Selmes History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Selmes is from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of the Britain and comes from the baptismal name Soloman, which was an ancient personal name. Baptismal names began to appear as surnames relatively late in the growth of the naming tradition. This is a little surprising, given the popularity of biblical figures in the Christian countries of Europe. Nevertheless, surnames derived from baptismal names grew in popularity during the Middle Ages, and have become one of the foremost sources for surnames. The surname Selmes also has origins as a nickname for a man who was considered to be wise or fortunate.

Early Origins of the Selmes family

The surname Selmes was first found in Surrey where they were Lords of the manor of Caterham from ancient times. Alternatively, the name could have been derived from Selham, a small village in the Chichester district of West Sussex. The village dates back to the Domesday Book where it was listed as Seleham and literally meant "homestead by a copse of sallow-trees." [1]

Early History of the Selmes family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Selmes research. Another 120 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1240, 1303, 1371, 1468, 1800, 1426, 1390, 1411, 1414, 1435, 1414, 1435 and 1541 are included under the topic Early Selmes History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Selmes Spelling Variations

The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Selmes has been spelled many different ways, including Saleman, Salman, Selman, Selyman, Seleman and others.

Early Notables of the Selmes family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include John Selman (died 1426), English politician, Member of Parliament for Plympton Erle (1390-1411); and John Selman (fl.1414-1435), English politician, Member of Parliament for Plympton Erle (1414-1435.) Thomas Soulemont, Soleman or...
Another 36 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Selmes Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


New Zealand Selmes 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:

Selmes Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. James Selmes, British settler travelling from Gravesend, UK aboard the ship "Bernica" en route to Otago via passenger disembarked at Nelson, South Island, New Zealand in December 1848 [2]
  • Mrs. Marian Selmes, British settler travelling from Gravesend, UK aboard the ship "Bernica" en route to Otago via passenger disembarked at Nelson, South Island, New Zealand in December 1848 [2]
  • Miss Mary Selmes, British settler travelling from Gravesend, UK aboard the ship "Bernica" en route to Otago via passenger disembarked at Nelson, South Island, New Zealand in December 1848 [2]
  • Miss Ann Selmes, British settler travelling from Gravesend, UK aboard the ship "Bernica" en route to Otago via passenger disembarked at Nelson, South Island, New Zealand in December 1848 [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name Selmes (post 1700) +

  • Jacob Selmes (b. 1986), Australian rugby league player for the Cronulla- Sutherland Sharks (2007-2009), awarded the Sharks Rookie of the Year in 2007
  • Isabella Selmes Greenway (1886-1953), American Democrat politician, Member of Democratic National Committee from Arizona, 1928-34; U.S. Representative from Arizona at-large, 1933-37 [3]


  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  3. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 13) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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