Sheffield History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Sheffield is of Anglo-Saxon origin and came from when a family lived in the town of Sheffield in the West Riding of Yorkshire. The surname Sheffield is a habitation name which was originally derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. In this case the place-name Sheffield means open land by the river Sheaf, a boundary river dividing Yorkshire from Derbyshire.

Early Origins of the Sheffield family

The surname Sheffield was first found in Rutland 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 Sheffield family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sheffield research. Another 95 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1150, 1588, 1407, 1421, 1646, 1614, 1624, 1521, 1549, 1538, 1568, 1564, 1646, 1626, 1611, 1658, 1648, 1721, 1685, 1689, 1702 and 1705 are included under the topic Early Sheffield History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Sheffield Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Sheffield family name include Sheffield, Shefield, Sheffeild, Shiffield and many more.

Early Notables of the Sheffield family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: William Sheffield ( fl. 1407-1421) English politician, Member of Parliament for Rutland; William Sheffield (died 1646), Member of Parliament for Hedon in 1614 and Thirsk in 1624; Edmund Sheffield (1521-1549), English nobleman, 1st Baron Sheffield of Butterwick; John Sheffield (c. 1538-1568), 2nd Baron Sheffield of Butterwick; Edmund...
Another 53 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sheffield Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Sheffield migration to the United States +

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, the Canadas, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Sheffield surname or a spelling variation of the name include :

Sheffield Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Sheffield and his wife, Rachel, settled in Virginia in 1622
  • Th. Sheffield, who landed in Virginia in 1622 [1]
  • Edmund, William, and Ichabod Sheffield, who settled in Portsmouth, New Hampshire in 1630
  • Edmund Sheffield, who arrived in Braintree, Massachusetts in 1644 [1]
  • Francis Sheffield, who landed in Maryland in 1673 [1]
Sheffield Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Nathaniel Sheffield, who landed in New England in 1724 [1]
  • Joseph, Isaac, Thomas and Samuel Sheffield, who settled in New England in 1752
  • Joseph Sheffield, who arrived in America in 1760-1763 [1]
  • Robert Sheffield, who arrived in Mississippi in 1798 [1]

Australia Sheffield migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Sheffield Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mary Sheffield, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Anna Robertson" in 1839 [2]
  • George Sheffield, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Apolline" in 1840 [3]
  • George Sheffield and his wife arrived in Port Adelaide aboard the ship "Apolline" in 1840 [3]
  • James Sheffield, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "William Hyde" in 1850 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Sheffield (post 1700) +

  • Johnny Sheffield (1931-2010), born John Matthew Sheffield Cassan, an American child actor, noted for his many roles in Tarzan movies
  • Rob Sheffield (b. 1966), American music journalist and author, contributing editor at Rolling Stone
  • William Jennings "Bill" Sheffield Jr. (1928-1982), American Democratic politician, 5th Governor of Alaska from 1982 to 1986
  • Joseph Earl Sheffield (1793-1882), American railroad magnate and philanthropist
  • William Paine Sheffield Sr. (1820-1907), U.S. Representative and Senator from Rhode Island
  • Horace L. Sheffield (b. 1916), American Democrat politician, International Representative, United Auto Workers, 1942-67; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Michigan, 1960, 1964 [5]
  • Horace III Sheffield, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Michigan, 2004 [5]
  • H. C. Sheffield, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Georgia, 1888 [5]
  • George Sheffield, American politician, Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from Stonington, 1839 [5]
  • Fannie R. Sheffield, American politician, Member of Michigan Prohibition Party State Central Committee, 1919 [5]
  • ... (Another 22 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Flight 191
  • W Sheffield, American passenger from La Habra, California,, USA, who flew aboard American Airlines Flight 191 and died in the crash [6]


The Sheffield 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: Comiter sed fortiter
Motto Translation: Courteously but firmly.


  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) ANNA ROBERTSON 1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839AnnaRobertson.htm
  3. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) APOLLINE 1840. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1840Apolline.gif
  4. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) WILLIAM HYDE 1850. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1850WilliamHyde.gif
  5. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 22) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  6. ^ Flight 191's Victims - latimes. (Retrieved 2014, April 16) . Retrieved from http://articles.latimes.com/1985-08-04/news/mn-4349_1_fort-lauderdale-area


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