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An excerpt from 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.


The surname Saylor was 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]

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.


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.


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


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.


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


  • 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



  • 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. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  2. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  3. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  4. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  5. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  6. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  7. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  8. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  9. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  11. ...

The Saylor Family Crest was acquired from the 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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