Skuyer History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Norman Conquest of England in 1066 brought much change, including many immigrants with new names. Skuyer is a name for a squire. Looking back even further, we found the name was originally derived from the Old French word escuyer, which indicated someone of the social rank immediately below a knight. [1] [2]

As by way on confirmation, Chaucer in his Canterbury Tales noted " With hym ther was his sone, a yong Squier."

Early Origins of the Skuyer family

The surname Skuyer was first found in Worcestershire where they held a family seat from very early times as Lords of the manor of Hanbury, and also estates in Devon.

In Cornwall, "the church of St. Keverne is ornamented with a lofty steeple, which, standing on rising ground, is a conspicuous object at a great distance. Within the church there are memorials of the several families of Bogan, Sandys, and Squier." [3]

"Squire is a numerous name in Barnstaple [Devon] and its neighbourhood. The mayors of that town in 1353 and 1471 bore this name." [4]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 included listings of John le Squier, Cambridgeshire; and William Squier, Huntingdonshire. Later the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of Yorkshire listed Thomas Squier; and Agnes Squier as holding lands there at that time. [5]

In the New World, the family rose to prominence particularly in Newfoundland, where Sir Richard Squires was Newfoundland's 6th Prime Minister. Today, many of the family reside there with both spellings, Squire and Squires.

Early History of the Skuyer family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Skuyer research. Another 94 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1387, 1700, 1598, 1595 and 1677 are included under the topic Early Skuyer History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Skuyer Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence in the eras before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate regularly changed the spellings of their names as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Skuyer have been found, including Squire, Squair, Skair, Skuyer, Squires and others.

Early Notables of the Skuyer family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Edward Squire (died 1598), alleged conspirator, "originally followed the calling of a scrivener at Greenwich, where he married and had children. He then obtained a post in Queen Elizabeth's stables, but, being 'a man of wit above his vocation,' gave up his position to become a sailor. In August 1595 he started with Drake on his last voyage to the West Indies, being on board the Francis, a small barque. Late in October the Francis separated from the rest of the fleet off Guadeloupe...
Another 91 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Skuyer Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Skuyer family to Ireland

Some of the Skuyer family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Skuyer family

For many English families, the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. For such families, the shores of Ireland, Australia, and the New World beckoned. They left their homeland at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. Many arrived after the long voyage sick, starving, and without a penny. But even those were greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. Numerous English settlers who arrived in the United States and Canada at this time went on to make important contributions to the developing cultures of those countries. 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 Skuyer were among those contributors: Robert Squire who settled in Virginia in 1637; Phillip Squier settled in Barbados in 1634; George Squire settled in New England in 1630; along with Thomas.



The Skuyer 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: Tiens ferme
Motto Translation: Hold firm.


  1. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  4. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  5. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)


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