Sefton History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Sefton family

The surname Sefton was first found in Lancashire (now Merseyside) at Sefton, a village and civil parish which dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086 when it was first listed as Sextone [1] and literally meant "farmstead where rushes grow," from the Old Scandinavian word "sef" + the Old English word "tun." [2]

One of the first records of the family was Henry de Sefton who was listed in the Assize Rolls for Lancashire in 1285. [3]

Early History of the Sefton family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sefton research. Another 104 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1285, 1595, 1602, 1593, 1602, 1761, 1806, 1686 and 1756 are included under the topic Early Sefton History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Sefton 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 Sefton, Sephton, Septon and others.

Early Notables of the Sefton family (pre 1700)

Another 30 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sefton Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Sefton 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 Sefton or a variant listed above:

Sefton Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • William Sefton, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1773
Sefton Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Sefton, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1817
  • John Sefton, who was on record in Cincinnati in 1825

New Zealand Sefton 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:

Sefton Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • William Sefton, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Zealandia" in 1874
  • Mary Sefton, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Zealandia" in 1874
  • Vanentine Sefton, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Zealandia" in 1874
  • Jane Sefton, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Zealandia" in 1874
  • Sarah Sefton, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Zealandia" in 1874

Contemporary Notables of the name Sefton (post 1700) +

  • Fred Sefton (1888-1976), American basketball and football coach, head football coach at University of Akron (1915 to 1923)
  • Elenore Sefton, American politician, Delegate to New York convention to ratify 21st amendment, 1933 [4]
  • Allan Roy Sefton OAM (1921-1989), Australian ornithologist, naturalist and environmentalist, founder of the New South Wales Albatross Study Group, awarded the British Empire Medal (1975) and Australian Natural History Medallion (1978)
  • Clyde Sefton (b. 1951), Australian Olympic silver medalist cyclist at the 1972 Olympics
  • William H Sefton, Chairman, Runcorn Development Corporation
  • William Sefton Fyfe CC, FRSC, FRS (b. 1927), New Zealand geologist and Professor Emeritus at the University of Western Ontario widely considered the world’s most eminent geochemist
  • William Sefton Moorhouse (1825-1881), New Zealand politician

Hillsborough disaster
  • Colin Andrew Hugh William Sefton (1966-1989), English security officer who was attending the FA Cup semi-final at Hillsborough Stadium, in Sheffield, Yorkshire when the stand allocated area became overcrowded and 96 people were crushed in what became known as the Hillsborough disaster and he died from his injuries [5]


  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 9) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  5. ^ Hillsborough Victims (retreived 21st March 2021). Retreived from https://metro.co.uk/2019/04/15/remembering-96-victims-hillsborough-disaster-30-years-9206566/


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