Sellars History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient Scottish name Sellars is rooted in the people of the Pictish clans. Sellars was a name for a merchant, someone who worked in cellars, and a saddler. Sellars is an occupational surname, which belongs to the category of hereditary surnames. Occupational surnames were derived from the primary activity of the bearer. In the Middle Ages, people did not generally live off of the fruits of their labor in a particular job. Rather, they performed a specialized task, as well as farming, for subsistence. Other occupational names were derived from an object associated with a particular activity. This type of surname is called a metonymic surname. This surname applies to a variety of occupations. In the case of a merchant, the surname Sellars derives from an ancient derivitave of the Old English word, sell(en), which means, to sell. It also comes from the Old English word, sellan, which means to hand over, or deliver. In the sense of a person who worked in cellars, Sellars is a metonymic occupational name, which comes from the Anglo Norman French word, celler. The cellars referred to in this example, would have been in mansions and other great houses. In the final case, that of a saddler, the surname Sellars comes from the Anglo Norman French word, seller, which is a derivative of the Latin word sellarius, which means seat, or saddle. This ancient occupation was extremely important in the Middle Ages, as horses were the primary mode of transportation.

Early Origins of the Sellars family

The surname Sellars was first found in Aberdeenshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Obar Dheathain), a historic county, and present day Council Area of Aberdeen, located in the Grampian region of northeastern Scotland, 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 Scotland to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.

Early History of the Sellars family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sellars research. Another 103 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1281, 1482, 1630, 1698, 1671, 1646, 1705, 1700 and 1671 are included under the topic Early Sellars History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Sellars Spelling Variations

In medieval Scotland, names were more often spelled according to sound than any regular set of rules. An enormous number of spelling variations were the result. Over the years, the name Sellars has been spelled Sellers, Sellars, Sellors and others.

Early Notables of the Sellars family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the Clan at this time was John Seller (ca. 1630-1698), English hydrographer and compass maker who published the first sailing directions for England in 1671, eponym of the Seller Glacier, Antarctica. Abednego Seller (c. 1646-1705), son of Richard Seller of Plymouth, was an English non-juring divine and controversial writer. [1] John Seller ( fl. 1700), was hydrographer to the king, compiler, publisher, and seller of maps, charts, and geographical books, and was...
Another 72 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sellars Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Sellars migration to the United States +

In such difficult times, Ireland, Australia, and North America looked like better homes for many Scots. The trips were expensive and grueling, but also rewarding, as the colonies were havens for those unwelcome in the old country. That legacy did not die easily, though, and many were forced to fight for their freedom in the American War of Independence. The Scottish legacy has resurface in more recent times, though, through Clan societies, highland games, and other organizations. Immigration and passenger lists have shown many early immigrants bearing the old Scottish name of Sellars:

Sellars Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Mary Sellars, who arrived in Virginia in 1703 [2]
  • Tho Sellars, who landed in Virginia in 1703 [2]
Sellars Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • George Sellars, who settled in Philadelphia in 1854
  • George Sellars, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1870 [2]
  • Thomas Sellars, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1880

Canada Sellars migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Sellars Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Robert Sellars U.E. who settled in Digdeguash, Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1784, he resettled in 1795 [3]

Australia Sellars migration to Australia +

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

Sellars Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • James Sellars, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Stebonheath" in 1849 [4]
  • Hugh Sellars, aged 25, a carpenter, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Caroline" [5]

New Zealand Sellars 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:

Sellars Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • James Sellars, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • John Sellars, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1841 aboard the ship "Lady Nugent"
  • Mr. Robert Sellars (Sellers), British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Evening Star" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand in 1858 [6]
  • Mrs. Eliza Sellars, (b. 1829), aged 29, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Indiana" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 28th November 1858 [6]
  • Mr. Nathaniel Sellars, (b. 1832), aged 26, British blacksmith travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Indiana" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 28th November 1858 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Sellars (post 1700) +

  • John Sellars Ph.D.,, American academic, President of Graceland University (May 2007-)
  • Richard Beverland Sellars (1915-2010), American business executive, chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson
  • Wilfrid Stalker Sellars (1912-1989), American philosopher, son of Roy Wood Sellars
  • Stephanie Sellars, American columnist, screenwriter, actress, singer, director, and producer
  • Roy Wood Sellars (1880-1973), American philosopher of critical realism and religious humanism
  • Peter Sellars (b. 1957), American theatre director, 2014 Polar Music Prize laureate
  • James Sellars (1843-1888), Scottish architect
  • William David Hamilton Sellars (b. 1941), Scottish solicitor and officer of arms
  • Ms. Rosamund Jane Sellars M.B.E., British recipient of Member of the Order of the British Empire on 8th June 2018, for services to the Arts and to the community in the North of England [7]
  • Harold "Harry" Sellars (1902-1987), English footballer who played for Stoke City, father of John Sellars
  • ... (Another 10 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

  1. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  4. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) STEBONHEATH 1849. Retrieved from
  5. ^ South Australian Register Thursday 26th April 1855. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Caroline 1855. Retrieved
  6. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from
  7. ^ "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62310, 4 July 2019 | London Gazette, The Gazette, June 2018, on Facebook
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