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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

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

The ancestry of the name Sherwood dates from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It comes from when the family lived in Sherwood found in various locations in Nottingham and Derbyshire. The surname is probably best known in reference to the fabled Sherwood Forest which has been immortalized by the legendary Robin Hood, who according to legend was the Earl of Huntingdon, Robert Fitzooth. William of Sherwood (1190-1249) was a medieval English logician and teacher.


Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Sherwood have been found, including Sherwood, Sherward and others.

First found in Durham, but one of the earliest records of the name was found in the Assize Rolls of Yorkshire of 1219 where Williame de Shirewude was listed. [1] A few years later Lincolnshire when Ralph de Scirewode was listed there in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273. Alan de Shirewod was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex in 1327. The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 list the following: Margareta de Shyrwode; Alexander de Shyrwode; and Willelmus de Schiwode. [2]


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sherwood research. Another 289 words (21 lines of text) covering the years 1552, 1579, and 1706 are included under the topic Early Sherwood History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 61 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sherwood Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Sherwood family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 136 words (10 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Sherwood, or a variant listed above:

Sherwood Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Peter Sherwood settled in Virginia in 1621
  • Peeler Sherwood, who arrived in Virginia in 1621
  • Peeter Sherwood, aged 21, landed in Virginia in 1621
  • Peceable Sherwood, who arrived in Jamestown, Va in 1624
  • Rebecca Sherwood, aged 9, arrived in New England in 1634

Sherwood Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Jacob Sherwood, who arrived in Virginia in 1701

Sherwood Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Nancy Sherwood, who landed in New York in 1811
  • Henry Sherwood, who arrived in New York in 1834
  • W K Sherwood, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1849
  • J A Sherwood, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • J W Sherwood, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850

Sherwood Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Willm Sherwood, aged 21, arrived in Montreal in 1841

Sherwood Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Edward Sherwood arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Cleveland" in 1839
  • William Sherwood arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "British Sovereign" in 1847
  • James Sherwood arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Bolton" in 1849
  • Joseph Sherwood, English Convict from Somerset, who was transported aboard the "Aboukir" on December 24, 1851, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
  • John Sherwood, aged 25, a farm labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Sibella"

Sherwood Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • John Sherwood arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Mermaid" in 1859


  • Brigadier-General Elmer William Sherwood (1896-1979), American Adjutant-General of Indiana in 1945
  • Alison Sherwood, American co-winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting
  • Thomas Kilgore Sherwood (1903-1976), American chemical engineer, creator of the Sherwood number
  • Samuel Sherwood UE (b. 1821), American-born, Canadian lawyer and political figure in Upper Canada
  • Bobby Sherwood (1914-1981), American trumpet player, bandleader, actor and composer
  • William Wyman "Billy" Sherwood (b. 1965), American musician, best known for his work with the rock group "Yes"
  • Bradley R "Brad" Sherwood (b. 1964), American television actor, comedian, writer, and producer
  • Robert Emmet Sherwood (1896-1955), American playwright, editor, and screenwriter awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama three times (1936, 1939, and 1941) and the Pulitzer Prize for Biography in 1948
  • Sheila Sherwood (b. 1945), English Olympic long jumper
  • Madeleine Sherwood (b. 1922), Canadian actress of stage, film and television, best known for her role as Miss Lucy in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof"



  • Sherwood Family Group Sheets by Donald F. Notley.
  • Sherwood Family Papers by William Lounsbury Sherwood.

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  1. ^ Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)

Other References

  1. 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.
  2. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  4. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  5. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  6. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  7. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  8. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  9. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  10. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  11. ...

The Sherwood Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Sherwood 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 15 September 2015 at 14:18.

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