Shaa History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Shaa is one of the many names that the Normans brought with them when they conquered England in 1066. The Shaa family lived in Shropshire. "Cil de Saie," mentioned by Wace in his account of the Battle of Hastings, took his name from the vill of Saium or Say, about nine miles to the west of Exmes, the caput of Roger de Montgomeri's Norman Viscountcy, and held under Roger in Normandy, as he afterwards did in England. He is known as Picot de Say.

Within thirty years of Domesday, Theodoric de Say, a cadet of the Barons of Clun, was enfeoffed by Roger de Lacy of Stoke, afterwards called Stokesay. One of his descendants, Hugh II., was possessed of Moreton Say as early as 1243, and about 1250 exchanged Stokesay with his suzerain, John de Verdon, for some property in Ireland, where he took up his abode. Robert de Say held Moreton Say in 1255, and, with William de Say, had summons to attend a great Council at Westminster. Roger de Say, in 1203, was a tenant of Robert de Buller's at Hope Bowdler and Amaston and left Lucia and Amice his co-heirs. Then we have Eustachia de Say, co-foundress of Westwood in Worcestershire, who, in the time of Henry I., married Hugh Fitz Osborn, Baron of Burford and Richard's Castle, "Most accounts," says Eyton, "would induce us to associate her with the Barons of Clun or the Lords of Stokesay. [1]

Early Origins of the Shaa family

The surname Shaa was first found in Shropshire but the first record of the name was Geoffrey de Saye, Lord of West Greenwich (1135-1214.) His son, Geoffrey de Saye, II (died 1230), Lord of West Greenwich was born in 1155 in West Greenwich, Kent and died in Gascoigne, Poitou, France. His son was Geoffrey de Saye (1155-1230), was an English nobleman, and Magna Carta surety who held lands at Edmonton (now part of London) and Sawbridgeworth (a small town and civil parish in Hertfordshire.) [2]

"Picot de Say was, in the time of the Conqueror, one of the principal persons in the county of Salop, under Roger de Montgomery, Earl of Shrewsbury, and founded the distinguished Baronial House of Say, from which derives, through female descent, the Lord Saye and Sele." [3]

Geoffrey de Say, Baron de Say (ca. 1305-1359), was the second Baron by writ and a descendant of William de Say. [4]

Stratfield Saye is a village and civil parish in Hampshire that includes the hamlets of West End Green, Fair Oak Green and Fair Cross. [5]

Early History of the Shaa family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Shaa research. Another 106 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1214, 1478, 1468, 1420, 1404, 1382, 1604, 1685, 1649, 1661, 1681, 1691, 1653, 1691, 1664, 1666, 1676, 1743, 1632, 1692, 1656, 1604 and 1665 are included under the topic Early Shaa History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Shaa Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Say, Saye, Sais and others.

Early Notables of the Shaa family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir John Say (d. 1478), Speaker of the House of Commons, is doubtfully said to have been the son of John Heron (d. 1468), son of Sir John Heron (d. 1420), nephew and heir of Sir William Heron (d. 1404). The last-named was styled Lord Say in right of his wife Elizabeth, sister and heir of John de Say, Baron Say (d. 1382.) [4] Evan Seys (1604-1685), was a Welsh lawyer from Swansea, Glamorgan, Attorney General under Oliver Cromwell, Recorder of Gloucester in 1649, Member of Parliament for Gloucester (1661-1681); and Robert Say D.D...
Another 116 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Shaa Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Shaa family

Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Shaa name or one of its variants: George Say who settled in Barbados in 1635; Hugh and Jane Say settled in Virginia in 1650; Thomas Say settled in New England in 1663; John Saye settled in Virginia in 1637..



  1. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 3 of 3
  2. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  3. ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  5. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.


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