Shires History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Shires reached England in the great wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. It is based on the Norman name Essira which is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086. [1] [2] Additionally, the name is derived from the Old English "scir", meaning "fair, bright." [3] [4]

Early Origins of the Shires family

The surname Shires was first found in Surrey where they held a family seat from ancient times being Lords of the Manor of Shere recorded in the Domesday Book Survey taken in 1086 A.D. as being 'King's Land' and consisting of a church and mills. [5]

The original name of the village of Shere was 'Essira' and it may be taken that this was also the original spelling of the surname, taken from an unknown Norman noble who entered into England with William the Conqueror in 1066.

However, we must look to Berkshire to find the first entry of the family, that of Walter Leschir who was listed there in the Pipe Rolls of 1193. Later, Reginald le Scher was listed in the Subsidy Rolls for Staffordshire in 1327. [6]

Early History of the Shires family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Shires research. Another 87 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1614, 1685, 1710, 1666, 1668, 1766, 1798, 1798 and 1716 are included under the topic Early Shires History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Shires Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries. For that reason, spelling variations are common among many Anglo-Norman names. The shape of the English language was frequently changed with the introduction of elements of Norman French, Latin, and other European languages; even the spelling of literate people's names were subsequently modified. Shires has been recorded under many different variations, including Shere, Sheres, Shear, Shears, Sheares, Sheare, Sheares, Sheer, Sheers, Sheere, Sheeres, Shire, Shires, Shiers, Shier, Shiere, Sheir, Sheirs, Sheire and many more.

Early Notables of the Shires family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir Henry Sheeres (died 1710), English military engineer and author, was son of Henry Sheeres of Deptford, a captain in the Navy. "In 1666 he accompanied Edward Montagu, first Earl of Sandwich, the English ambassador, to Spain...
Another 45 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Shires Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Shires Ranking

In the United States, the name Shires is the 16,002nd most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [7]

Ireland Migration of the Shires family to Ireland

Some of the Shires family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 76 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Shires migration to the United States +

To escape the uncertainty of the political and religious uncertainty found in England, many English families boarded ships at great expense to sail for the colonies held by Britain. The passages were expensive, though, and the boats were unsafe, overcrowded, and ridden with disease. Those who were hardy and lucky enough to make the passage intact were rewarded with land, opportunity, and social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families went on to be important contributors to the young nations of Canada and the United States where they settled. Shiress were some of the first of the immigrants to arrive in North America:

Shires Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Jane Shires, who arrived in New York in 1845 [8]
  • Sarah Shires, who landed in New York in 1862 [8]
  • William Shires, aged 37, who landed in New York in 1862 [8]
  • Alfred Shires, aged 6, who arrived in New York in 1862 [8]
  • Benj Shires, aged 15, who landed in New York in 1862 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Shires migration to Australia +

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

Shires Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Margaret Shires, aged 17, a domestic servant, who arrived in Kangaroo Island aboard the ship "Buffalo" in 1836 [9]
  • Mr. Abraham Shires, English convict who was convicted in Knaresboro, Yorkshire, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Equestrian" on 25th January 1844, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Island) [10]
  • Miss Ann Shires, English convict who was convicted in York, Yorkshire, England for 15 years, transported aboard the "Elizabeth and Henry" on 14th September 1846, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [11]
  • Mr. Charles Shires, English convict who was convicted in Wakefield, Yorkshire, England for 8 years, transported aboard the "Clara" on 28th January 1864, arriving in Western Australia, Australia [12]

Contemporary Notables of the name Shires (post 1700) +

  • Dana L. Shires Jr. (b. 1932), American physician, research scientist, and inventor; member of the research team that led to the invention of Gatorade
  • Charles Arthur "Art" Shires (1906-1967), American Major League Baseball player who played from 1928 through 1932
  • Amanda Shires (b. 1982), American singer-songwriter and violin player
  • George Thomas "Tom" Shires (1925-2007), American trauma surgeon; he operated on John Connally and Lee Harvey Oswald after the assassination of John F. Kennedy
  • Corbin Shires (b. 1997), English footballer
  • Ben Shires, British television presenter
  • James Arthur "Jim" Shires (b. 1945), Canadian retired professional ice hockey player who played from 1965 to 1975


  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  4. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  5. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  6. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  7. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  8. ^ 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)
  9. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) HMS BUFFALO 1836. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1836Buffalo.htm
  10. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 4th May 2022). https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/equestrian
  11. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 13th March 2022). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/elizabeth-and-henry
  12. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th February 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/clara


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