Somerby History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Somerby surname evolved from any of several places so named in Northern England. The place name comes from the Old Norse "saurr," meaning "ground," and "the Old English "byr," meaning farm.

Early Origins of the Somerby family

The surname Somerby was first found in Yorkshire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, as Lords of the manor of Sowerby and the parish, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D. The name was spelled in the Domesday Book as Sorebi. It was recorded in the West Riding of Yorkshire, and was described as the "king's land" with two churches. It later gave it's name to Sowerby Bridge where Branwell Bronte was born.

Early History of the Somerby family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Somerby research. Another 108 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1757, 1822 and 1699 are included under the topic Early Somerby History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Somerby Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore, spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Somerby has been recorded under many different variations, including Sowerby, Sowerbie, Sowersby, Sorebi, Soreby, Soureby, Sowerbutts, Sourbutts and many more.

Early Notables of the Somerby family (pre 1700)

Another 44 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Somerby Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Somerby migration to the United States +

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Somerby or a variant listed above:

Somerby Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Anthony Somerby, who arrived in Newbury, Massachusetts in 1639 [1]
Somerby Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Chas. W. Somerby, aged 26, who landed in America, in 1895
Somerby Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Herbert Somerby, who immigrated to the United States, in 1903
  • Mrs. Somerby, who settled in America, in 1903
  • Somerby, who settled in America, in 1903
  • Rufus Somerby, aged 29, who immigrated to the United States, in 1913

Contemporary Notables of the name Somerby (post 1700) +

  • Rufus C. Somerby (1832-1903), American entertainer, showman, and panoramist, agent for P.T. Barnum
  • Frederic Thomas "F.T." Somerby (1814-1871), American painter and "sporting writer" in Boston, Massachusetts


  1. ^ 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)


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