Sayer History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

Today's generation of the Sayer family bears a name that was brought to England by the migration wave that was started by the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Sayer family lived in Essex. Their name, however, is a reference to St. Saire, Normandy, the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. Alternatively, the name could have been a trade name for someone who was "an assayer of metals." [1] And another variation is that it could have been "an Anglo-Norman personal name, as Saher de Quincy, the famous Earl of Winchester." [1] There are at least three other listed origins of the name, but these latter three seem the most probable.

Early Origins of the Sayer family

The surname Sayer was first found in Essex where the family's first listing of the name was found during the reign of Edward II. [1] Omitting the entries as a personal name, we also found: Stephanus filius Seir (1148-1152) and ? filius Saheri (Saieri) c. 1160 in Lincolnshire.

Robertus filius Seer was listed in the 12th century in Nottinghamshire and Richard Sayer was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Devon in 1230. Thomas Sare and John Sayer were listed in the Feet of Fines of Essex in 1292. [2]

The Thayer variant produced the Pilgrim Fathers and brothers Thomas Thayer (1596-1665) and Richard Thayer (1601-1664) who were born in Thornbury, Devon. The family were originally from Glastonbury, Somerset, the oldest found was John Tahyer, born c. 1450.

Important Dates for the Sayer family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sayer research. Another 116 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1560, 1602, 1655, 1718, 1695, 1705, 1603, 1625, 1603, 1631 and are included under the topic Early Sayer History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Sayer 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 Sayer include Sayer, Sayers, Sayres and others.

Early Notables of the Sayer family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Robert Sayer or Seare (1560-1602), a Benedictine monk, born at Redgrave, Suffolk, the son of John Seare; Sir John Sayer of Bourchers Hall in Essex; and his son, George Sayer (c. 1655-1718), an English courtier and politician, Member of Parliament...
Another 47 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sayer Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Sayer family to Ireland

Some of the Sayer family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 61 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Sayer 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 Sayers to arrive on North American shores:

Sayer Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Job Sayer, who settled in Lynn Massachusetts in 1630
  • Thomas Sayer, who arrived in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1630 [3]
  • William Sayer, aged 58, who landed in Virginia in 1635 [3]
  • Francis Sayer, who settled in Long Island in 1635
  • Elizabeth Sayer, who arrived in Hingham, Massachusetts in 1638 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Sayer Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Andrew Sayer, who landed in Virginia in 1713 [3]
  • John Sayer, who settled in Georgia in 1774
  • James Sayer, who landed in New York in 1774 [3]
Sayer Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Matthew Sayer, who arrived in New York, NY in 1827 [3]
  • Joseph Sayer, aged 40, who arrived in Key West, Fla in 1838 [3]

Sayer migration to Australia

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

Sayer Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Robert Sayer, English convict from Norfolk, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on April 1st, 1822, settling in New South Wales, Australia [4]
  • William Sayer, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Moffatt" in 1839 [5]
  • Sarah Sayer, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Moffatt" in 1839 [5]
  • Ernest Sayer, who arrived in South Australia in 1848 aboard the ship "Victoria" [6]
  • George Sayer, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Simlah" in 1849 [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Sayer 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:

Sayer Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Richard Burgess Sayer, aged 21, who arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Oriental" in 1840
  • Mr. Richard Burgess Sayer, (b. 1818), aged 21, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Oriental" arriving in Port Nicholson, Wellington, New Zealand on 31st January 1840 [8]
  • Elizabeth Sayer, aged 21, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Jane Gifford" in 1842
  • Miss Isabella J Sayer, (b. 1844), aged 30, English servant from Kent travelling from London aboard the ship "Tweed" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 4th September 1874 [8]
  • Miss Alice M Sayer, (b. 1846), aged 28, English servant from Kent travelling from London aboard the ship "Tweed" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 4th September 1874 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Sayer (post 1700)

  • Augustin Sayer (1790-1861), English physician and medical writer, born at Bexley in Kent, grandson of Valentine Sayer of Sandwich, who was thrice mayor of that town
  • David Michael Sayer (1936-2017), English professional cricketer who played from 1955 to 1960
  • Paul Sayer (b. 1955), English author, known for his first novel, The Comforts of Madness which won the 1988 Whitbread Award for both Best First Novel and Book of the Year
  • Flight Lieutenant Phillip Edward Gerald Sayer OBE (1905-1942), English chief test pilot for Gloster Aircraft; he flew Britain's maiden jet flight of the Gloster E.28/39 (Pioneer)
  • George Sydney Benedict Sayer (1914-2005), English teacher at Malvern College, best known for his biography of the author C. S. Lewis, a close friend of J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Leo Sayer (b. 1948), born Gerard Hugh Sayer, an English performing artist and singer-songwriter
  • John William Sayer (1879-1918), English recipient of the Victoria Cross
  • Lady Sylvia Olive Pleadwell Sayer (1904-2000), early English conservator
  • Phil Sayer (1953-2016), British professional voice artist and newsreader on BBC North West Tonight, his voice was used on the London Underground saying to passengers "Mind the gap" and "Stand clear of the doors please"
  • Peter Sayer (b. 1955), Welsh professional footballer
  • ... (Another 3 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

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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. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ 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)
  4. ^ 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
  5. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) MOFFATT 1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839Moffatt.htm
  6. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) VICTORIA 1848. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1848Victoria.htm
  7. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The SIMLAH 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Simlah.htm
  8. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
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