Sherbourne History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The origins of the Sherbourne name come from when the Anglo-Saxon tribes ruled over Britain. The name Sherbourne was originally derived from a family having lived in Sherborn, found in the counties of Dorset, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Warwickshire, Durham, Lancashire and Yorkshire. The surname Sherbourne 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 Sherbourne family

The surname Sherbourne 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" [1] 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." [2]

"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.' " [3]

Early History of the Sherbourne family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sherbourne 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 Sherbourne History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Sherbourne 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 Sherbourne include Sherborne, Sherburn, Sherburne, Sherbourne, Sherbon and many more.

Early Notables of the Sherbourne 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 Sherbourne Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Sherbourne 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:

Sherbourne Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Sherbourne, who arrived in Portsmouth, NH in 1632 [4]
  • James Sherbourne, who landed in Virginia in 1639 [4]

Australia Sherbourne migration to Australia +

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

Sherbourne Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Jesse Sherbourne, aged 18, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1851 aboard the ship "Thetis" [5]


The Sherbourne 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: Nec timere, nec timide
Motto Translation: Neither rashly nor timidly.


  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ 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
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) THETIS 1851. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1851Thetis.htm


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