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Surname Searle - Meaning and Origin

all surnames with 'S'

Unraveling the Searle Chronicles: A Remarkable Journey with the iGENEA DNA test

I took a journey into my past, using the iGENEA DNA test as my vessel. The experience was enlightening, providing insights into my surname, Searle, its origin, and the powerful role my ancestors may have played in society. I also found connections with Searles worldwide, uncovering the fascinating diversity within our shared lineage.

M. Searle

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Searle: What does the surname Searle mean?

The surname Searle is of Anglo-Saxon origin and has both occupational and locational historical roots. Derived from the Old English pre 7th Century word "searwian" which translates to "to arm or to equip," it was often given as an occupational name to someone who was a military outfitter. It is also associated with the term "sarlic," meaning "armor".

The surname could also potentially be locational, sourcing from "Serlby" in Nottinghamshire, a place named after a personal name "Serl," and "by," an Old Norse word for farm.

Additionally, it could also be derived from the Old Norman personal name "Serlo," a diminutive form of the Latin "Seriolus," a nickname meaning "grey." The name was popular in medieval times and used in reference to people with grey hair or perhaps for someone who dressed regularly in grey.

Like many surnames, the exact origin and meaning can depend on regional use and family histories. It is worth noting that spelling variations can include Serle, Searles, Serles among others. The surname Searle is found in larger concentrations in the UK, especially in the English county of Cornwall.

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Searle: Where does the name Searle come from?

The last name Searle is most commonly found in the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe. Records suggest that it first originated in Northern France, when the Norman invasion of England occurred in 1066. The name had two distinct spellings: Serle and Searle. It then spread throughout Britain, and in particular became popular in Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire, they both have multiple records of its occurrence.

At the time of the 1881 UK Census, Searle was the more common variant. It was the 63rd most frequent surname in England, most popular in Buckinghamshire, Huntingdonshire, Bedfordshire, and Oxfordshire. In London, it was 210th most common. In Scotland, it was the 111th most common, and 83rd in Wales. According to the Forebears records in 2021, Searle is the 3,574th most popular surname in the UK, and the 2,093rd in Ireland.

In the United States, Searle is a less common surname, particularly because there are other spellings of it such as Searles. Records from the 2000 US Census suggest that Searle was the 10,631st most common surname in the country. Searle was 5,581st most popular in California and 11,357th most popular in New York. It is also present in Canada, Australia, and other parts of the world.

Variations of the surname Searle

Searle is a surname of Old French and Middle English origin. In its earliest forms, the surname would appear as Serl, Serle, Sarles, and Sarlesse – all derived from the Old French "serjant," meaning servant.

Variants of Searle include:









In some instances, the surname can also be spelled as Searles or Searless, with Searless being the more modern spelling.

The variations of the surname Searle can all be traced back to the same origin. The Middle English variants such as Sewelle and Sewell are derived from the Old French variants of the surname such as Serl and Serle. Today, the variations of the surname are found throughout the English-speaking world, from the United States to Australia.

The surname Searle is also found in other parts of the world such as Scotland, Germany, and Norway. In Norway, the surname is spelled differently and is more commonly called Searles. It is also found in Scotland with the surname spelled as Sarlis, Sarles, Sorells, and Sorel. In Germany, the spelling is usually Sarlin or Sarlinn.

The variations and spellings of the surname Searle demonstrate how the name has evolved over time to become the surname used by many families today.

Famous people with the name Searle

  • Nancy Searle: An American lawyer and executive, best known as the former Chief Legal and Administrative Officer and Executive Vice President of Microsoft
  • Alan Searle: British cinematographer known for his work in film and television
  • John Searle: American philosopher best known for his work on philosophy of language, consciousness, and social reality
  • Arthur Searle: English artist known for his landscape paintings of Cromer and the coast of Norfolk
  • Paget Searle: British actor best known for his role in the television series 'The Bill'
  • Bruce Searle: Australian composer, conductor, and musical director
  • Charlotte Searle: English actress best known for her role in the film 'The Miseducation of Cameron Post'
  • Irma Searle: Irish actress best known for her role in the television series 'Angels'
  • Eric Searle: English author of mostly young adult fiction
  • Fritha Searle: British actress known for her role in the television series 'Emmerdale'

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