The following is an explanation, from the Internet Surname Database, of the origin of the name of Sears:
Most surnames have only one or possibly two sources of
origin, this surname is different - it has five! These maybe summed up as (in
order of likelihood), a derivative of the pre-medieval personal name 'Saher' or
'Seir', which itself is a short form of the Norman name 'Sigiheri' introduced
into England after the Conquest of 1066. This itself has a Germanic ancestry
and loosely translates as 'victory - army'. The second possible origin is from
the medieval occupational name for a wood cutter, 'sayhare', although the usual
surname is now 'Sawyer'. The third is from Middle English 'say(en)' or
'seycen', to say, and literally means a professional reciter, one whose
occupation was to read or recite both prose and poetry, and no doubt news and
gossip as well. The fourth origin is from the medieval occupation of assaying
metals or tasting food, derived from the Old French 'essay', meaning a trial or
test. The correct spelling in Middle English was 'assayer', which appears to
have been foreshortened. The plural spelling of the name is a patronymic form,
meaning 'son of Sayer', whilst the variants include Sayer, Sayre, Saer, Sare,
Seyer, Sear, Seares, Sears, Seer, etc. An unusual recording is that of William
Sayers, who emigrated to
The Sears Family Association on the Internet has a huge amount of information that helped immensely in determining the American genealogy of this Sears family. Instead of trying to copy a huge amount of information into this document, Internet links to information are used.
“We have been collecting data about the SEARS family since 1976 and
currently have a PAF database with over 50,000 relatives of one SEARS or
another. The primary source of information is Samuel P May's, The
Descendants of RICHARD SARES (SEARS) of
This book is available free online on Google Books.
“May was a member of the New England Historical and Genealogical Society and married two SEARS sisters (not simultaneously). As a result our SEARS information comes primarily from the New England branch of the family (WARNING- The Following Tree is a nice conversation piece but it has many Genealogical Errors - PLEASE DO NOT BASE ANY GENEALOGY WORK ON THIS TREE -Click here to see a drawing of Richard's Tree[250K]).”
“Please note: No one has yet proven who the Ancestors of Richard Sares (Sears) the Pilgrim, of Plymouth Colony were. Please don't fall into the trap promulgated by Mr H G Somerby that John Bourchier Sears (Sayer) is Richard's father. It has not been proven that Richard had a daughter Mary who married a Worden (Werden) and neither has it been proven that a Knyvet Sears was a son of Richard. In fact much work has been done to disprove the existence of Knyvet!”
There is a wealth of information about the Sears ancestry and also current information on the Sears Family Association website. You can also join the association on Facebook. Just search on Facebook for Sears Family Association.
Go online and take a look at the document form of the Richard Sears ancestry tree at http://www.searsr.com/familyr/pafg01.htm. If you cannot look at the list online, have someone help you. It is a huge listing of 8,000+ names, dates, and other interesting information, starting with Richard and proceeding to modern times. This document has been worked on by the people of the Sears Family Association since 1976 and is professed to be very accurate. We’re waiting for Ray Sears, the Sears Family Association coordinator, to add the current information from Orange Sears to the present day to their list of Sears names.
You are descendants of Richard Sears the Pilgrim who was born about 1590. He
died on 26 Aug 1676 in
The ancestry lineage from Richard Sears to Steve Sears is as follows:
Richard (1590-1676) Yarmouth, Plymouth Colony (Cape Cod)
Leut Silas (1639-1697) Yarmouth, Plymouth Colony m. Anna Bursell
Capt Joseph (1669-1750) Yarmouth, Plymouth Colony m. Hannah Hall
Leut Zachariah (1706-1796) Yarmouth, Barnstable Co, MA m. Mehitable Crowell
Roland/Rowland (1745-1819) Yarmouth, Barnstable Co, MA m. Jedidah Conant
Zachriah (1782-1842) Ashfield, Franklin, MA m. Delight Coolidge
Lysander (1822-1881) Fabius, NY m. Julia Conover & Cornelia Meade
Orange Almoin/Almeron (1863-1942) Hartland, MI m. Charlotte Mallett
Robert Percy (1894-1969) Rose, Oakland, MI m. Margaret Stark
Almond Keith (1919-1993) Holly,
Steve Keith (1954- )
You can see the detailed information about the Sears family on www.ancestry.com. The ancestry tree name is the Steven K Sears Family Tree. If you are not a member of ancestry.com, please make a request to see it, by sending your email address to us.
There is also a copy of the tree that can be imported into Family Tree Maker. You will have to have a copy of Family Tree Maker 2012 or later.
Some of this information will be on our website at www.searspirit.com.
Richard Sares (Sears) is the primary patriarch of the Sears
family in the
Richard Sears was an early settler who lived in both
the Massachusetts Bay Colony and Plymouth
Colony. Today, over 20,000 people can trace their lineage to Richard Sears.
These people have had an impact on not only the British
Colonies but the United States and the world. Today, many thousands of
those descendants live in the
Although it seems that Richard Sears and Dorothy had three documented children, they may have had others, but this is not proven. The three children that the Sears Family Association believes existed are Capt. Paul Sears, Leut. or Lieut. Silas Sears, and Deborah Sears.
Leut. Silas Sears was a protector of the new American colonies against the American Indians and invasions by other countries. His son, Capt. Joseph Sears was also a protector and Leut. Zachariah was in the Militia during the French and Indian Wars.
Veteran of the American Revolution, Rowland Sears removed to
Almond K. Sears, received two purple hearts and the flying cross award while serving in WWII as an AF pilot. There is quite a lot of information on www.searspirit.com regarding his time in the Air Force.
There is some American Indian blood in the Richard Sears
line through Hannah Hall’s family. Hannah Hall was married to Captain Joseph
Sears. Hannah Hall was decended from Mary Hyanno, who was a full-blooded
American Indian. Mary’s father was Chief Sachem Iyannough of the Wampanoag
Richard Warren Sears, founder of Sears & Roebuck, is also a descendant of Richard Sears, although he is a very distant cousin. So now you can say that you are a relative of the Sears of Sears & Roebuck.