Last name: Shaw

This interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and may be either a topographical or a locational surname. As a topographical name, Shaw was used for someone who lived by a copse, wood, or thicket, derived from the Old English pre 7th Century "sceaga", copse, small wood. As a locational surname, Shaw is derived from any one of the numerous small places names Shaw, from the Old English "sceaga", such as those in Berkshire, Lancashire, and Wiltshire. Shaw in Berkshire is recorded as "Essages" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and in Lancashire as "Shaghe" in 1555, and a place in Wiltshire as "schaga" in the 1167 Pipe Rolls of the county. The development of the surname includes Richard de la Schawe (1275, Worcestershire), John ate Shaw (1295, Essex), and William Bithe Shaghe (1333, Somerset), and the modern forms of the surname range from Shaw(e), Shay and Shay(e)s to Shave(s) and Shafe. One of the most notable bearers of the name was George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950), who was born in Dublin into a Protestant family established in Ireland by William Shaw a captain in William lll's army, who went there in circa 1689. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Simon de Schage, which was dated 1191, in the Berkshire Pipe Rolls, during the reign of King Richard l, known as "Richard 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.

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Shaw is my mother's maiden name. There is indeed a notable Scottish family named Shaw which can trace its origins back at least as far as the ninth century. Whether I'm descended from that line I don't know, but it would be nice to think so. However, from the research I've done, it seems that there's more than one origin for the Shaw surname and not everyone called Shaw today is necessarily descended from the Scottish line. This article isn't entirely wrong - some of the families called Shaw did get their name in the way it describes. However the article is incomplete, especially as it makes no mention of the Scottish Shaws.

Shaw is my family name, and here in my 8th grade class, we had to do a genealogy from which I found that the name has very strong German roots. But my history teacher has given us a paper that says the name is both Scottish and English. But reading through the previous comments, I doubt that my name is as deep German as my father and my grandfather that lead me to believe. I agree that my name is Scottish, but the meaning of Shaw; the dweller at the small wood or thicket; descendant of Sithech (wolf); one who came from Shaw (small wood), the name of several places in England. That is directly off the paper I have been given. So can I have one of the people that read this help me get a better understanding of my surname.

Amber kelly
my baby's last name is A'bria Shaw which is her father's last name who is Dwight Shaw II i do not know my daughter's father's father's family or anything of them. he wasn't involved i do not know my daughter's family and where they come from all i know is she is a shaw

trevor shaw
The scottish origin of the name shaw in the Highlands is derived from the gaelic pictish nickname sithech which means wolf ..There is a Shaw clan of Tordarroch and another Shaw called corrihiaclay [bucktooth] two very old highland clans .The lowlands shaws and english ones come from the Anglo Saxon word meaning ,wood or thickit,copse or a clearing in a wood.In Ireland if protestant they proberbly have the english meaning but if Catholic proberbly Scottish settlers from the Highlands

Robert G. Shaw

I was always told my last name was of Irish descent--Of the forests is what it meant. I'd love to be able to trace my lineage just to see how far back it can go.

Dana P Burton
My mother was a Shaw and her line comes from North East Margaree Cape Breton Canada via England.... the first of her line was a Evan Shaw from Mancester NS Canada in the early 1800's