Anglo-Saxon in origin. It was a name 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 Sharif 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 Sharif family
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Sharif Spelling Variations
hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Sharif include Sheriff, Sherrif, Sherriff, Shirreffs, Sheriffs and many more.
Early Notables of the Sharif family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Sharif family to the New World and Oceana
Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Sharif were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records: 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.
Contemporary Notables of the name Sharif (post 1700)
The Sharif 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.
Sharif Family Crest Products