This is a famous English surname. Recorded in several forms as shown below, the name has nothing whatsoever to do with the sea. It is locational from a village called Seagrave, in Leicestershire, the very centre of England. The place was first recorded as Satgrave and Setgraue in the famous Domesday Book of 1086, and derives from either the pre 7th century word "set", meaning a fold or pen for animals, or perhaps "seath", meaning a pool, and "graf", a grove, or "graef", a ditch. During the Middle Ages, when migration for the purpose of job-seeking was becoming more common, people often took their former village name as a means of identification, thus resulting in a wide dispersal of the name. A family by the name of Seagrave, trace their descent from Thomas de Segrave recorded in the Domesday Book as jointly holding the manor of Seagrave. Amongst his descendants was Sir Stephen de Segrave, who was chief justiciar of England in the 13th century and in the 20th century Sir Henry Seagrave who several times held the land speed record. In the modern idiom the surname is recorded as Seagrave, Seagrief, Seagrove and Segrave. Recordings of the surname from London registers include the christening of John Segrave, on March 29th 1573, at St. Mary's, Stoke Newington, and on December 25th 1614, Elline, the daughter of Robert Seagrove, was christened at St. Stephan's Coleman Street. This illustrious family has had no less than seventeen coats of arms granted to them. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas de Segrave. This was dated 1086, in the Domesday Book of Leicestershire, during the reign of King William 1st, known as "The Conqueror", 1066 - 1087. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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