Show ContentsSyer History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Syer is one of the thousands of new names that the Norman Conquest brought to England in 1066. The Syer family lived in Essex. Their name, however, is a reference to St. Saire, Normandy, the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. Alternatively, the name could have been a trade name for someone who was "an assayer of metals." [1] And another variation is that it could have been "an Anglo-Norman personal name, as Saher de Quincy, the famous Earl of Winchester." [1] There are at least three other listed origins of the name, but these latter three seem the most probable.

Early Origins of the Syer family

The surname Syer was first found in Essex where the family's first listing of the name was found during the reign of Edward II. [1] Omitting the entries as a personal name, we also found: Stephanus filius Seir (1148-1152) and ? filius Saheri (Saieri) c. 1160 in Lincolnshire.

Robertus filius Seer was listed in the 12th century in Nottinghamshire and Richard Sayer was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Devon in 1230. Thomas Sare and John Sayer were listed in the Feet of Fines of Essex in 1292. [2]

The Thayer variant produced the Pilgrim Fathers and brothers Thomas Thayer (1596-1665) and Richard Thayer (1601-1664) who were born in Thornbury, Devon. The family were originally from Glastonbury, Somerset, the oldest found was John Tahyer, born c. 1450.

Early History of the Syer family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Syer research. Another 116 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1560, 1602, 1655, 1718, 1695, 1705, 1603, 1625, 1603, 1631 and are included under the topic Early Syer History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Syer 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 Sayer, Sayers, Sayres and others.

Early Notables of the Syer family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Robert Sayer or Seare (1560-1602), a Benedictine monk, born at Redgrave, Suffolk, the son of John Seare; Sir John Sayer of Bourchers Hall in Essex; and his son, George Sayer (c. 1655-1718), an English courtier and politician, Member of Parliament...
Another 47 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Syer Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Syer family to Ireland

Some of the Syer family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 61 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Syer migration to the United States +

Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Syer or a variant listed above:

Syer Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Syer, aged 14, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 aboard the ship "Assurance" [3]
  • Tho Syer, who landed in Virginia in 1650 [3]

Australia Syer migration to Australia +

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

Syer Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Syer, English convict who was convicted in London, England for 10 years, transported aboard the "Blundell" on 13th March 1844, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Syer (post 1700) +

  • John Syer Bristowe (1827-1895), English physician, born in Camberwell

  1. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. 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)
  4. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 25th October 2020). Retrieved from on Facebook