Searles History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Searles reached England in the great wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Searles family 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 Searles family

The surname Searles 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 of 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 Searles family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Searles research. Another 76 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1620, 1683, 1656, 1659, 1777, 1849, 1777, 1789, 1796, 1797, 1798, 1799, 1799, 1800 and 1802 are included under the topic Early Searles History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Searles Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Searles include Searle, Searles, Searl, Sarl, Sarrell, Serrell and others.

Early Notables of the Searles family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Anthony Searle of Thanks at the time of King Richard III; and Samuel Serle (1620-1683), an English politician, Member of Parliament for Honiton (1656-1659.) Thomas Searle (1777-1849), was a British rear-admiral, "son of James Searle of Staddlescombe, Devonshire, was born on 29 May 1777. He entered the navy in November 1789, served on the Mediterranean, home, and Newfoundland stations, and in 1796 was in the Royal George, flagship of Lord Bridport, by whose interest he was made lieutenant, on 19 Aug., to...
Another 89 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Searles Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Searles Ranking

In the United States, the name Searles is the 5,853rd most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [5]

Ireland Migration of the Searles family to Ireland

Some of the Searles 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 Searles migration to the United States +

In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Searless to arrive on North American shores:

Searles Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Richard and Thomas Searles, who settled in Philadelphia in 1836
  • James M. Searles, aged 57, who immigrated to America, in 1893
  • Alice Searles, aged 31, who landed in America, in 1895
  • Annie Searles, aged 22, who landed in America, in 1895
Searles Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • J.G. Searles, aged 46, who landed in America, in 1904
  • Thomas M. Searles, aged 26, who landed in America from Cornwall, in 1906
  • Frederick R. Searles, aged 21, who immigrated to the United States from Cornwall, in 1906
  • Mrs. J. F. Searles, aged 35, who landed in America, in 1907
  • Sarah Searles, aged 40, who immigrated to the United States from Islington, England, in 1907
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Searles migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Searles Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • David Searles, aged 3, who immigrated to Halifax, Canada, in 1923
  • Letitia Searles, aged 5, who settled in Halifax, Canada in 1923
  • Percival Searles, aged 1, who settled in Halifax, Canada, in 1923

New Zealand Searles 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:

Searles Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Peter Searles, British settler arriving as Detachment of the Royal New Zealand Fencibles travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Sir George Symour" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 26th November 1847 [6]
  • Mrs. Elizabeth Searles, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Sir George Symour" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 26th November 1847 [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Searles (post 1700) +

  • Kyle Evan Searles (b. 1985), American actor best known for his roles on 7th Heaven, The George Lopez Show and Dawson's Creek
  • William Baird Searles (1934-1993), American science fiction author and critic
  • Edward Francis Searles (1841-1920), American interior and architectural designer, eponym of Searles Castle, Great Barrington, Massachusetts and Searles Castle, Windham, New Hampshire
  • Harold F. Searles M.D. (b. 1918), American pioneer in psychiatric medicine specialising in psychoanalytic treatments of schizophrenia
  • Michael Searles (1750-1813), English commercial architect of large houses in London
  • Searles Gregory Shultz (1897-1975), American lawyer and politician, Member of the New York State Assembly (1947-1954), New York State Senator (1955-1958)
  • Searles G. Shultz (1897-1975), American Republican politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Onondaga County 1st District, 1947-54; Member of New York State Senate 44th District, 1955-58 [7]

  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. ^
  6. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from
  7. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 14) . Retrieved from on Facebook