Sherk History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Hundreds of years ago, the Gaelic name used by the Sherk family in Ireland was O Searcaigh, which is derived from the word "searcach," which means "loving."

Early Origins of the Sherk family

The surname Sherk was first found in Tyrone (Irish:Tír Eoghain), the ancient territory of the O'Neills, now in the Province of Ulster, central Northern Ireland, where they were established in ancient times.

Early History of the Sherk family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sherk research. Another 116 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 157 and 1578 are included under the topic Early Sherk History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Sherk Spelling Variations

Irish names were rarely spelled consistently in the Middle Ages. Spelling variations of the name Sherk dating from that time include Sharkey, O'Sharkey, Sharket, O'Serky, O'Sherkott, Sherkott, O'Sergoid and many more.

Early Notables of the Sherk family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Sherk Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Sherk family

The 19th century saw a great wave of Irish families leaving Ireland for the distant shores of North America and Australia. These families often left their homeland hungry, penniless, and destitute due to the policies of England. Those Irish immigrants that survived the long sea passage initially settled on the eastern seaboard of the continent. Some, however, moved north to a then infant Canada as United Empire Loyalists after ironically serving with the English in the American War of Independence. Others that remained in America later joined the westward migration in search of land. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, though, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland at this time for North America, and those who arrived were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. In fact, the foundations of today's powerful nations of the United States and Canada were to a larger degree built by the Irish. Archival documents indicate that members of the Sherk family relocated to North American shores quite early: Peter Sharkey, who sailed to Virginia in 1649; George Sharkey was living in Maryland at the end of the 18th century, Barnard Sharkey sailed to Philadelphia in 1811.


Contemporary Notables of the name Sherk (post 1700) +

  • Jerry Martin Sherk (b. 1948), former American football defensive tackle who played for the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League (NFL) for 12 seasons between 1970 until 1981
  • Sean Keith Sherk (b. 1973), retired American mixed martial artist and former UFC Lightweight Champion
  • Stefanie Sherk (1976-2019), Canadian actress from Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, known for her on Big Date (2011), The Sister (2009) and Grand Hotel (2019)
  • Cathy Sherk (b. 1950), former Canadian LPGA professional golfer with three professional wins
  • Bill Sherk, Canadian writer and journalist


The Sherk 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: Redit expectata diu
Motto Translation: The expected returns for a long time


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