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


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The surname Scarff was first found in Yorkshire, where the name first appeared in the 13th century. The name Scarff is either a nickname, or of ornamental origin. It comes from the old Norse word "skarfr," meaning "cormorant," a kind of large, black seabird. The name was probably given to its first bearer because of some imagined resemblance to the bird in question. It is also possible that the name had no real significance whatsoever, and was purely ornamental.

Spelling variations of this family name include: Scarf, Scarfe, Scarff, Scarffe, Scharf and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Scarff research. Another 275 words (20 lines of text) covering the years 1260 and 1275 are included under the topic Early Scarff History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Scarff Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Wm. Scarff, aged 27, who landed in America from Liverpool, in 1899

Scarff Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • Mrs. William G. Scarff, aged 40, who emigrated to New York, in 1905
  • William G. Scarff, aged 44, who settled in New York, in 1905
  • Frederick Scarff, aged 36, who emigrated to the United States from Dublin, Ireland, in 1921
  • James C. Scarff, aged 45, who settled in South Charleston, Ohio, in 1921
  • George Scarff, aged 52, who emigrated to America from Stanley, England, in 1922


Scarff Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century


  • Harold A. Scarff, aged 21, who emigrated to Windsor, Canada, in 1922
  • Louise Scarff, aged 42, who emigrated to Windsor, Canada, in 1922

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  • Clark Steven Scarff (b. 1948), former Australian cricketer who played four first-class matches for Western Australia
  • Warrant Officer (Gunner) F. W. Scarff, British officer of the Admiralty Air Department, inventor of the Scarff ring, a type of machine gun mounting for aircraft


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  1. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  2. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  3. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  4. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  5. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  6. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  7. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  8. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  9. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  10. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The Scarff Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Scarff 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 17 March 2014 at 20:35.

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