Surber History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Surber 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. [1] [2]

Early Origins of the Surber family

The surname Surber was first found in the North Riding of Yorkshire at Sowerby, a chapelry, in the parish and union of Thirsk, wapentake of Birdforth. Another chapelry named Sowerby can be found in the West Riding of Yorkshire. [3] Both date back to the Domesday Book of 1086 when they were both recorded as Sorebi at that time. [4]

Castle Sowerby is a civil parish in the Eden District of Cumbria, England and it is here that Odierna de Sourebi was recorded in the Pipe Rolls of 1195. Years later, Richard Surby was listed in London in 1381 and in the same year, William Sourby was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls. [5]

Also in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379, we found Thomas de Sawreby; and Johannes de Sawreby. [6]

"Sowerby is the name of parishes and townships in the North and West Ridings, in Lancashire, and Cumberland. Between the reigns of Charles II. and George I. three Thomas Sowerbys were buried in the minster yard, Ripon. Soureby was a Yorkshire surname in the reign of Edward I.. The Sowerbys are also represented in the counties of Cumberland, Durham (around Darlington), and Lincoln." [7]

Today, the variants Sower and Sowers is an abbreviated form of the name Sowersby. [5]

Early History of the Surber family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Surber research. Another 108 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1699, 1757, 1822, 1757, 1787, 1871, 1787, 1822, 1788, 1854, 1788, 1822, 1811, 1854, 1811, 1812, 1884, 1812, 1844, 1825, 1891, 1825, 1843, 1852, 1854, 1891 and 1847 are included under the topic Early Surber History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Surber Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Sowerby, Sowerbie, Sowersby, Sorebi, Soreby, Soureby, Sowerbutts, Sourbutts, Sorbutt, Sowers and many more.

Early Notables of the Surber family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Thomas Surbey, an English water engineer made notes of the lock at Hudd's Mill in 1699. James Sowerby (1757-1822) was a British naturalist and illustrator, whose sons would continue his work. He was the son of John Sowerby (descendant of an old border family through the Yorkshire branch) and Arabella, his wife, was born in London on 21 March 1757. He became a student at the Royal Academy, and was an articled pupil of Richard Wright, the marine painter. In his early years he was a teacher of drawing and a portrait-painter. His eldest son...
Another 448 words (32 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Surber Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Surber Ranking

In the United States, the name Surber is the 6,057th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [8]


United States Surber migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Surber Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Anna Surber, who landed in Carolina in 1734 [9]
  • Heinrich Surber, who landed in Carolina in 1734 [9]
  • Hendryk Surber, aged 15, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1735 [9]
  • Henry Surber, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1735 [9]
  • Verena Surber, aged 5, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1735 [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Surber (post 1700) +

  • James P. Surber, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Ohio, 1996 [10]
  • Clara Surber, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Missouri, 1956 [10]


  1. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Barber, Henry, British Family Names London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, 1894. Print.
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  5. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  6. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  7. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  8. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  9. ^ 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)
  10. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 8) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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