Squyres History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Squyres is one of the many new names that came to England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name Squyres is 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 Squyres family

The surname Squyres 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 Squyres family

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

Squyres Spelling Variations

Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Squire, Squair, Skair, Skuyer, Squires and others.

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

Ireland Migration of the Squyres family to Ireland

Some of the Squyres 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 Squyres family

To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Squyres or a variant listed above: 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.


Contemporary Notables of the name Squyres (post 1700) +

  • Steven Weldon Squyres (b. 1956), American James A. Weeks Professor of Physical Sciences at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York
  • George Squyres, American Libertarian politician, Candidate for Presidential Elector for Arizona, 2008 [6]
  • Timothy S. "Tim" Squyres (b. 1959), American two-time Academy Award and BAFTA Award nominated film editor, known for his work on Life of Pi (2012), Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) and Hulk (2003)
  • Steven W. Squyres, American Goldwin Smith Professor of Astronomy at Cornell University, NASA Opportunity lead scientist


The Squyres 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)
  6. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, April 29) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


Houseofnames.com on Facebook