Searle History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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]

Early Origins of the Searle family

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]

"Thankes or Thancks, a delightful residence in the [parish pf Antony in East, Cornwall] is situated near Torpoint, on the margin of the Hamoaze. This place originally took its name from a family called Thomke, who resided on it, and to whom it was enfranchised in the reign of Henry V. From the Thonke family it passed to the Searles, and from the Searles it was conveyed to the Warne family." [3]

In the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273, the name continues to be found in both ways: Sarle Tinctor in Huntingdonshire and Matilda Sarle in Cambridgeshire. [4]

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.

Early History of the Searle family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Searle research. Another 76 words (5 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 and printed products wherever possible.

Searle Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Searle family (pre 1700)

Another 31 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Searle Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Searle family to Ireland

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 and printed products wherever possible.


United States Searle migration to the United States +

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 [5]
  • Bridget Searle, who settled in Virginia in 1623 with her husband
  • Francis and John Searle, who settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Francis Searle, aged 28, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [5]
  • Jon Searle, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Searle Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Tho Searle, who landed in Virginia in 1705 [5]
Searle Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Searle, aged 19, who arrived in New York in 1812 [5]
  • W Searle, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [5]
  • M Searle, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [5]
  • S Searle, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [5]
  • Geo Searle, aged 39, who landed in New York in 1854 [5]

Canada Searle migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Searle Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Robert Searle, (b. 1832), aged 23, Cornish labourer departing from Falmouth destined for Quebec, Canada aboard the ship "Barque John" on 3rd May 1855 which sank after striking the reef, he died in the sinking [6]

Australia Searle migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

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, Australia [7]
  • Mr. Robert Searle (b. 1806), aged 26, Cornish settler convicted in Cornwall, UK on 7th August 1832, sentenced for life for stealing cattle, transported aboard the ship "Neva" on 27th July 1833 to New South Wales, Australia [8]
  • John Searle, English convict from Cambridge, who was transported aboard the "Agincourt" on July 6, 1844, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [9]
  • Mr. James Searle, (b. 1824), aged 25, Cornish millwright departing on 29th January 1849 aboard the ship "Sir George Seymouth" arriving in Port Henry, Geelong, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on 14th May 1849 [10]
  • Miss Caroline Searle, (b. 1829), aged 20, Cornish house servant travelling aboard the ship "St Vincent" arriving in New South Wales, Australia on 11th March 1849 [11]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Searle Settlers in Australia in the 20th Century
  • Miss Elizabeth Searle, (b. 1867), aged 39, Cornish settler travelling aboard the ship "Ormuz" arriving in Queensland, Australia on 7th June 1906 [12]

New Zealand Searle migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

  • Miss Florence Searle, (b. 1858), aged 16, Cornish servant departing on 2nd May 1874 aboard the ship "Peter Denny" going to Bluff or Otago, New Zealand arriving in port on 26th July 1874 [13]
  • Miss Emma Searle, (b. 1857), aged 17, Cornish servant departing on 2nd May 1874 aboard the ship "Peter Denny" going to Bluff or Otago, New Zealand arriving in port on 26th July 1874 [13]
Searle Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. George Searle, (b. 1836), aged 20, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Sir Edward Paget" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 2nd July 1856 [14]
  • J Searle, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Joseph Fletcher" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 18th August 1859 [15]
  • Mr. Isaac Searle, (b. 1840), aged 23, British labourer travelling from London aboard the ship 'Mermaid' arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 16th February 1864 [15]
  • Thomas Searle, aged 24, a farmer, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Eveline" in 1865
  • William Searle, aged 22, a bootmaker, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Eveline" in 1865
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Searle (post 1700) +

  • 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
  • Rear-Admiral Thomas Searle (1777-1849), British Naval officer, son of James Searle of Staddlescombe, Devonshire
  • Ron Searle (1919-2015), British-born Canadian politician, 4th Mayor of Mississauga (1976-1978)
  • 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
  • Sir William Searle Holdsworth OM, KC, DCL, HON LL.D, FBA, (1871-1944), British legal historian
  • John Searle Tenney, American politician, Justice of Maine State Supreme Court, 1841-55; Chief Justice of Maine State Supreme Court, 1855-62

Empress of Ireland
  • 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 [16]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. William John Searle, British Engine Room Artificer 3rd Class, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and died in the sinking [17]
  • Mr. S Searle, British Boy, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [17]
HMS Royal Oak
  • John Gilbert Searle (1912-1939), British Able Seaman with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [18]


Suggested Readings for the name Searle +

  • 2972 "The Searle Family" by Elishu Blackman.

  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. ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  6. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/wreck_of_emigrant_ship_john_1855.pdf
  7. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Arab voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1822 with 155 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/arab/1822
  8. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 30th May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_australia_convicts.pdf
  9. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 24) Agincourt voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1844 with 226 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/agincourt/1844
  10. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retreived 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_australia_victoria.pdf
  11. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, May 30). Ships' Passenger Lists of Arrivals in New South Wales on (1828 - 1842, 1848 - 1849) [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_nsw_1838_on.pdf
  12. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retreived 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_australia_queensland.pdf
  13. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to other ports, 1872 - 84 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/new_zealand_assisted.pdf
  14. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  15. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  16. ^ Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 17) . Retrieved from http://www.empress2014.ca/seclangen/listepsc1.html
  17. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  18. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html


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