Squirrell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Squirrell reached English shores for the first time with the ancestors of the Squirrell family as they migrated following the Norman Conquest in 1066. Squirrell 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 Squirrell family

The surname Squirrell 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 Squirrell family

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

Squirrell Spelling Variations

Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Squire, Squair, Skair, Skuyer, Squires and others.

Early Notables of the Squirrell 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 Squirrell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Squirrell family to Ireland

Some of the Squirrell 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.


New Zealand Squirrell 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:

Squirrell Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Robert Squirrell, aged 35, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Oxford" in 1874
  • Sarah Squirrell, aged 33, a servant, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Oxford" in 1874
  • Martha Squirrell, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Stracathro" in 1881
  • Florence Squirrell, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Stracathro" in 1881
  • Constance Squirrell, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Stracathro" in 1881
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


The Squirrell 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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