Shirah History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name Shirah belongs to the early history of Britain, it's origins lie with the Anglo-Saxons. It is a product of their having lived in Cheshire, where the family was found since the early Middle Ages. "Our antiquaries agree that Schirrard, who was resident in England, and held great possessions in the counties of Cheshire and Lancashire, temp. William Conqueror, is lineal ancestor to the present Earl of Harborough."   Lord Sherard, Baron of Leitrim, was created in 1627 for Sir William Sherard, of Stapleford, Leicestershire. He was known as the Earl of Harborough in 1719.
The name could have been Norman in origin as two sources note the French influence. The first source notes that Godefridus Sirart was listed in Normandy (1180-1195) and that Adam Scirart was later found in Dorset in the 13th century. Hugh Scherhare was found in Rutland in 1267. 
The second source claims the name that name was derived from the Old English word "scir" meaning "bright" and the French suffix "(h)ard." 
Early Origins of the Shirah family
The surname Shirah was first found in Cheshire at Thornton, where the family was first listed in the 13th century. William Sherard who died in 1304 appears to be the first listing of the surname. 
Another source claims that William Shirard listed in the Assize Rolls of Staffordshire in 1298 as the oldest listing of the family. This latter source goes on to note that Richard Schirard was also found in Staffordshire in 1323. 
Another branch of the family was found at Stapleford in Leicestershire. This was home to Sir William Sherard, Lord Sherard, Baron of Leitrim created in 1627. His son, Bennet Sherard (1675-1732) would become the 1st Earl of Harborough. The church at Stapleford "was erected in 1783, by Robert, fourth Earl of Harborough and contains some fine monuments to the Sherard family, among which is one by Rysbrach, in memory of Bennet, the first earl." 
The Wills at Chester list: William Sherratt, of Moss Side, Manchester in 1588 and John Sherratt, of Church Lawton in 1604. 
Early History of the Shirah family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Shirah research. Another 94 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1066, 1304, 1670, 1588, 1640, 1621, 1700, 1675, 1732, 1675, 1732, 1680, 1750, 1623, 1695, 1660, 1666, 1738, 1659, 1728 and are included under the topic Early Shirah History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Shirah Spelling Variations
Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Shirah include Sherard, Sherrard, Sherrat, Shirrard and others.
Early Notables of the Shirah family (pre 1700)
Notables of the family at this time include William Sherard, 1st Baron Sherard of Stapleford, Leicestershire (1588-1640); Bennet Sherard, 2nd Baron Sherard (1621-1700); Bennet Sherard, 3rd Baron Sherard (1675-1732); Bennet Sherard, 1st Earl of Harborough (1675-1732); Philip Sherard, 2nd Earl of Harborough (1680-1750); and Philip Sherard (1623-1695), an English soldier, landowner and...
Another 52 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Shirah Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Shirah family to Ireland
Some of the Shirah family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 60 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Shirah migration to the United States +
Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Shirah were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records:
Shirah Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
- Edith Shirah, aged 23, arrived in New York in 1923 aboard the ship "Majestic" from Southampton, England 
- Harry Shirah, aged 3, arrived in New York in 1923 aboard the ship "Majestic" from Southampton, England 
- William Shirah, aged 24, arrived in New York, N.Y. in 1924 aboard the ship "Zacapa" from Pto Casti,Tela,Cortz,Barri,Santi,Kingst. 
Contemporary Notables of the name Shirah (post 1700) +
- Ross Shirah, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Louisiana, 1972 
Related Stories +
The Shirah 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: Hostis honori invidia
Motto Translation: Envy is an enemy to honour.
- ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- ^ Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
- ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JNQ7-9ZJ : 6 December 2014), Edith Shirah, 07 Mar 1923; citing departure port Southampton, arrival port New York, ship name Majestic, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
- ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JNQ7-9ZV : 6 December 2014), Harry Shirah, 07 Mar 1923; citing departure port Southampton, arrival port New York, ship name Majestic, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
- ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JNCM-L2Z : 6 December 2014), William Shirah, 25 Jun 1924; citing departure port Pto Casti,Tela,Cortz,Barri,Santi,Kingst., arrival port New York, N.Y., ship name Zacapa, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
- ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 22) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html