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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Where did the English Sherburne family come from? What is the English Sherburne family crest and coat of arms? When did the Sherburne family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Sherburne family history?

The Anglo-Saxon name Sherburne comes from the family having resided in Sherborn, found in the counties of Dorset, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Warwickshire, Durham, Lancashire and Yorkshire. The surname Sherburne is a toponymic surname that was originally derived from the Old English word scir, meaning bright and burna simply meaning stream.


Sherburne has been spelled many different ways, including Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Sherborne, Sherburn, Sherburne, Sherbourne, Sherbon and many more.

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.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sherburne research. Another 447 words (32 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 Sherburne History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 149 words (11 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sherburne Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Sherburnes to arrive on North American shores:

Sherburne Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • John Sherburne (1615-1693), who arrived in Portsmouth, New Hampshire in 1632 aboard the Jane with his brother Henry Sherburne
  • Henry Sherburne (16111680), who arrived at Portsmouth, New Hampshire June 12, 1632 from London with his brother John Sherburne
  • William Sherburne, who arrived in Portsmouth, NH in 1644
  • George Sherburne settled with his wife Rebecca in New England in 1650 with eight children
  • George Sherburne, who arrived in Portsmouth in 1650

Sherburne Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Henry A. Sherburne, aged 22, who arrived in America, in 1893

Sherburne Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • J. H. Sherburne, aged 58, who arrived in America, in 1906
  • Mrs.Lena Sherburne, aged 27, who arrived in America in 1907
  • John H. Sherburne, aged 60, who arrived in America in 1908
  • George H. Sherburne, aged 28, who arrived in America, in 1908
  • Bernice Sherburne, aged 29, who arrived in America, in 1910


  • Brigadier-General John Henry Sherburne (b. 1877), American Acting Adjutant-General of Massachusetts (1942-1943)
  • Jane C. Sherburne, American lawyer and businesswoman, Senior Executive Vice President and General Counsel to The Bank of New York Mellon
  • Bobby Sherburne (b. 1980), American Major League Baseball player
  • Adam Sherburne, American former lead guitarist, vocalist, and music director
  • Philip Sherburne, American journalist, musician and DJ
  • John Samuel Sherburne (1757-1830), United States Senator and federal judge from New Hampshire


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.


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  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)

Other References

  1. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  2. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  4. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  5. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  6. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  7. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  9. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  10. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  11. ...

The Sherburne Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Sherburne Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 9 April 2015 at 09:12.

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