Short History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Short is a name of Anglo-Saxon origin. It was a name given to a person who because of their physical characteristics was named short. In this case the surname Short can be traced back to the Old English word sceort which means short. The original bearer would have been known as the short one, because of his low stature. As height is one of the most easily distinguished features of a person, names derived from this aspect of a person's physique are by no means rare.

Early Origins of the Short family

The surname Short was first found in Dorset where one of the first records of the name was Ordic Scort who was listed there in the Pipe Rolls of 1176. Other early records include Richard le Sorte who was listed in the Assize Rolls of 1269 in Somerset and William Short who was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex of 1327. [1] The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list William Short in Suffolk. [2]

Early History of the Short family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Short research. Another 89 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1600, 1603, 1635, 1685, 1668, 1675, 1690, 1772 and are included under the topic Early Short History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Short Spelling Variations

Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Short were recorded, including Short, Shorte, Shortt, Schorte and others.

Early Notables of the Short family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Peter Short (died 1603), a London printer who printed several first editions and early texts of Shakespeare's works. Thomas Short (1635-1685), was an English physician, son of the Rev. William Short, born at Easton, Suffolk. He settled in London and was...
Another 45 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Short Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Short World Ranking

In the United States, the name Short is the 550th most popular surname with an estimated 52,227 people with that name. [3] However, in Newfoundland, Canada, the name Short is ranked the 159th most popular surname with an estimated 247 people with that name. [4] And in Australia, the name Short is the 513rd popular surname with an estimated 7,444 people with that name. [5] New Zealand ranks Short as 466th with 1,472 people. [6] The United Kingdom ranks Short as 366th with 17,071 people. [7]

Ireland Migration of the Short family to Ireland

Some of the Short family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 50 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Short migration to the United States +

To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Short family emigrate to North America:

Short Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Short, who settled in the Jamestown settlement in Virginia in 1606
  • Henry Short who settled in Massachusetts in 1634
  • Anthony Short, who landed in Newbury, Massachusetts in 1634 [8]
  • Samvell Short, aged 24, who landed in Bermuda in 1635 [8]
  • William Short, who landed in Virginia in 1635 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Short Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Samuel Short, who landed in Virginia in 1706 [8]
  • Richard Short, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1712 [8]
  • Thomas Short, who arrived in Virginia in 1715 [8]
Short Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Barney Short, who arrived in Maryland in 1809 [8]
  • Thomas Short, who arrived in New York in 1810 [8]
  • Josiah Short, who arrived in New York in 1834 [8]
  • Owen Short, who landed in Tippecanoe County, Ind in 1842 [8]
  • James Short, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1846 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Short migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Short Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • William Short, who settled in St. John's Harbour, Newfoundland, in 1703 [9]
Short Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Hugh Short, aged 30, a carpenter, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the ship "John & Mary" from Belfast, Ireland
  • John Short, aged 6, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the ship "John & Mary" from Belfast, Ireland
  • Hugh Short, aged 4, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the ship "John & Mary" from Belfast, Ireland
  • Mr. William Short, aged 32 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Broom" departing from the port of Liverpool, England but died on Grosse Isle on 21st September 1847 [10]
  • Mr. Joseph Short, (b. 1834), aged 21, Cornish settler, from Callington, Cornwall, UK departing from Falmouth destined for Quebec, Canada aboard the ship "Barque John" on 3rd May 1855 which sank after striking the reef, he survived the sinking [11]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Short migration to Australia +

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

Short Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Thomas Short, British Convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Commodore Hayes" in April 1823, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [12]
  • Felix Short, a weaver, who arrived in New South Wales, Australia sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • William Short, a joiner, who arrived in Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • James Short, a slater, who arrived in Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Mr. Jeremiah Short, English convict who was convicted in Somerset, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Burrell" on 22nd July 1830, arriving in New South Wales [13]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Short 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:

Short Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. S. H. Short, Cornish settler travelling from Launceston, UK aboard the ship "Brazil Packet" arriving in New Zealand in 1836 [14]
  • James Short, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • Mr. J Short, Australian settler travelling from Hobart, Tasmania, Australia aboard the ship "Bandicoot" arriving in New Zealand in 1846 [14]
  • Elijah Short, aged 19, a labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ariel" in 1856
  • Jessima Short, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Lord Burleigh" in 1856
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Short migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [15]
Short Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Martha Short, a servant sent to Barbados in 1672

Contemporary Notables of the name Short (post 1700) +

  • Eugene "Gene" Short (1953-2016), American professional basketball player; he was a 6'6" and two-time SWAC Player of the Year (1974, 1975)
  • Lieutenant-General Walter Campbell Short (1880-1949), American Commanding General Hawaiian Department in 1941 [16]
  • Gregory Norman Short (1938-1999), American composer and pianist
  • William Short (1759-1849), American diplomat, Thomas Jefferson's Private Secretary, US ambassador to France, the Netherlands, and to Spain
  • Walter Campbell Short (1880-1949), American general
  • Wes Short Jr. (b. 1963), American professional (PGA) golfer
  • Charles Wilkins Short (1794-1863), American botanist and physician
  • Alfred Short, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1888 [17]
  • Alfred Short, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Delaware, 1860 [17]
  • Albert E. Short, American politician, Prohibition Candidate for Michigan State House of Representatives from Wayne County 1st District, 1946, 1948, 1950, 1952 [17]
  • ... (Another 60 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Halifax Explosion
  • Mr. Charles  Short (1869-1917), Canadian resident from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [18]
  • Mrs. Helen  Short (1882-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [18]
  • Mr. Emery H  Short, Canadian stationed with the 246 Battalion who died in the explosion [18]
HMAS Sydney II
  • Mr. Harry Kenneth Short (1920-1941), Australian Able Seaman from East Cannington, Western Australia, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II and died in the sinking [19]
HMS Hood
  • Mr. Arthur E Short (b. 1919), English Engine Room Artificer 4th Class serving for the Royal Navy from Portsihead, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [20]
HMS Royal Oak
  • William Short (1894-1939), Maltese Petty Officer Cook (S) with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [21]
SS Caribou
  • Mrs. Blanche Short (b. 1916), (b. 1916), British passenger was travelling aboard the railway ferry "SS Caribou" when it was struck by a German submarine torpedo on 14th October 1942, the most significant sinking in Canadian waters at that time, she died in the sinking
SS Newfoundland
  • Mr. Edward Short (b. 1890), Newfoundlander from Hant's Harbour, who on the 30th March 1914 he was part of the Seal Crew of the "SS Newfoundland" leaving the ship to intercept the Stephano which took him to the hunting grounds, he disembarked to begin sealing, but was caught in a thickening storm, attempting to return to the Newfoundland he and the 132 crew made camp for two days the sealers were stranded on the ice in a blizzard attempting to return to the ship, he survived


Suggested Readings for the name Short +

  • Baxter-Short, Miller-Gill, and Related Families by Mary Cynthia Baxter Harrell.
  • Descendants of Wingate Short by Lucille Day English.

  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)
  3. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  4. ^ The order of Common Surnames in 1955 in Newfoundland retrieved on 20th October 2021 (retrieved from Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland by E.R. Seary corrected edition ISBN 0-7735-1782-0)
  5. ^ https://forebears.io/australia/surnames
  6. ^ https://forebears.io/new-zealand/surnames
  7. ^ https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
  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. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  10. ^ 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. 55)
  11. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/wreck_of_emigrant_ship_john_1855.pdf
  12. ^ Convict Records of Australia (Retrieved 4th March 2021, retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/commodore-hayes)
  13. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 5th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/burrell
  14. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  15. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  16. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2014, March 26) Walter Short. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Short/Walter_Campbell/USA.html
  17. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 13) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  18. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance
  19. ^ HMAS Sydney II, Finding Sydney Foundation - Roll of Honour. (Retrieved 2014, April 24) . Retrieved from http://www.findingsydney.com/roll.asp
  20. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  21. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html


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