This interesting and most unusual surname has a number of possible origins. Firstly, the name may be of Anglo-Saxon origin, as a topographical surname for a dweller at the sign of the sheaf, a bundle of stalks and ears of grain, from the Olde English pre 7th Century word "sceaf", a sheaf. However, Sheaf may also have been a topographical name for someone who lived by a boundary of some sort, from the Olde English "sceath, scaeth", a boundary; or again a dweller by the river Sheaf, which forms the boundary between Derbyshire and Yorkshire, with the same derivation. Finally, the surname may have originated from the Olde English personal name "Sceafa", of unknown etymology. Recordings from English Church Registers include: the christening of Annys Sheff on March 10th 1553, in London; the christening of Phillip Sheffe on June 28th 1590, at Oswaldkirk in Yorkshire; and the marriage of Elizabeth Sheaf and Roderick Griffith at St. James', Duke's Place, London on August 22nd 1689. Sir Roger Sheaffe (1763 - 1851) was born in Boston, New York, but served with the British in Holland, the Baltic and Canada, and was appointed General in 1838. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Simon de Schage, which was dated 1191, in the "Pipe Rolls of Berkshire", during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

Surnames reference. 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sheaf — Sheaf, v. t. To gather and bind into a sheaf; to make into sheaves; as, to sheaf wheat. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Sheaf — Sheaf, n.; pl. {Sheaves}. [OE. sheef, shef, schef, AS. sce[ a]f; akin to D. schoof, OHG. scoub, G. schaub, Icel. skauf a fox s brush, and E. shove. See {Shove}.] 1. A quantity of the stalks and ears of wheat, rye, or other grain, bound together;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Sheaf — Sheaf, v. i. To collect and bind cut grain, or the like; to make sheaves. [1913 Webster] They that reap must sheaf and bind. Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • sheaf — [ʃi:f] n plural sheaves [ʃi:vz] [: Old English; Origin: sceaf] 1.) several pieces of paper held or tied together sheaf of ▪ He laid a sheaf of documents on the desk. 2.) a bunch of wheat, corn etc tied together after it has been cut …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • sheaf — O.E. sceaf sheaf of corn, from P.Gmc. *skaubaz (Cf. M.Du. scoof, O.H.G. scoub, Ger. Schaub sheaf; O.N. skauf fox s tail; Goth. skuft hair on the head, Ger. Schopf tuft ). Also used in Middle English for two dozen arrows …   Etymology dictionary

  • Sheaf — Sheaf, n. (Mech.) A sheave. [R.] [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • sheaf — [ ʃif ] (plural sheaves [ ʃivz ] ) noun count 1. ) stems of grain that have been cut and tied together: a sheaf of wheat 2. ) a large number of pieces of paper that are kept together …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • sheaf — index assemblage Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • sheaf — has the plural form sheaves. The verb meaning ‘to make into sheaves’ is sheave …   Modern English usage

  • sheaf — ► NOUN (pl. sheaves) 1) a bundle of grain stalks laid lengthways and tied together after reaping. 2) a bundle of objects, especially papers. ► VERB ▪ bundle into sheaves. ORIGIN Old English, related to SHOVE(Cf. ↑shove) …   English terms dictionary

  • sheaf — [shēf] n. pl. sheaves [ME schefe < OE sceaf, akin to Ger schaub < IE base * skeup , * skeubh , a bundle, clump > SHOP] 1. a bunch of cut stalks of grain, etc. bound up in a bundle 2. a collection of things gathered together; bundle, as… …   English World dictionary

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