Sears History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Sears is a name that was carried to England in the great wave of migration from Normandy following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Sears family lived in Essex. Their name, however, is a reference to Serez, Normandy, the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066.

Early Origins of the Sears family

The surname Sears was first found in Essex where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Colchester from very ancient times, some say from the reign of King Edmund Ironside in 1016, but this date conflicts with the more likely source of Serez, in the arrondisement of Evreux in Normandy, supporting the contention that the family were granted these lands after the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. They held a family seat there continuously from the conquest to 1770.

Early History of the Sears family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sears research. Another 94 words (7 lines of text) covering the year 1630 is included under the topic Early Sears History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Sears 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 Sears include Sears, Seares, Seers, Seeres, Sear, Seare, Seer and many more.

Early Notables of the Sears family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Sears Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Sears family to Ireland

Some of the Sears 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 Sears 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 Searss to arrive on North American shores:

Sears Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Richard (Sares) Sears (1590-1676), English settler to both the Massachusetts Bay Colony and Plymouth Colony in 1630 [1]
  • William Sears, who arrived in Maryland in 1663 [1]
Sears Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Joseph Sears, who landed in Virginia in 1743 [1]
  • Joseph Sears, who settled in Virginia in 1743
  • George Sears who landed in America in 1746
Sears Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Elizabeth Sears, who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1820
  • James Sears, who settled in Portland Me. in 1820
  • Mr. Sears, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1822 [1]
  • William Sears, who settled in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in 1822
  • James Sears, who settled in New York State in 1823
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Sears migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Sears Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Edward Sears was a merchant of Newfoundland in 1770 [2]
  • Mr. Thatcher Sears U.E. (b. 1752) who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 he was married to Rebecca Smith having 11 children [3]
Sears Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Reverend Sears was a Roman Catholic priest of Bay of Islands, Newfoundland in 1871 [2]
  • Reverend Thomas Sears was a Roman Catholic priest of Sandy Point, Newfoundland in 1871 [2]

Australia Sears migration to Australia +

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

Sears Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Henry Sears, English convict from Sussex, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on October 22nd, 1824, settling in New South Wales, Australia [4]
  • A. Sears, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Athenian" in 1849 [5]
  • William Sears, aged 46, a carpenter, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Duke Of Wellington" in 1849 [6]
  • Elizabeth Sears, aged 46, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Duke Of Wellington" in 1849 [6]
  • William Sears, aged 16, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Duke Of Wellington" in 1849 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Sears 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:

Sears Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Sears, (b. 1819), aged 37, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Joseph Fletcher" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 24th October 1856 [7]
  • Mrs. Mary Ann Sears, (b. 1823), aged 33, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Joseph Fletcher" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 24th October 1856 [7]
  • Miss Emma Sears, (b. 1845), aged 11, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Joseph Fletcher" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 24th October 1856 [7]
  • Mr. John Sears, (b. 1847), aged 9, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Joseph Fletcher" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 24th October 1856 [7]
  • Mr. James Ambrose Sears, (b. 1858), aged 4 months, English settler from Hertfordshire travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Zealandia" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 21st September 1858 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Sears (post 1700) +

  • Richard Warren Sears (1863-1914), American businessman, co-founder of Sears, Roebuck and Company
  • Kenneth Robert Sears (1933-2017), American professional basketball player, the first basketball player to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine in 1954
  • Eleonora Randolph Sears (1881-1968), American tennis player of the interwar period
  • Isaac Sears (1730-1786), American merchant, sailor, and politician, leader of the Sons of Liberty in 1765
  • Ted Sears (1900-1958), American Hugo Award nominated animator who worked with Fleischer Studios in the late-1920s and early-1930s, and later at Walt Disney studio in 1931
  • Richard Dudley "Dick" Sears (1861-1943), American male tennis player, inducted in the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1955
  • Bart Whitman Sears (b. 1963), American artist and author
  • Jeannette Arthur William Sears (b. 1947), American song lyricist and author
  • Alexander F. Sears, American fighter pilot and flying ace in the U.S. Army Air Forces, during World War II, credited with 5 aerial victories
  • Charles Brown Sears (b. 1870), American Republican politician, Justice of New York Supreme Court 8th District, 1917-40; Justice of the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court 4th Department, 1922-33 [9]
  • ... (Another 55 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Arrow Air Flight 1285
  • Mr. Ronald W Sears (b. 1947), American Staff Sergeant from Bronx, New York, USA who died in the crash [10]


The Sears Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Honor et fides
Motto Translation: Honor and fidelity.


  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  3. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  4. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1824 with 9 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1824
  5. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The ATHENIAN 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Athenian.htm
  6. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The DUKE OF WELLINGTON 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Duke%20of%20Wellington.htm
  7. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  8. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  9. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 17) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  10. ^ American War Memorials - Flight 1285. (Retrieved 2016, August 24) . Retrieved from http://www.uswarmemorials.org/html/monument_details.php?SiteID=317&MemID=550


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