Selby History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Selby family

The surname Selby was first found in North Yorkshire at Selby, a town and civil parish that dates back to the time of the Vikings as archaeological investigations in the area have revealed extensive remains, including waterlogged deposits in the core of the town dating from that time. One of the first records of the place name was in c. 1030 where it was listed as Seleby. A little more than 50 years later, it was listed as Salebi in the Domesday Book and literally meant "farmstead or village near sallow-trees" having derived from the Old English word "sele" + the Old Scandinavian word "by." [1] It is understood to be the traditional birthplace of King Henry I, fourth son of William the Conqueror, in 1068/69. It is best known for Selby Abbey, which it is claimed that when Benedict of Auxerre in 1069 saw three swans on a lake in Selby, he understood that to be a sign of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, hence the Arms of Selby Abbey has three swans. The township of Moat in Cumberland was the scene of many battles with the Scots of the north. "It more than once fell into the power of the Scots, and on one occasion was taken by David, King of Scotland, who caused the two sons of the governor, Sir Walter Selby, to be strangled." [2]

Early History of the Selby family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Selby research. Another 175 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1603 and 1667 are included under the topic Early Selby History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Selby Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Selby, Selbie and others.

Early Notables of the Selby family (pre 1700)

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


United States Selby migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Selby Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Robert Selby, who landed in Virginia in 1635 [3]
  • Robert Selby, who settled in Virginia in 1636
  • Katherine Selby, who arrived in Maryland in 1649-1650 [3]
  • George Selby, who arrived in Maryland in 1657 [3]
  • Edward Selby, who landed in Maryland in 1658 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Selby Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Hannah Selby, who arrived in Virginia in 1706 [3]
  • Mrs. Selby, who settled in Boston with her children in 1712
  • Mrs. Selby, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1712 [3]
  • Mary Selby, who settled in Virginia in 1720
  • Francis Selby, who settled in Maryland in 1741
Selby Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Richard Stephen Selby, who arrived in America in 1809 [3]
  • W R Selby, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [3]
  • H Selby, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [3]

Canada Selby migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Selby Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mr. James Hall Selby, aged 30 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Ajax" departing from the port of Liverpool, England but died on Grosse Isle on 18th June 1847 [4]

Australia Selby migration to Australia +

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

Selby Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Samuel Selby, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "William Nicol" in 1840 [5]
  • Mary Ann Selby, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "William Nicol" in 1840 [5]
  • Robert Selby, aged 22, a labourer, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Catherine" in 1851 [6]
  • Hannah Selby, aged 22, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Catherine" in 1851 [6]
  • Phillip Selby, aged 2, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Catherine" in 1851 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Selby 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:

Selby Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr Selby, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1841 aboard the ship Tyne
  • Henry Selby, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1841 aboard the ship Jane
  • John Selby, who arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Jane" in 1841
  • Mr. Selby, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Jane" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 24th May 1841 [7]
  • Mr. Selby, British settler travelling from London, UK aboard the ship "Berhampore" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 18th June 1849 [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Selby (post 1700) +

  • Mark Otis Selby (1960-2017), American blues rock singer-songwriter, guitarist, multi-instrumentalist and producer
  • William Frank Selby (b. 1970), American Major League Baseball player who played from 1996 to 2003
  • Josh Selby (b. 1991), American professional basketball point guard
  • Hubert "Cubby" Selby Jr. (1928-2004), American writer, best known for his novels Last Exit to Brooklyn (1964) and Requiem for a Dream (1978)
  • David Lynn Selby (b. 1941), American character and stage actor
  • Mark Otis Selby, American blues rock singer-songwriter, guitarist, multi-instrumentalist and producer
  • Guy W. Selby, American Republican politician, Mayor of Flint, Michigan, 1909-11 [8]
  • George W. Selby, American politician, Mayor of Coffeyville, Kansas, 1877 [8]
  • Charles V. Selby Jr., American Republican politician, Candidate for West Virginia State House of Delegates from Harrison County, 1966 [8]
  • Charles V. Selby, American Republican politician, Candidate for West Virginia State House of Delegates from Harrison County, 1936 [8]
  • ... (Another 38 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Repulse
  • Mr. William F Selby, British Able Bodied Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [9]


The Selby 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: Semper sapit suprema
Motto Translation: He is always wise about the highest matters.


Suggested Readings for the name Selby +

  • 2704 "The Merediths and Selveys of Virginia and West Virginia" by Joseph N. Meredith, "Selby Families of Colonial America" by Donna Valley Russell.

  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  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)
  4. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 54)
  5. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) WILLIAM NICOL. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1840WilliamNichol.htm
  6. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) CATHERINE 1851. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1851Catherine.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. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 9) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  9. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html


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