Sparrow History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Sparrow family

The surname Sparrow was first found in Norfolk where it is generally believed that the family trace their ancestry to William Sparrow, of West Harling, temp. Edward II. [1] However, some sources claim the name was a nickname as in "one thought to possess some quality of a sparrow, such as a homey, chirpy disposition; dweller at the sign of the sparrow." [2] [3] However, we find it difficult to trivialize the surname in this manner.

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list more of the listings of the surname with some of the earlier spellings: John Sparuwe in Oxfordshire; Laurence Sparwe in Cambridgeshire; and Hugh Sparewe in Cambridgeshire. Later the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed: Rogerus Sparowe; and Adam Sparowe. [4]

Early History of the Sparrow family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sparrow research. Another 96 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1300, 1612, 1685, 1676, 1685, 1667, 1676, 1648, 1660, 1667, 1668, 1676, 1615, 1665, 1615 and 1633 are included under the topic Early Sparrow History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Sparrow Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Sparrow, Sparrowe, Sparow and others.

Early Notables of the Sparrow family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include Anthony Sparrow (1612-1685), English Anglican priest, Bishop of Norwich (1676-1685) and Bishop of Exeter (1667-1676.) Born at Depden, near Bury St. Edmunds, he was the son of Samuel Sparrow, a man of wealth. "The rectory of Hawkedon in Suffolk was conferred upon Sparrow about 1648, but, after holding it for five weeks, he was ejected for reading the Book of Common Prayer. In 1660 he was reinstated, and was...
Another 77 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sparrow Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Sparrow family to Ireland

Some of the Sparrow 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.


United States Sparrow migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Sparrow Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Richard Sparrow, who landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1632 [5]
  • Tho Sparrow, who landed in Virginia in 1635 [5]
  • Thomas Sparrow who settled in Virginia in 1636
  • John Sparrow, who settled in Virginia in 1653
  • Alice Sparrow, who arrived in Virginia in 1654 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Sparrow Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Eliza Sparrow, who landed in Virginia in 1711 [5]
  • George Sparrow, who landed in Virginia in 1713 [5]
  • John Sparrow, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1730 [5]
  • William Sparrow, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1774
Sparrow Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Sparrow Junior and Senior settled in Boston in 1823
  • Ann Sparrow, aged 46, who landed in Kennebunk, Me in 1830 [5]
  • James Sparrow, aged 37, who arrived in Kennebunk, Me in 1830 [5]
  • Mr. Sparrow, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [5]

Canada Sparrow migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Sparrow Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Coe Sparrow, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
Sparrow Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Martin Sparrow, who settled in Fortune Bay, Newfoundland in 1871 [6]
  • Robert and Thomas Sparrow, who settled in Placentia Bay, Newfoundland in 1871 [6]

Australia Sparrow migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Sparrow Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • James Sparrow, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Santipore" in 1848 [7]
  • Robert Sparrow, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Elizabeth" in 1849 [8]
  • Sarah Sparrow, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Blundell" in 1851 [9]
  • Esther Sparrow, aged 18, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Hydaspes" in 1851 [10]
  • Joseph Sparrow, aged 19, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Hydaspes" in 1851 [10]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Sparrow migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Sparrow Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • George James Sparrow, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "John Masterman" in 1857
  • Mr. Arthur Sparrow, (b. 1846), aged 13, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Roman Emperor" arriving in Lyttlelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 26th January 1860 [11]
  • Mr. Sparrow, British settler travelling from Plymouth aboard the ship "Roman Emperor" arriving in Lyttlelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 30th March 1863 [11]
  • Mr. Charles Sparrow, (b. 1842), aged 32, English settler from Berkshire travelling from London aboard the ship "Sussex" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 17th July 1874 [11]
  • Mrs. Eliza S. Sparrow, (b. 1845), aged 29, English settler from Berkshire travelling from London aboard the ship "Sussex" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 17th July 1874 [11]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Sparrow (post 1700) +

  • Edward Sparrow (1810-1882), American politician, Confederate States Senator from Louisiana (1862-1865)
  • Rory Darnell Sparrow (b. 1958), retired American professional basketball player
  • Brian Sparrow (1962-2019), English professional footballer who played as a full back
  • Adolphus Sparrow (1869-1936), English cricketer
  • Matthew Ronald "Matt" Sparrow (b. 1981), English footballer
  • John Hanbury Angus Sparrow (1906-1992), English academic, barrister, book-collector and Warden of All Souls College, Oxford from 1952-77
  • George Sparrow (1869-1929), Australian rules footballer
  • Frank Sparrow (1926-2000), Australian rules footballer
  • Charles Sparrow (1808-1852), Canadian politician, 5th Mayor of Bytown (Ottawa) in 1851
  • Barbara Jane "Bobbie" Sparrow PC (1935-1984), former Canadian politician, Member of Parliament Calgary South (1984-1988)
  • ... (Another 4 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Halifax Explosion
  • Mr. Andrew  Sparrow, Canadian stationed on the Tug Douglas H Thomas Dominion Coal from who died in the explosion [12]
HMS Royal Oak
  • Leslie Percival Sparrow (d. 1939), British Electrical Artificer 4th Class with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [13]


The Sparrow 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: In solo Deo salus
Motto Translation: Salvation is in God alone.


Suggested Readings for the name Sparrow +

  • 4138 "James Sparrow and Eliza Payne Morse of Boardman and Lower Salem, Ohio" by Ruth Varney Held, "Sparrow Family" by Ruth Mary Varney Held.

  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York, Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  3. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. ^ 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)
  6. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  7. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) SANTIPORE 1848. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1848Santipore.htm
  8. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) ELIZABETH 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Elizabeth.htm
  9. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) BLUNDELL 1851. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1851Blundell.htm
  10. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) HYDASPES 1851. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1851Hydaspes.htm
  11. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  12. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance
  13. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html


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