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

Origins Available: German, Scottish


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.

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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.

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.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sellers research. Another 205 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1281, 1482, 1630, 1698 and 1671 are included under the topic Early Sellers History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 59 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sellers Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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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
  • Samuel Sellers, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1682

Sellers Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Nicho Sellers, who landed in Virginia in 1701
  • Jacob Sellers, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1729

Sellers Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • John Sellers arrived in Philadelphia in 1827
  • Thomas Sellers settled in Philadelphia in 1846
  • Philip Sellers, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1848
  • J M Sellers, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • George Sellers arrived in Philadelphia in 1858


Sellers Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Rd Sellers, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Richd Sellers, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750

Sellers Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • John Sellers, aged 37, a farm labourer, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Arab" in 1841
  • Mary Sellers, aged 36, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Arab" in 1841
  • John Sellers, aged 23, a farm labourer, arrived in Napier aboard the ship "Rakaia" in 1879

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  • 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
  • Johnny Sellers (1937-2010), American jockey who has 2,787 career wins, inducted into the United States' Racing Hall of Fame (2007)
  • Piers John Sellers PH.D. (b. 1955), British-American scientist and a NASA astronaut with over 559 hours in space
  • Alfred M Sellers (b. 1924), prominent American physician, who became chief of a clinic at the University of Pennsylvania
  • William Sellers (1824-1905), American mechanical engineer, manufacturer, and inventor who held more than 90 patents
  • Arthur Brian Sellers (1907-1981), English first-class cricketer who played in 334 first-class matches for Yorkshire County Cricket Club (1932-1948)

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  1. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Scotch Irish Pioneers In Ulster and America. Montana: Kessinger Publishing. Print.
  2. Paul, Sir James Balfour. An Ordinary of Arms Contained in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland Second Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1903. Print.
  3. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Prebble, John. The Highland Clearances. London: Secker & Warburg, 1963. Print.
  5. Black, George F. The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3).
  6. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  7. Scots Kith and Kin And Illustrated Map Revised 2nd Edition. Edinburgh: Clan House/Albyn. Print.
  8. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  9. Adam, Frank. Clans Septs and Regiments of the Scottish Highlands 8th Edition. London: Bacon (G.W.) & Co, 1970. Print. (ISBN 10-0717945006).
  10. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  11. ...

The Sellers Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Sellers 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 27 April 2016 at 15:47.

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