Show ContentsSellers History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

An ancient Scottish people known as the Picts were the forefathers of the Sellers family. Sellers is a name for a merchant, someone who worked in cellars, and a saddler. Sellers 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 Sellers 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, Sellers 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 Sellers 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 Sellers family

The surname Sellers 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 Sellers family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sellers 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 Sellers History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Sellers Spelling Variations

Prior to the invention of the printing press in the last hundred years, documents were basically unique. Names were written according to sound, and often appeared differently each time they were recorded. Spelling variations of the name Sellers include Sellers, Sellars, Sellors and others.

Early Notables of the Sellers 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 Sellers Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Sellers Ranking

In the United States, the name Sellers is the 689th most popular surname with an estimated 42,279 people with that name. [2]

United States Sellers migration to the United States +

The freedom of the North American colonies was enticing, and many Scots left to make the great crossing. It was a long and hard journey, but its reward was a place where there was more land than people and tolerance was far easier to come by. Many of these people came together to fight for a new nation in the American War of Independence, while others remained loyal to the old order as United Empire Loyalists. The ancestors of Scots in North America have recovered much of this heritage in the 20th century through Clan societies and other such organizations. A search of immigration and passenger lists revealed many important and early immigrants to North America bearing the name of Sellers:

Sellers Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Roger Sellers, who landed in Maryland in 1663 [3]
  • Samuel Sellers, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1682 [3]
Sellers Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Nicho Sellers, who landed in Virginia in 1701 [3]
  • Jacob Sellers, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1729 [3]
Sellers Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Sellers, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1827
  • Thomas Sellers, who settled in Philadelphia in 1846
  • Philip Sellers, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1848 [3]
  • J M Sellers, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850 [3]
  • George Sellers, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1858
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Sellers migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Sellers Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Rd Sellers, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Richard Sellers, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750

New Zealand Sellers 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:

Sellers Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • John Sellers, aged 37, a farm labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Arab" in 1841
  • Mary Sellers, aged 36, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Arab" in 1841
  • Miss Dinah Sellers, (b. 1839), aged 29, Cornish general servant departing on 5th October 1868 aboard the ship "Mermaid" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 8th January 1869 [4]
  • John Sellers, aged 23, a farm labourer, who arrived in Napier aboard the ship "Rakaia" in 1879

Contemporary Notables of the name Sellers (post 1700) +

  • Richard Henry "Peter" Sellers CBE (1925-1980), British Golden Globe Award and BAFTA Award winning, three-time Academy Award nominated actor and comedian, best known for his role in Dr. Strangelove, and as Inspector Clouseau in The Pink Panther films
  • Larry Sellers (1949-2021), American actor and stuntman of Osage, Cherokee, and Lakota heritage
  • Charles Grier Sellers Jr. (1923-2021), American historian and author of the book The Market Revolution: Jacksonian America, 1815-1846
  • Goldie Sellers (1942-2020), American football defensive back in the American Football League (1966-1969)
  • Jack Sellers (1944-2016), American professional stock car racing driver and team owner
  • Phillip "Phil" Sellers Jr. (b. 1953), American former professional NBA basketball player
  • Michael "Mike" Sellers (b. 1975), former American NFL football fullback
  • Joey Sellers, American contemporary composer, arranger, and trombonist
  • Isaiah Sellers (1802-1864), American river boat captain, said to be the inspiration of Samuel Clemen's pen-name Mark Twain
  • Bradley Donn "Brad" Sellers (b. 1962), American retired professional basketball player and current politician, Mayor of Warrensville Heights
  • ... (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. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  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. Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to Lyttelton 1858-84 [PDF]. Retrieved from on Facebook