Saye History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Today's generation of the Saye family bears a name that was brought to England by the migration wave that was started by the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Saye 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 Saye family

The surname Saye 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 Saye family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Saye 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 Saye History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Saye Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Saye include Say, Saye, Sais and others.

Early Notables of the Saye 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 Saye Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Saye migration to the United States +

In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Sayes to arrive on North American shores:

Saye Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Saye, who settled in Virginia in 1637
  • John Saye, who landed in Virginia in 1637 [6]
  • Richard Saye, who landed in Delaware in 1686 [6]
Saye Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Jean Saye, who arrived in Jamestown, Va in 1700 [6]
  • Bernet Saye, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1740 [6]
Saye Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Joseph Saye, aged 24, who arrived in New York, NY in 1847 [6]


  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. ^ 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)


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