Severance History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the Severance surname lived among the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. The name comes from when they lived in the county of Worcester. Severance is a topographic surname, which was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree. During the Middle Ages, as society became more complex, individuals needed a way to be distinguishable from others. Toponymic surnames were developed as a result of this need. Various features in the landscape or area were used to distinguish people from one another. In this case the original bearers of the surname Severance were named due to their close proximity to the river Severn.

Early Origins of the Severance family

The surname Severance was first found in Worcestershire 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 Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.

Early History of the Severance family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Severance research. Another 124 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1300 and 1675 are included under the topic Early Severance History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Severance Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Severance include Severne, Severn, Seven, Sevens, Severin, Seffern, Sefferin and many more.

Early Notables of the Severance family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Severance Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Severance migration to the United States +

A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:

Severance Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Severance, who arrived in Ipswich, Massachusetts in 1634 [1]
Severance Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • W Severance, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [1]
  • C.A. Severance, aged 30, who settled in America, in 1894
  • Mrs. Severance, aged 45, who settled in America, in 1895
Severance Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Joseph Severance, aged 33, who immigrated to the United States from England, in 1902
  • Cordenio A. Severance, who landed in America from U, in 1908
  • John L. Severance, aged 43, who landed in America, in 1909
  • Allen Severance, aged 40, who immigrated to the United States, in 1909
  • Faith Severance, aged 11, who settled in America, in 1909
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Severance (post 1700) +

  • Louis Severance (1838-1913), American oilman and philanthropist, founding member of the Standard Oil Trust
  • H. Craig Severance (1879-1941), American architect
  • Cordenio Arnold Severance (1862-1925), American lawyer, President of the American Bar Association
  • Joan Severance (b. 1958), American actress and former fashion model

The Severance Motto +

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: Virtus praestantior auro
Motto Translation: Virtue is more excellent than gold.

  1. ^ 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) on Facebook
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