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


The history of the Selvidge name began with the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from the personal name Saelwig which is an Old English word meaning prosperity war. The personal name Saelwig was an ancient font name that was brought to England by the Normans. After the Norman Conquest, the Old English naming system gradually dissolved. Old English names became less common and were replaced by popular continental European names. The earliest surnames in England were found shortly after the Norman Conquest and are of Norman French rather than native English origins.

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The surname Selvidge was first found in Staffordshire where "about the reign of Henry III, William Salwey was Lord of Leacroft, a hamlet in the parish of Cannock in Staffordshire; hence the family removed to Stanford in Worcestershire; of which John Salwey was owner in the third of Henry IV." [1]

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Selvidge family name include Salwey, Sewyn, Selwyn, Selwin, Sallowaye and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Selvidge research. Another 175 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1216, 1575, 1652, 1640, 1615, 1685, 1655, 1702, 1675 and 1702 are included under the topic Early Selvidge History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 111 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Selvidge Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, the Canadas, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Selvidge surname or a spelling variation of the name include : William and Thomas Salwey settled in Philadelphia in 1683.

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  • Joann Self Selvidge, American Nashville Film Festival Award winning producer and director who founded True Story Pictures in 2004
  • John Selvidge, American actor and writer, known for T-Rex (2014), The Trouble Man (2013) and Judges Creed
  • Harner Selvidge, American inductee into the Soaring Hall of Fame in 1976
  • Sid Selvidge (1944-2013), American rock musician, best known for his work with Mud Boy and the Neutrons, producer and record label owner
  • Anthony John Selvidge (b. 1946), birth name of Tony Kaye, an English keyboardist and songwriter, the original keyboard player for the rock group Yes (1968 to 1971)


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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Fiat voluntas dei
Motto Translation: The will of God be done.

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  1. ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.

Other References

  1. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  2. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  3. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  4. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  5. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  6. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  7. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  8. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  9. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  11. ...

The Selvidge Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Selvidge 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 7 October 2015 at 08:56.

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