Anglo-Saxon name Sefan comes from the family having resided in the county of Worcester. Sefan is a topographic surname, which was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree. During the Middle Ages, as society became more complex, individuals needed a way to be distinguishable from others. Toponymic surnames were developed as a result of this need. Various features in the landscape or area were used to distinguish people from one another. In this case the original bearers of the surname Sefan were named due to their close proximity to the river Severn.
Early Origins of the Sefan family
Worcestershire where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.
Early History of the Sefan family
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Sefan Spelling Variations
Sefan has been spelled many different ways. Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Spelling variants included: Severne, Severn, Seven, Sevens, Severin, Seffern, Sefferin and many more.
Early Notables of the Sefan family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Sefan family to the New World and Oceana
In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Sefans to arrive on North American shores: Charles Severin settled in Philadelphia in 1834; Samuel Severn settled in Maryland in 1774; Arthur Severne settled in Virginia in 1654; Benjamin Severn arrived in Philadelphia in 1813.
The Sefan 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: Virtus praestantior auro
Motto Translation: Virtue is more excellent than gold.
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