHarold.htm


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