The history of the name Sells begins with the Anglo-Saxon
tribes of Britain. It is derived from the baptismal name Silvester or Silvanus.
During the middle Ages this personal name
was quite popular, as it was borne by three popes. In the religious naming tradition surnames were bestowed in honor of religious figures or church officials. In Europe, the Christian Church was one of the most powerful influences on the formation of given names. Personal names derived from the names of saints, apostles, biblical figures and missionaries are widespread in most European countries. In the Middle Ages, they became increasingly popular because people believed that the souls of the deceased continued to be involved in this world. They named their children after saints in the hope that the child would be blessed or protected by the saint.
Early Origins of the Sells family
The surname Sells was first found in Northamptonshire where they held a family seat
from ancient times.
Early History of the Sells family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sells research.Another 256 words (18 lines of text) covering the year 1637 is included under the topic Early Sells History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Sells Spelling Variations
The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore, spelling variations
are common among early Anglo-Saxon
names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Sells has been recorded under many different variations, including Sill, Sille, Sills, Silles, Sell, Selle, Sells and many more.
Early Notables of the Sells family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Sells Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Sells family to the New World and Oceana
For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England
made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Sells or a variant listed above:
Sells Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- James Sells, who landed in North America in 1772
Sells Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Albert Sells, aged 29, who landed in America from Kent, in 1893
- Harry Sells, aged 12, who emigrated to the United States, in 1894
- Michael Sells, aged 48, who landed in America, in 1896
- J.H. Sells, aged 35, who landed in America, in 1897
Sells Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
- Cora Sells, aged 33, who settled in America, in 1903
- Sarah Sells, aged 30, who emigrated to the United States, in 1905
- Clinton Wheeler Sells, who emigrated to the United States, in 1906
- Elias T. Sells, aged 52, who emigrated to the United States, in 1907
- Elijah W Sells, aged 54, who landed in America, in 1912
- ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Contemporary Notables of the name Sells (post 1700)
- Charles Harvey Sells (1889-1978), New York State Superintendent of Public Works (1943 to 1948)
- Toby Sells, American special effects make-up artist and make-up effects designer from Tennessee
- Cato Sells (1859-1948), American commissioner at the Bureau of Indian Affairs (1913 to 1921)
- Elijah Watt Sells (1858-1924), American accountant, founding partner in Haskins & Sells, which later became Deloitte & Touche
- Sam Riley Sells (1871-1935), American politician, member of the United States House of Representatives for Tennessee
- David "Dave" Wayne Sells (b. 1946), American retired Major League Baseball player
- Michael Anthony Sells (b. 1949), American John Henry Barrows Professor of Islamic History and Literature at the Divinity School of the University of Chicago