Sheldrake History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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. [1]

Early Origins of the Sheldrake family

The surname Sheldrake was first found in Essex where Roger Scheldrac was the first listing of the family who appeared in the Pipe Rolls of 1195. [2] Later, the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed Adam Sceyldrake in Suffolk. [3]

Early History of the Sheldrake family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sheldrake research. Another 78 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1195, 1275, 1662, 1802, 1756 and 1632 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)

Another 46 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sheldrake Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Sheldrake migration to the United States +

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

Canada Sheldrake migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

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

New Zealand Sheldrake migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Sheldrake Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Thomas Sheldrake, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Kingston" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 29th December 1858 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Sheldrake (post 1700) +

  • Timothy Sheldrake (b. 1756), English physician, a native of Norwich, descended from an old Norfolk family, a member of which, John Sheldrake, was Mayor of Thetford in 1632
  • Dr. Rupert Sheldrake (b. 1942), British biologist and author of "Seven Experiments That Could Change the World"


  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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