Shairiff is an Anglo-Saxon
name. The name was originally given to a person who held the office of sheriff. This occupational
surname was originally derived from the Old English words scir
The surname was originally derived from the "shire-reeve," a Vice Count who was in charge of the law for a shire or county. CITATION[CLOSE]
Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
Before the Norman Conquest
the sheriff was the king's representative in a county, responsible for every aspect of local
administration in England
Early Origins of the Shairiff family
The surname Shairiff was first found in Warwickshire
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 Shairiff family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Shairiff research.Another 153 words (11 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Shairiff History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Shairiff Spelling Variations
One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations
under which the name Shairiff has appeared include Sheriff, Sherrif, Sherriff, Shirreffs, Sheriffs and many more.
Early Notables of the Shairiff family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Shairiff Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Shairiff family to the New World and Oceana
At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England
was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England
at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Shairiff arrived in North America very early: Richard Sherife, who came to Virginia in 1619; Lewis
and Peter Sherive, who settled in Nevis in 1663; William Sheriff, who settled in Boston in 1716; Thomas Sheriffs, who settled in Virginia in 1649.
The Shairiff 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: Esse quam videri
Motto Translation: To be, rather than to seem.