Last name: Sexton

This interesting name has two possible origins, from an English occupational surname and from an Irish personal name. Firstly, it is an occupational name for a sexton or church warden. It derives from the Middle English "sexteyn", which comes from the Old French "secrestein", itself originally from the Latin "sacristanus". Variants of this form include Sexten, Sextone, Sexon and Secretan. The first recording of this form was in the early 13th Century. One William Sextain appears in the Subsidy Rolls for Sussex in 1327. The second origin is from the Anglicized form of the Gaelic Irish "O'Seastnain", descendant of "Seastnan", a personal name of uncertain origin; though it may have been originally a byname meaning "bodyguard" from "seasuighim", "to resist" or "defend". Variants of this form include O'Sesnane, O'Shesnan and Shasnan. Today the name is mainly found in Limerick city. Eight Sextons have been mayors there, the most notable of whom was Edward Sexton (1535). A Coat of Arms granted to a Sexton family is gold, an eagle displayed green, armed azure a bend gobony silver and gold. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Tomas Sekerstein, which was dated 1203, in the "Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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.

© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2015

Want to dig deeper into your family history? Take a look at our page on building a Family Tree. Or get scientific and enter the exciting world of Ancestral DNA!

Surname Scroll

Enjoy this name printed onto our colourful scroll, printed in Olde English script. An ideal gift. View Details.
PayPal Acceptance Mark
Surname Scroll

We are currently experiencing a technical fault with our comments system we hope to have it working again shortly, sorry for any inconvenience. (19th of May 2015)

ky sexton
Did any of you guys come here on a big boat sayyy 200 years ago an settle in southern ontario ?


Hi my line originated in Donougmore, north Cork

Colin Sexton
I don't know much of my surname's history. But my grandfather's father was born and actually moved from Ireland.

Dean Sexton
My Grandpa Harvey Sexton's family came over from Ireland. He had a big family all of which ended up who knows where. I would like to have more history of them but my Dad knows little about his Irish ancestry. I wish I knew more!

Alysa Montez

Are any of you related to Jerald Dean Sexton he was born in Texas He was my Grandpa

Alex Sexton
There is a whole group of Sextons, I think thats kinda funny, I MIGHT be related to some of you.

Carrie Smith Husted
My 8th Great Grandfather came from Limerick Ireland to The United States (New England) in the 1600's; his decedents then traveled south to Virginia and then into Georgia.

I already knew that my great grandad moved over from Ireland to Dundee, Scotland. Turns out our ancestors were to inherit a castle in the higlands during the time of the rebellion against england but as he joined the rebels he was disowned. Just shows how long we havebeen around eh.

Christopher Bryan Sexton
My ancestors were a two Sexton brothers who came to America in the 1600's, one went South and the other went North, my grandfather is Donald Sexton. @Alex, yeah, it's kinda crazy finding a bunch of strangers that you're related to.

Dalton Sexton
K, I would like to learn more about your great grandfather.


Trying to find members of the Sexton family from Scott County, TN. Inmon Sexton died about 1980.

J Sexton

Any Black sexton in virginia or Carolinas or dc


Jayden Sexton
My ancesters were nobles in Limerick.

Emer Sexton
I am a Sexton from County Clare In Ireland.