Searley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The history of the Searley family name begins after the Norman Conquest of 1066. 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 Searley family

The surname Searley 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 Searley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Searley 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 Searley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Searley Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Searle, Searles, Searl, Sarl, Sarrell, Serrell and others.

Early Notables of the Searley 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 Searley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Searley family to Ireland

Some of the Searley 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.

Migration of the Searley family

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Searley or a variant listed above were: John Searl settled in Barbados in 1680 with his servants; Bridget Searle settled in Virginia in 1623 with her husband; Francis, John Searle settled in Virginia in 1635.



  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)


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