Norman Conquest of England in 1066 brought many new words to England from which surnames were formed. Shakespear was one of these new Norman names. It was specifically tailored to its first bearer, who was a confrontational or argumentative person. The name was originally derived from the Old English schakken, meaning to brandish, and speer, meaning spear.
Early Origins of the Shakespear family
Cumberland where the earliest record of the name was "Henry Shakespere who was a holder of a ploughland in the parish of Kirkland in the year 1350." CITATION[CLOSE]
Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print. The author continues on that as the name was a "Border" name (one on the the Scottish/English borders), it no doubt had "its rise in those feuds." And later on, he notes that the previous "earliest" record was of "Thomas Shakespeare, who was officially connected with the port of Youghal, in Ireland, in 1375. " The surname is clearly not Irish as confirmed by MacLysaght and O'Hart, which begs the question how did such an early entry of the name get there?
Early History of the Shakespear family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Shakespear research.
Another 137 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1564 and 1616 are included under the topic Early Shakespear History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Shakespear Spelling Variations
A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Shakespeare, Shakspeare and others.
Early Notables of the Shakespear family (pre 1700)
Another 48 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Shakespear Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Shakespear family to Ireland
Some of the Shakespear family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 67 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Shakespear family to the New World and Oceana
Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Shakespear or a variant listed above:
Shakespear Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Shakespear Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
Shakespear Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
Contemporary Notables of the name Shakespear (post 1700)
The Shakespear 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: Non sanz droict
Motto Translation: Not without right.
Shakespear Family Crest Products