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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016


Self is an ancient Anglo-Saxon name that is derived from the Old English given name Saulf. Self is a patronymic surname, which belongs to the category of hereditary surnames. Many patronymic surnames were formed by adopting the given name of an ancestor of the bearer, while others came from popular religious names, and from the names of secular heroes. In this case, the surname arose out of the vernacular tradition, and was likely the name of an ancestor of the bearer. The given name Saulf was composed of the elements and wulf, which mean sea and wolf.

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Self has been spelled many different ways, including 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. Self, Selfe and others.

First found in Derbyshire 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.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Self research. Another 275 words (20 lines of text) covering the year 1086 is included under the topic Early Self History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Self Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Self family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 107 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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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 Selfs to arrive on North American shores:

Self Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Isaac Self settled in Pennsylvania in 1682
  • Isaac Self, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1682

Self Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • John Self settled in Pennsylvania in 1771
  • Samuel Self settled in Pennsylvania in 1771

Self Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Jane Self, who arrived in New York in 1834

Self Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Edwd Self, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749

Self Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Charles Self arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Eden" in 1838
  • Mary Self arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Eden" in 1838
  • Alfred Self, aged 13, English convict from Westminster, Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Anson" on September 23, 1843, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
  • Lois Self, aged 28, a seamstress, arrived in South Australia in 1850 aboard the ship "Joseph Soames"
  • Lois Self, aged 28, a seamstress, arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Joseph Somes" in 1850


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  • William Shuford Self (1906-1998), American organist and choirmaster
  • William Self (b. 1921), American actor and producer
  • Bill Self (b. 1962), American college basketball coach at the University of Kansas
  • Mr. Albert Charles Edward Self, aged 25, English Greaser from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping on life boat 4
  • Mr. Alfred Henry Self (d. 1912), aged 39, English Fireman/Stoker from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
  • Will Self (b. 1961), English novelist
  • Mrs. Florence Self (d. 1915), Canadian 3rd Class passenger from Canada, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking
  • Mr. James Self (d. 1915), Canadian 3rd Class passenger from Canada, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking


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  • Lizzie's Legacy and our Coffey Cousins by Mary Elizabeth Coffey Self.
  • Self Heritage by Larry Brown.
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  1. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  2. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  3. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  4. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  5. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  6. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  7. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  8. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  9. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  10. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  11. ...

The Self Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Self Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 15 December 2015 at 17:25.

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