The Sheldrake surname derives from the Middle English word "scheldrake," a type of brightly colored duck, from the East Anglian dialect term "scheld," meaning "variegated," and "drake," a "male duck." It has been suggested that the surname evolved from a nickname
for a vain or showy person.
Early Origins of the Sheldrake family
The surname Sheldrake was first found in Essex
where they held a family seat
as Lords of the Manor. The Saxon influence of English history diminished after the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The language of the courts was French for the next three centuries and the Norman ambience prevailed. But Saxon surnames survived and the family name was first referenced in the 12th century when they held estates in that county.
Early History of the Sheldrake family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sheldrake research.Another 261 words (19 lines of text) covering the years 1195, 1275, 1455, and 1487 are included under the topic Early Sheldrake History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Sheldrake Spelling Variations
Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred
years ago, spelling variations
of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Sheldrake include Shelldrake, Sheldrake, Shelldrick, Shelldrick, Sheldrick, Shelldrack, Sheldrack, Shelldreck and many more.
Early Notables of the Sheldrake family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Sheldrake Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Sheldrake family to the New World and Oceana
A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England
at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England
. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:
Sheldrake Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Joshua Sheldrake, who settled in Pennsylvania in 1849
Sheldrake Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
- Sam Sheldrake, who was recorded in the census of Ontario, Canada of 1871
Sheldrake Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
- Mrs. Sheldrake, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1907
- H Sheldrake, who landed in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1907
- Wesley Sheldrake, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1907
Contemporary Notables of the name Sheldrake (post 1700)
- Dr. Rupert Sheldrake (b. 1942), British biologist and author of "Seven Experiments That Could Change the World"