Show ContentsSillworthay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Sillworthay family

The surname Sillworthay was first found in Somerset at Selwood which dates back to c. 894 where it was listed as Seluudu and probably meant "wood where swallow-trees grow." 1

The ancient Selwood Forest ran approximately between Gillingham in Dorset and Chippenham in Wiltshire. Ælfgar of Selwood was a saint venerated at a chapel in the forest of Selwood.

One source notes the name denotes a "dweller at Selwood (the forest on the borders of Wilts and Somerset), the Anglo-Saxon Seal wudu (Anglo- Saxon Chronicles, A.D. 894), Seal wydu (A.D. 878) = apparently the 'Willow-Wood' [Old English seal, a willow or sallow]; but Asser, in his Life of Ælfred, translated Seluudu as Silva Magna in Latin and Coit Maur (mod. Coed Mawr) in Welsh, i.e. 'Great Wood,' as if the first element of the Anglo-Saxon wood-name were the Old English sél, ' good,' and its meaning could be extended to signify 'great.'" 2

Alternatively, the name could have derived from Selworthy, also in Somerset, a small village and civil parish in the hundred of Carhampton which dates back to the Domesday Book where it was listed as Seleuurde and literally meant "enclosure or settlement near sallow-trees" from the Old English sele + worth 1. At that time the lands were held by Ralph de Limesy.

Early feudal rolls provided the king of the time a method of cataloguing holdings for taxation, but today they provide a glimpse into the wide surname spellings in use at that time. John Selewode was recorded in 1189 and later Richard de Selwode was listed in London in 1339. 3

Early History of the Sillworthay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sillworthay research. Another 127 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1189, 1339, 1700 and 1773 are included under the topic Early Sillworthay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Sillworthay Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Silwood, Sillwood, Selwood, Sellwood, Sellworthy, Silworthy and many more.

Early Notables of the Sillworthay family

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

Migration of the Sillworthay family

Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: Abigall Sellwood, who came to Virginia sometime between 1663 and 1679; William Sellwood, who came to America in 1685; Richard Selwood, who arrived in America in 1685.

  1. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  3. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X) on Facebook