Show ContentsSebastian History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Sebastian family

The surname Sebastian was first found in Cornwall where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William, Duke of Normandy, having prevailed over King Harold, granted most of Britain to his many victorious Barons. It was not uncommon to find a Baron, or a Bishop, with 60 or more Lordships scattered throughout the country. These he gave to his sons, nephews and other junior lines of his family and they became known as under-tenants. They adopted the Norman system of surnames which identified the under-tenant with his holdings so as to distinguish him from the senior stem of the family. After many rebellious wars between his Barons, Duke William, commissioned a census of all England to determine in 1086, settling once and for all, who held which land. He called the census the Domesday Book, [1] indicating that those holders registered would hold the land until the end of time. Hence, conjecturally, the surname is descended from the tenant of the lands of St Columb Major who was recorded in the Domesday Book census of 1086. Sebastian is a masculine given name that is derived from the Latin name Sebastianus meaning "from Sebastia" and is also a surname derived from Saint Sebastian (died c. 288), an early Christian saint and martyr.

Early History of the Sebastian family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sebastian research. Another 153 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1510, 1600, 1535 and 1600 are included under the topic Early Sebastian History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Sebastian 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 Sebastian include Bastian, Basten, Bastin, Bastien, Bastion, Baston and many more.

Early Notables of the Sebastian family (pre 1700)

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

Sebastian Ranking

In the United States, the name Sebastian is the 4,765th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [2]

United States Sebastian 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 Sebastians to arrive on North American shores:

Sebastian Settlers in United States in the 16th Century
  • Bartolome Sebastian who settled in the Spanish Main in 1534
  • Diego Sebastian who immigrated to Rio de la Plata in 1535
Sebastian Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Anthony Sebastian, who arrived in Maryland in 1649-1652 [3]
  • Stephen Sebastian, who landed in Maryland in 1675 [3]
Sebastian Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Michael Sebastian, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1740 [3]
  • John Sebastian, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1741 [3]
  • Benjamin Sebastian, who landed in Virginia in 1766 [3]
Sebastian Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Benito Sebastian, who arrived in Puerto Rico in 1823 [3]
  • Maria Sebastian who settled in New Orleans in 1827
  • Maria Sebastian, aged 35, who landed in New Orleans, La in 1827 [3]
  • Bartolome Sebastian, who landed in Spanish Main in 1834 [3]
  • Diego Sebastian, who arrived in Rio de la Plata in 1835 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Sebastian Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Peter Sebastian, who landed in Mississippi in 1905 [3]

West Indies Sebastian migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [4]
Sebastian Settlers in West Indies in the 16th Century
  • Francisco Sebastian who settled in the Dominican Republic in 1564
Sebastian Settlers in West Indies in the 19th Century
  • Alonso Sebastian, who landed in Dominican Republic in 1835 [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Sebastian (post 1700) +

  • John Benson Sebastian (1944-2000), American singer, songwriter, guitarist and autoharpist, best known as a founder of The Lovin' Spoonful, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000
  • Joan Sebastian (1951-2015), stage name of José Manuel Figueroa Sr., Mexican seven-time Latin Grammy Award and five-time Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter
  • Guy Theodore Sebastian (b. 1981), Australian singer-songwriter and record producer, the first winner of Australian Idol in 2003
  • Sir Thomas Sebastian Bazley (1829-1919), 2nd Baronet of Hatherop in the County of Gloucester, a justice of the peace, deputy lieutenant and High Sheriff for Gloucestershire
  • Mr. Louis Sebastian Rudd M.B.E., British Captain for The Parachute Regiment, recipient of Member of the Order of the British Empire on 8th June 2018 [5]
  • William Sebastian Boyle (1888-1949), American Democratic Party politician, Nevada Democratic State Chair, 1931 [6]
  • James Sebastian Faulkner (b. 1948), British actor from Hampstead, London, known for his many supporting roles including Da Vinci's Demons (2013), Downton Abbey (2010) and Game of Thrones (2011)
  • Ryan Sebastian Sherriff (b. 1990), American Major League Baseball pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals
  • Edwin Sebastian Butz (1864-1956), American Seventh-day Adventist missionary who was active in Australia
  • Henry Sebastian D'Souza (1926-2016), Indian Roman Catholic bishop

Suggested Readings for the name Sebastian +

  • The Chronicle of a Southern Family by William Hobart Sebastian.

  1. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  3. 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)
  5. "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018,
  6. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 2) . Retrieved from on Facebook