Anglo-Saxon name that was given to a person who held the office of sheriff. This occupational surname was originally derived from the Old English words scir meaning shire and refa meaning reeve. 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 Shairrif family
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 Shairrif family
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Shairrif Spelling Variations
spelling variations, including Sheriff, Sherrif, Sherriff, Shirreffs, Sheriffs and many more.
Early Notables of the Shairrif family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Shairrif family to the New World and Oceana
To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Shairrif were among those contributors: 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 Shairrif 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.
Shairrif Family Crest Products