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


When the ancestors of the Searle family emigrated to England following the Norman Conquest in 1066 they brought their family name with them. They lived in Cornwall. Their name, however, is a reference to Serlo, Normandy, the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. However, may of the family remained in Normandy as seen by Robert Sorel who was listed there (1180-1195.) [1]

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The surname Searle was first found in Cornwall where the name can be found from ancient times as both a surname and a forename. Sarlo Iuuenis was one of the first on record in 1091-1093. [2] And in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273, the name continues to be found in both ways: Sarle Tinctor in Huntingdonshire and Matilda Sarle in Cambridgeshire. [3] There is a history of an association with clergy as shown by Robert Saryll, clericus in 1412 in Yorkshire, and few years later in the same area Thomas Serle, capallanus, filius Roberti Sarle, clerici in 1438. [2] One would presume that these latter two listings were father and son who both followed the same profession.

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence in the eras before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate regularly changed the spellings of their names as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Searle have been found, including Searle, Searles, Searl, Sarl, Sarrell, Serrell and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Searle research. Another 151 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1620, 1683, 1656 and 1659 are included under the topic Early Searle History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 47 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Searle Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Searle 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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For many English families, the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. For such families, the shores of Ireland, Australia, and the New World beckoned. They left their homeland at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. Many arrived after the long voyage sick, starving, and without a penny. But even those were greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. Numerous English settlers who arrived in the United States and Canada at this time went on to make important contributions to the developing cultures of those countries. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Searle were among those contributors:

Searle Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Brigett Searle, who landed in Virginia in 1622
  • Bridget Searle settled in Virginia in 1623 with her husband
  • Francis and John Searle settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Francis Searle, aged 28, arrived in Virginia in 1635
  • Jon Searle, who arrived in Virginia in 1635


Searle Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Tho Searle, who landed in Virginia in 1705

Searle Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Thomas Searle, aged 19, arrived in New York in 1812
  • W Searle, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • M Searle, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • S Searle, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • Geo Searle, aged 39, landed in New York in 1854

Searle Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Robert Searle, English convict from Devon, who was transported aboard the "Arab" on July 3, 1822, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Austraila
  • John Searle, English convict from Cambridge, who was transported aboard the "Agincourt" on July 6, 1844, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
  • Emma Searle arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Childe Harold" in 1849
  • S. Searle arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Childe Harold" in 1849
  • Charlotte Searle arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Eliza" in 1849


Searle Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Thomas Searle, aged 24, a farmer, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Eveline" in 1865
  • William Searle, aged 22, a bootmaker, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Eveline" in 1865
  • James Searle, aged 18, a labourer, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Eveline" in 1865
  • Richard Searle, aged 39, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Schiehallion" in 1872
  • Mary Searle, aged 40, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Forfarshire" in 1873


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  • Miss Eva Searle (1874-1914), American Second Class Passenger from Seattle, Washington, United States who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking on May 29th 1914
  • John Rogers Searle (b. 1932), American philosopher and Rhodes Scholar
  • George Mary Searle (1839-1918), American astronomer
  • Charles Edward Searle (1828-1902), English Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University from 1888 to 1889
  • Ron Searle (1919-2015), British-born Canadian politician, 4th Mayor of Mississauga (1976-1978)
  • Mr. William John Searle (d. 1941), British Engine Room Artificer 3rd Class, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and died during the sinking
  • Mr. S Searle, British Boy, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking
  • Shayle Robert Searle (b. 1928), New Zealand born Professor Emeritus of Biological Statistics at Cornell University
  • Ronald Searle CBE, RDI (b. 1920), English artist and cartoonist
  • Humphrey Searle (1915-1982), British composer


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  • The Searle Family by Elishu Blackman.
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  1. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)

Other References

  1. 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).
  2. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  3. 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.
  4. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  5. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  6. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  7. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  8. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  10. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  11. ...

The Searle Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Searle 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 19 December 2015 at 21:06.

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