Welcome to the Serle Family History

Abbot Serlo

Abbot Serlo


The SERLE name

The origin of the SERLE name is believed to Norman and a reference to Serlo of Normandy. Serlo and his brother William de Perci came over from Normandy with William the Conquerer in 1066. It seems likely that Serlo was a monk and that he was chaplain to William 1st, there is no doubt that he was well respected by him. Serlo founded the abbey at Gloucester and a statue of him stands by the doorway to the cathedral today. In Kieth Searle's excellent Origin of the name Searle (Of which Serle is a variant) He states that it was usual for the Abbot or Prior to hold lands by charter as a gift from the king. Unusually for the time the Searle family were tennants of the Abbey under copyhold leases, a form of manorial land rights that had evolved from surfdom. It is also possible that the Searle's were granted "freeman" or "free tenant" rights by the manorial lord. In this case the the Abbot. Evidence shows significant properties and Abbey lands being granted to the Searle family. Serlo and his desendants were educated people and held high office within the church as far apart as York and Exeter. He came to Gloucester in 1072 and his thirty two year stay was very successful. He was responsible for building the nave and tracepts of of Gloucester cathedral. Serlo died in 1104 and is buried in the cathedral at Gloucester. There is a mistaken belief that the Normans were French but in fact they were Viking.The SERLE name in England dates back to 1066 and the granting of lands by William Duke of Normandy in recognition of assistance at the Battle of Hastings.

Records suggest that by the 14th Century the SERLE name had become established in both London and Plymouth. Data from the 1891 census shows that the majority of SERLE’s lived in the West country between Gloucester and Cornwall. Derivatives of the SERLE name can be found spelled as SEARLE, SEARLES, SEARL, SARL, SARRELL and other variations. This was largely because few of the population could read or write and the records were spelled phonetically based upon how it was spoken by its bearer. This accounts for changes in spelling of a surname sometimes even between a father and son. Indeed, it was a spelling mistake that accounted for the change of spelling of my own surname. More of that later!

There comes a point in most people's life when you ask questions about your past and develop a desire to record it before it gets lost in time. Recent TV programmes such as “Who do you think you are” and on-line genealogy such as “” or “Find my” have created a renewed public interest in Family History.
It has never been easier to take a look into your past. I have recently discovered and made contact with a cousin in Canada that I never knew that I had.
Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu wrote in 604BC the much quoted "A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step".
I'm sure that he won't mind me paraphrasing it.

"The Journey of a Lifetime starts with a single step" - Where will your journey take you?

About the Site

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The Site Owner

This Site represents years of work and is very much a "Work in Progress". You will find all the usual Family Tree stuff so if you think that we share a connection you can check that here. Everyone has a right to privacy and for that reason records and media of living people are restricted. If you are a family member with a confirmed link to the bloodline then we will be happy to give you a login. As well as tracing our family history we wanted to record for our grandchildren memories about our life as we grew up. The things that we did, what made us laugh, The TV we watched, The music that we listened to.
Who remembers Emergency Ward 10? Crackerjack? Van de Valk? I bet you're humming the tune now.

The Buttons in the left-hand Menu Bar are linked to the magazine pages of our key families. These are the "front pages" to stories, anecdotes, photos and myths. In fact just about anything. If you are a family member and you would like to contribute we would love to hear from you. On the Serle side you'll find info on George Henry who died in 1918 in Greenwich but was buried days later in St. Dominick? How a typo changed our surname from Serle to Searle. William Serle and Son Bootmakers. The Pentillie Castle myth. The Serle's as musicians. How the Serle's moved a station building from North Wales to Sussex. Not forgetting TELSTAR DISCO.

Acknowledgements & Thank You's

The Site Owner would like to thank the following people and Organisations:-

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The SERLE FAMILY HISTORY - created and maintained by Geoffrey Searle Copyright © 2010-2017 All rights reserved.

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