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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Sayre family come from? What is the English Sayre family crest and coat of arms? When did the Sayre family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Sayre family history?

Sayre is one of the names that was brought to England in the wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Sayre 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.


Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Sayre family name include Sayer, Sayers, Sayres and others.

First found in Essex where they held a family seat from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sayre research. Another 231 words(16 lines of text) covering the years 1655, 1718, 1695, 1705 and are included under the topic Early Sayre History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 65 words(5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sayre Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Sayre family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 109 words(8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Sayre family to immigrate North America:

Sayre Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Thomas Sayre, who landed in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1630
  • Job Sayre, who landed in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1635

Sayre Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • John Sayre, who arrived in America in 1768

Sayre Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • F F Sayre, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • A. Sayre, aged 55, who landed in America, in 1896

Sayre Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Clayton C. Sayre, aged 21, who landed in America, in 1903
  • David A. Sayre, aged 63, who emigrated to America, in 1906
  • Aubrey R. Sayre, aged 22, who settled in America, in 1906
  • E. H Sayre, who landed in America, in 1907
  • Edwin H. Sayre, aged 50, who emigrated to the United States, in 1909

Sayre Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century

  • Miss A Sayre, who landed in St John, New Brunswick in 1907


  • Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald (1900-1948), American novelist and the wife of writer F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Robert Heysham Sayre (1824-1907), American businessman, vice president and chief engineer of the Lehigh Valley Railroad, eponym of Sayre, Pennsylvania
  • David Austin Sayre (1793-1870), American silversmith, banker, educator and founder of Sayre Female Institute
  • James Willis Sayre (1877-1963), American theatre critic, journalist, arts promoter, and historian
  • Joel Sayre (1900-1979), American screenwriter, known for his work on Gunga Din (1939), Fourteen Hours (1951), Annie Oakley (1935) and others
  • Lewis Albert Sayre (1820-1900), American orthopedic surgeon, noted for performing the first operation to cure the hip-joint ankylosis
  • Nora Clemens Sayre (1932-2001), American film critic, essayist and reviewer of films for The New York Times, daughter of Joel Sayre
  • Francis B. Sayre Sr. (1885-1972), American professor at Harvard Law School, High Commissioner of the Philippines, and a son-in-law of President Woodrow Wilson
  • Stephen Sayre (1736-1818), American revolutionary who allegedly planned to kidnap George III
  • Francis B. Sayre Jr. (1915-2008), Episcopal cleric, Dean of Washington Cathedral, first grandchild of President Woodrow Wilson


  • Brown and Sayre Ancestry: Three Centuries in Northern New Jersey by Mortimer Freeman Sayre.

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  1. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  2. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  3. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  4. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  5. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  6. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  7. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  8. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  9. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  10. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  11. ...

The Sayre Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Sayre 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 8 December 2014 at 01:09.

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