Sherlock History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

When the Strongbownian's arrived in Ireland there was already a system for creating patronymic names in place. Therefore, the native population regarded many of the Anglo-Norman naming practices that these settlers were accustomed to as rather unusual. Despite their differences, the two different systems eventually merged together rather insidiously. The Strongbownians, when they arrived, displayed a preference for used nickname surnames. Two of the most prevalent forms were oath nicknames and imperative names. Oath names often carried blessings or were formed from habitual expressions. Imperative names, formed from a verb added to a noun or an adverb, metaphorically described the bearer's occupations. The nick name surname Sherlock is derived from a nickname for a short-haired person. However, at least one expert holds the alternative theory that the surname Sherlock denotes a fair-haired person. According to this theory, the name is derived from the words "scir," which means "bright," and "locc," which means "hair." The Gaelic form of the name Sherlock is Scurlóg.

Early Origins of the Sherlock family

The surname Sherlock was first found in Cheshire, where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.

Early History of the Sherlock family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sherlock research. Another 118 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1595, 1646, 1612, 1689, 1678, 1761, 1641, 1707, 1691, 1612 and 1689 are included under the topic Early Sherlock History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Sherlock Spelling Variations

It was found during an investigation of the origins of the name Sherlock that church officials and medieval scribes often spelled the name as it sounded. This practice lead to a single person's being documented under many spelling variations. The name Sherlock has existed in the various shapes: Sherlock, Scurlock, Scurlog, Shylock, Shyrlock, Sherlocke, Cherlock, Sharlock, Sharloch, Sherloch, Shyrloch, Charlock, Charloch, Sharlocke, Sharloche and many more.

Early Notables of the Sherlock family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family up to this time was Paul Sherlock (1595-1646), an Irish Jesuit, born at or near Waterford; Richard Sherlock (1612-1689), an English divine, born at Oxton, a township in the Cheshire peninsula of Wirral...
Another 37 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sherlock Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Sherlock migration to the United States +

Ireland's Great Potato Famine left the country's inhabitants in extreme poverty and starvation. Many families left their homeland for North America for the promise of work, freedom and land ownership. Although the Irish were not free of economic and racial discrimination in North America, they did contribute greatly to the rapid development of bridges, canals, roads, and railways. Eventually, they would be accepted in other areas such as commerce, education, and the arts. An examination of immigration and passenger lists revealed many bearing the name Sherlock:

Sherlock Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Sherlock, who settled in St. Christopher in 1635. He and his wife Elizabeth later settled in Virginia in the same year
  • Jo Sherlock, aged 20, who landed in St Christopher in 1635 [1]
Sherlock Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William Sherlock, who arrived in America in 1803 [1]
  • Patrick Sherlock, who landed in New York, NY in 1811 [1]
  • James Sherlock, who landed in America in 1811 [1]
  • E Sherlock, aged 19, who landed in Maine in 1812 [1]
  • Robert Sherlock, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1816 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Sherlock Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Annie Sherlock, aged 26, who immigrated to the United States from Ballymote, Ireland, in 1900
  • Annie T Sherlock, aged 16, who immigrated to the United States from Derry, in 1903
  • Alfred Joseph Sherlock, aged 26, who settled in America from Dublin, in 1904
  • Alice Sherlock, aged 20, who landed in America from Skerries, Ireland, in 1921

Canada Sherlock migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Sherlock Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • George W Sherlock, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1776
Sherlock Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Andrew Sherlock, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1818
  • Miss. Ann Sherlock, aged 4 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Wolfville" departing 25th April 1847 from Sligo, Ireland; the ship arrived on 10th June 1847 but she died on board [2]
  • Miss. Maria Sherlock, aged 2 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Wolfville" departing 25th April 1847 from Sligo, Ireland; the ship arrived on 10th June 1847 but she died on board [2]
Sherlock Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • Annie Sherlock, aged 1, who immigrated to Halifax, Canada, in 1908

Australia Sherlock migration to Australia +

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

Sherlock Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mary Sherlock, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lady Bruce" in 1846 [3]
  • Mary Sherlock, aged 21, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Nimroud"

New Zealand Sherlock 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:

Sherlock Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Bridget Sherlock, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Lord Ashley" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 14th October 1858 [4]
  • Mr. Jonathan Sherlock, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Excelsior" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 17th March 1859 [4]
  • Mrs. Julia Sherlock, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Excelsior" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 17th March 1859 [4]
  • John Sherlock a labourer, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Romulus" in 1862
  • Judith Sherlock a seravnt, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Romulus" in 1862

Contemporary Notables of the name Sherlock (post 1700) +

  • William Sherlock (1759-1806), Irish portrait-painter and engraver, said to have been the son of a prize-fighter, and to have been born at Dublin
  • Martin Sherlock (d. 1797), Irish traveller, a member, it is presumed of the Kilkenny family of Sherlock
  • Wayne Sherlock (b. 1978), Irish sportsman
  • Jason "Jayo" Sherlock (b. 1976), former Irish Gaelic footballer
  • Seán Sherlock (b. 1972), Irish Labour Party politician
  • Joe Sherlock (1930-2007), Irish Sinn Féin politician from County Cork
  • John Sherlock (1705-1794), Irish-born brigadier general, best known for successfully defending Melilla during a 100-day siege by Moroccan troops
  • Maeve Christina Mary Sherlock OBE (1988-1990), Baroness Sherlock, British politician and life peer, President of the National Union of Students
  • Nathan Sherlock (b. 1990), Australian footballer
  • James Sherlock, British classical pianist and conductor
  • ... (Another 4 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 95)
  3. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) LADY BRUCE 1846. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1846LadyBruce.htm
  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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