Shrieves History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The history of the name Shrieves dates back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It is derived from a member of the family who 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.

Early Origins of the Shrieves family

The surname Shrieves was 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.

Early History of the Shrieves family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Shrieves research. Another 77 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 156 and 1567 are included under the topic Early Shrieves History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Shrieves Spelling Variations

Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Shrieves has undergone many spelling variations, including Sheriff, Sherrif, Sherriff, Shirreffs, Sheriffs and many more.

Early Notables of the Shrieves family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Shrieves Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Shrieves family

To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Shrieves were among those contributors: Richard Sherife, who came to Virginia in 1619; Lewis and Peter Sherive, who settled in Nevis in 1663; William Sheriff, who settled in Boston in 1716; Thomas Sheriffs, who settled in Virginia in 1649.



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


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


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