Shearbourn History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
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The name Shearbourn has a long Anglo-Saxon heritage. The name comes from when a family lived in Sherborn, found in the counties of Dorset, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Warwickshire, Durham, Lancashire and Yorkshire. The surname Shearbourn is a toponymic surname that was originally derived from the Old English word scir, meaning bright and burna simply meaning stream.
Early Origins of the Shearbourn family
The surname Shearbourn was first found in Dorset where they held a family seat from early times at Sherborne, a market town that dates back to Saxon times. In 864, it was listed as Scireburnan and later as Scireburne in the Domesday Book. The name literally means "place at the bright or clear stream"  referring to the adjacent River Yeo. One of the first records there was Wulfsige, a medieval Bishop of Sherborne (c. 885-896.)
Historically, Sherborne was the capital of Wessex, one of the seven Saxon kingdoms of England. Sherborne Castle was built in 1594 by Sir Walter Raleigh on the grounds of the ruined old palace built in the 12th century. The Abbey Church of St Mary the Virgin at Sherborne, or colloquially called Sherborne Abbey was originally a Saxon cathedral (705-1075), then a Benedictine abbey (998-1539), and more recently and after the Dissolution of the Monasteries a parish church.
The parish of Mitton in the West Riding of Yorkshire played an important role in the family's lineage. "It was for many generations chiefly the property of the Sherburnes, of whom Sir John de Sherburne attended Edward III. at the siege of Calais. Stonyhurst, the seat of the family, now occupied as a Roman Catholic college, was probably commenced by Sir Richard Sherburne, who died in 1594, and completed by his son in 1596." 
"The Sherburnes of Stonyhurst in Lancashire, claimed descent from 'a grandson of Geoffrey L'Arbalestrier (or Galfridus Balistrarius) named Robert de Shyrburne, to whom, temp. Richard I., John Earl of Morton, gave six carucates of land in Haconsall and Preesall. Robert had the manor of Hameldon by gift of his grandfather, and survived to 45 Hen. II.' " 
Early History of the Shearbourn family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Shearbourn research. Another 223 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1794, 1660, 1505, 1686, 1717, 1453, 1536, 1494, 1496, 1499, 1505, 1508, 1536, 1536, 1508, 1536, 1505, 1509, 1494, 1496, 1496, 1505, 1499, 1505, 1520 and 1909 are included under the topic Early Shearbourn History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Shearbourn Spelling Variations
Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Shearbourn have been found, including Sherborne, Sherburn, Sherburne, Sherbourne, Sherbon and many more.
Early Notables of the Shearbourn family (pre 1700)
Notables of this surname at this time include: Robert Sherborne (c. 1453-1536), English cleric, Archdeacon of Huntingdon (1494-1496), Dean of St. Paul's (1499-1505); Bishop of Chichester from 1508 to 1536; Sir Richard Sherborne the noted historian; and Robert Sherborne (died 1536), English...
Another 41 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Shearbourn Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Shearbourn family
Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Shearbourn, or a variant listed above: Thomas Sherbon settled in Boston in 1716; James Sherbone settled in Virginia in 1635; Henry Sherborn settled in New Hampshire in 1630; James Sherborne settled in Virginia in 1642.
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: Nec timere, nec timide
Motto Translation: Neither rashly nor timidly.
- Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
- Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 1 of 3