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 Shirelach is derived from a nickname for a short-haired person. However, at least one expert holds the alternative theory that the surname Shirelach 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 Shirelach is Scurlóg.
Early Origins of the Shirelach family
The surname Shirelach 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 Shirelach family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Shirelach research.Another 235 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1678, 1761, 1641, 1707, 1691, 1612 and 1689 are included under the topic Early Shirelach History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Shirelach Spelling Variations
Names were simply spelled as they sounded by medieval scribes and church officials. Therefore, during the lifetime of a single person, his name was often spelt in many different ways, explaining the many spelling variations
encountered while researching the name Shirelach. Some of these variations included: Sherlock, Scurlock, Scurlog, Shylock, Shyrlock, Sherlocke, Cherlock, Sharlock, Sharloch, Sherloch, Shyrloch, Charlock, Charloch, Sharlocke, Sharloche and many more.
Early Notables of the Shirelach family (pre 1700)
Another 45 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Shirelach Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Shirelach family to the New World and Oceana
In the mid-19th century, Ireland
experienced one of the worst periods in its entire history. During this decade in order to ease the pressure of the soil, which was actually depleted by the effects of the previous years' grain crops, landowners forced tenant
farmers and peasants onto tiny plots of land that barely provided the basic sustenance a family required. Conditions were worsened, though, by the population of the country, which was growing fast to roughly eight million. So when the Great Potato Famine
of the mid-1840s hit, starvation and diseases decimated the population. Thousands of Irish families
left the country for British North America and the United States. The new immigrants were often accommodated either in the opening western frontiers or as cheap unskilled labor in the established centers. In early passenger and immigration lists there are many immigrants bearing the name Shirelach: John Sherlock settled in St. Christopher in 1635; he and his wife Elizabeth later settled in Virginia in the same year; John Sherlocke settled in Virginia in 1643.