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Re: New SEAGRAVE forum with an "S"
Posted by: Jerry W. Segroves Date: December 23, 1999 at 14:06:29
In Reply to: New SEAGRAVE forum with an "S" by Pat Ramsey of 812


My name is Jerry W. Segroves, and I question the need for another forum. The reason for this is that I find it redundant and require going to another source.

I am engaged in a single surname study, and so far have identified 42 variant spellings, Including:

De Segrave
De Seagrave
etc, etc, etc

Just think of 40+ genforums, all of which have particular interest sharing the surname!

The source of the name is considered by most to be the Hamlet of Seagrave in Leicestershire, England. My book of place names defines it as Old English and has something to do with a ditch, trees and water! HOWEVER - another source says the name is Segrave and means Sea/or Maritime Lawyer in France. What is known is that Thomas De Segrave accompanied Wm. the Conqueror to England and is named as one standing for William. It is also known that Thomas received the hamlet/village from Wm. for services. Ultimately the baronage was combined with that of Mowbray. There is still a Lord Seagrave living in England.

There any number of arguments about the name. Some argue that Thomas named the place. Another holds that it was named much later by Stephen De Segrave. BUT - there again is that discrepancy in spelling!

After some research (My database for the study contains 4000+ entries and I still must input another 3000-6000) I have developed my own particular theory.

First, I believe the hamlet of Seagrave predated Thomas and the Old English was nothing more than a description of the place.
Second, I believe that about the time of Stephen, some members of the family adopted the De Seagrave spelling. Finally, I believe that sometime during 1000-01200 AD, when surnames were becoming more and more necessary to distinguish on Segrave from another Seagrave, that in addition to the actual family, most (if not all) of the townspeople adopted the name of their village
as their surname. It's also possible, that individuals who were born in Seagrave, but now resided elsewhere took it too.

This is obviously conjecture on my part, but there is enough info available to make it quite plausible.

Any thoughts?

Jerry W. Segroves

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