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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


The surname Saylor is derived from the Old Norman French word "sailleor," which denotes a "leaper" or "dancer." Thus the name was most likely originally born by someone whose occupation was that of a dancer or entertainer.

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Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Saylor, Sayler, Saylur, Sailor, Sailer and others.

First found in Yorkshire where Herbert le Sayllur was on record in "Early Yorkshire Charters" dating from 1191 to 1210. "The surname is very rare indeed. This is not a little singular, considering the commonness of the employment. In the Hundredorum Rolls we have it in the forms of Le Sailliur, Le Saylliur, and Le Saler." [1]


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Saylor research. Another 183 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1275, 1327, 1327 and 1790 are included under the topic Early Saylor History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Saylor Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Saylor family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Saylor or a variant listed above:

Saylor Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Arthur Saylor, who landed in Virginia in 1642
  • Arthur Saylor, who came to Virginia in 1642
  • Robert Saylor, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1682

Saylor Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Henry Saylor, who arrived in Schaefferstown, Pennsylvania in 1767
  • John Saylor, aged 21, arrived in Pennsylvania in 1777

Saylor Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Elmina F. Saylor, aged 38, who emigrated to the United States, in 1893

Saylor Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • Dora B. Saylor, aged 36, who landed in America, in 1904
  • Henry D. Saylor, aged 42, who emigrated to America, in 1904
  • Elmyra Saylor, aged 65, who settled in America, in 1905
  • Charles Saylor, aged 67, who landed in America, in 1905
  • Gertrude Saylor, aged 30, who landed in America from London, in 1905


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  • O. Webster Saylor, American head college football coach for the Franklin & Marshall Diplomats in the 1916 season
  • Debra Saylor (b. 1962), American pianist, classical singer and voice instructor
  • Thomas G. Saylor, American Justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
  • Everett Saylor (1909-1942), American racecar driver
  • Frank Dennis Saylor IV (b. 1955), United States federal judge
  • Katie Saylor (b. 1951), former American actress, best known for The Fantastic Journey (1977), Invasion of the Bee Girls (1973) and Men of the Dragon (1974)
  • Connie Saylor (1940-1993), American NASCAR racecar driver
  • Morgan Saylor (b. 1994), American Screen Actors Guild Award nominated actress for "Homeland" (2011)
  • Syd Saylor (1895-1962), American comedy actor and movie cowboy who appeared in 395 films and television series between 1926 and 1962, he was also the second television "Bozo the Clown"
  • Michael J. Saylor (b. 1965), American Chairman of the Board of Directors, Chief Executive Officer, and President of MicroStrategy, founder of the Saylor Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC

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  • Saylor-Carter and Moulden and Kindred Families by Elizabeth Saylor Moore.
  • Saylor Family Footprints: being the Family and Descendants of Solomon & Sarah of Harlan County, Kentucky by Holly Fee.
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  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.

Other References

  1. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  2. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  3. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  5. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  6. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  7. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  8. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  9. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  10. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  11. ...

The Saylor Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Saylor Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 15 December 2015 at 12:13.

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