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

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

The Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain were the first to use the name of Shreeve. The name had a practical origin since it came from when its initial bearer worked as a person who held the office of sheriff. This occupational surname was originally derived from the Old English words scir meaning shire and refa meaning reeve. The surname was originally derived from the "shire-reeve," a Vice Count who was in charge of the law for a shire or county. [1] Before the Norman Conquest the sheriff was the king's representative in a county, responsible for every aspect of local administration in England.


Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Shreeve include Sheriff, Sherrif, Sherriff, Shirreffs, Sheriffs and many more.

First found in Warwickshire 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.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Shreeve research. Another 153 words (11 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Shreeve History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Shreeve Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Shreeve or a variant listed above:

Shreeve Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Benjamin Shreeve, aged 22, who emigrated to the United States, in 1895
  • John Shreeve, aged 23, who emigrated to America, in 1896

Shreeve Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Robert Shreeve, aged 25, who landed in America from Norwich, England, in 1909
  • Emma Shreeve, aged 45, who settled in America, in 1910
  • Jane Shreeve, aged 61, who landed in America from Cefu Coed, Wales, in 1912
  • Harry James Shreeve, aged 29, who emigrated to the United States from Coventry, England, in 1923
  • Margaret Shreeve, aged 28, who landed in America from Coventry, England, in 1923

Shreeve Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Noah Shreeve (aged 35), a gardener, arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Eliza"
  • Henry Noah Shreeve (aged 14), a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Eliza"


  • Frederick D. "Fred" Shreeve (b. 1882), English footbal
  • Jack Shreeve, English professional football fullback in the 1930s through the 1950s
  • David Herbert Shreeve (1934-1984), British Archdeacon of Bradford (1984 to 1999)
  • Allison Shreeve (b. 1982), Australian Formula World Windsurfing Champion in 2005, 2006 and 2007
  • Mark Shreeve, British electronic music composer


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: Esse quam videri
Motto Translation: To be, rather than to seem.


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  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.

Other References

  1. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  2. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  3. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  4. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  5. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  6. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  7. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. 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).
  9. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  10. 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.
  11. ...

The Shreeve Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Shreeve 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 2 July 2015 at 12:32.

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