Seear History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Seear is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England with the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Seear 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 Seear family

The surname Seear 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 Seear family

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

Seear Spelling Variations

Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Sears, Seares, Seers, Seeres, Sear, Seare, Seer and many more.

Early Notables of the Seear family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Seear family to Ireland

Some of the Seear 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 Seear migration to the United States +

To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Seear or a variant listed above:

Seear Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Milton Bernard Seear, aged 20, who arrived in America, in 1912
  • Edwin Charles Seear, aged 33, who arrived in America from Walthamstown, England, in 1919
  • Arthur Seear, who arrived in America from Southsea, England, in 1920
  • Alfred Seear, aged 35, who arrived in America from Southampton, England, in 1922

New Zealand Seear 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:

Seear Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • William James Seear, aged 25, a carpenter, who arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Lady Nugent" in 1841
  • Susan Seear, aged 25, who arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Lady Nugent" in 1841
  • Mr. W. Seear, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Lady Nugent" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 17th March 1841 [1]
  • William Seear, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1842

Contemporary Notables of the name Seear (post 1700) +

  • Gary Alan Seear (1952-2018), New Zealand rugby union player who played for various New Zealand National Teams (1972-1979)
  • Maxine Seear (b. 1984), South African-born, Australian Olympic triathlon competitor at the 2004 Summer Olympics
  • Gary Alan Seear (b. 1952), New Zealand former All Black number eight who played from 1971 to 1979
  • Renata "Noot" Seear (b. 1983), Canadian fashion model and actress
  • Beatrice Nancy Seear PC (1913-1997), Baroness Seear, a British social scientist and politician


The Seear 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. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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