Introduction

I consider this to be an online consultative document and would welcome any comments and additions from anyone studying/researching the family name and families of Shurrock the more the merrier, please email me. At the moment there isn't too much done, but give it time, maybe this way we can all get to the bottom of the Shurrock's.

About the name

I was prompted to write a history of the Shurrock family by both my own research and the research of many other people. Although a "good" name to follow in family research it does appear that no-one really knows where the name originates, there are lots of ideas out there, but none have so far been proved - or even who the first Shurrock was. The first and most obvious naming convention is as a derivative of the name Shorrock, from Richard de Shorrock (1332) of Shorrock Green in Lancashire. Although Shorrock Green no longer exists, as a separate entity in its own right, the name does continue as Shorrock Lane in Blackburn. In "The Place Names of Lancashire: Their Origin and History", Shorrock Green (Pleasington) is mentioned, Pleasington is roughly one mile from where, on the 1849 OS map, the name Shorrock can be found, although on that map Shorrock is an area not a village. The name is mentioned in many other publications, all of which appear to point to this same location.

The earliest mention of the name Shurrock is of the marriage of a Shurrock (born 1534) to a Margaret Gresbrooke in Middleton, Warwickshire in 1561. It would be nice to think this was one of the first Shurrock's moving south from the Shorrock homelands of Lancashire. Another early occurence of the name is in 1598 when a G. Shurrock wrote to Sir Thomas Tresame at Creeke, Rushton on March 28th 1598 stating that he was, "sending the rent for a close in Syllesworth, and he was willing to buy the same, although, the badness of the ground considered, he should prefer some land in the high field". By the time the name reaches Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire it may well have already branched out to include such names as Shurrug, Shrug and Shurrud due to the local dialect when registering baptisms.

A separate variation on the name comes from the Scottish family of Shurrock's. In Scotland a shurrock is also the name for a small hill.

Buckinghamshire Shurrock's

The first "documented" Shurrock I have is Edward who from the 1740's was living in Easington, Buckinghamshire (born sometime around 1720-25), although, as seen above, there are older instances of the name. Edward is the oldest Shurrock that I tracked, but having said that, there is no evidence that he called himself Shurrock, his children and ultimately their children, use the name Shurrock. But Edward's children are baptised with a variety of names, none are Shurrock - Shurrudy, Shurrug, Sharrack, Shurrugg, Sherrock and Shurgg.

Edward lived in the hamlet of Easington a few miles north of Long Crendon and close to the village of Chilton. Easington has changed very little over the past 200 years, still principally a single row of houses, a pub and a couple of farms. Edward was, like most others from Easington, an agricultural labourer. He married Catherine (a person we have yet to identify) and they had their children, apart from their burials little else is known about them. Catherine was buried on 30 October 1803 and Edward on 18 March 1806, a pauper. His children were all born and baptised at the church of St Mary's in Chilton, but at the moment only two of them have been tracked; Thomas and Robert. His other children; Jane (1747), Edward (1752), Elizabeth (1754) and William (1757) have yet to be traced past their baptismal records.

His youngest son Robert (1763-1846) unlike his brother Thomas, never left the hamlet of Easington, being baptised on 30 January 1763 and buried on 21 December 1846 at St Mary's in Chilton. Robert married Ann Maryott in 1795. Ann the daughter of Obadiah (1731-1817) and Elizabeth Maryott had at least one sibling, a brother, John (1761-). Robert's eldest children, Thomas and Edward, are a bit of a mystery. On the parish register Thomas was born the illegitmate son to a Mary Maryott and Edward a bastard son of Ann Maryott, after much searching a Mary Maryott living in the area around Easington cannot be found. Robert and Ann's other children, however, are all born legitimately; Bet (1794-1850), Catherine (1801-54), Jane (1805-81) and Mary (1809-77) These four sisters all married and brought the families of; Roger, Dumbleton, Edwards and Pollard into the Shurrock family.

In 1796 Robert is named in the "Posse Comitatus", a document that was created to name all men who could fight against Napoleon, who at the time was thought ready to invade. Clearly Robert was fit to fight against any invading army of Napoleon, as is usual for the Shurrock line he is named as Robert Sherrock, although not unusual as was shown by later generations. Edward only appears in the 1841 Census living in Easington with Ann and his daughter and son-in-law Mary and John Edwards. Robert and Ann died and both were buried on 21 December 1846 at St Mary's, Chilton, the causes of the deaths - old age.

Robert's only son's Thomas and Edward, are left to continue the Shurrock line in Buckinghamshire. The eldest, Thomas (1790-1875) was baptised on 26 September at St Mary's. Sometime around 1814 he marries for the first time to Mary from Long Crendon and their first child, Sarah (1814) is born in Long Crendon, their second child Ann is born in 1817 but dies aged 3 moths and is buried at St Mary's, Chilton. By the first census of 1841 the family are living in Brill, they now have William (1821), John (1824), Catherine (1829), Edward (1830) and Hannah (1833).  Unfortunately Mary dies, aged 56, on 3 November 1849 in Brill, and we have yet to discover who Mary was. In 1851 and now a widower, Thomas is living on Red Lion Street, Brill, with his youngest daughter Catherine, living two doors away is Mary Anne King (1796-1879), his future second-wife. After marrying this second Mary on 12 October 1853, life obviously got no better for Thomas as 1861 and 1871 saw him listed as a pauper. His second wife was also a widow and had been married at least twice before, she had been marrie to a John Morris and her maiden name was Mills, daughter of John.

Edward, Robert's younger son was baptised on September 21, 1794 at St Mary's, Chilton. On the 4 Nov 1816 he married Elizabeth Heyward at the same church. Elizabeth, three years younger than Edward was born in Kidlington, Oxfordshire. Although some distance from Chilton, Kidlington is quite close to the village of Kirtlington where Edward's aunt Martha (wife of Thomas) lived. Edward was, like his brother a farm labourer, and he too lived in Easington all his life. It would be nice to think they lived next door to each other, in each others pockets.

Edward and Elizabeth have a number of children; Robert (1820), Ann (1826), Thomas (1826), James (1829) and Reuben (1833). In 1851 Edward's son, James, his wife Sarah and daughter Elizabeth are staying. Edward is living next door to his son Robert and two doors from his sister Mary and Joihn Edwards.

In the early 1900s two distant grandchildren of Edward, Herbert (great x4 grandson) and Sydney Reuben (great x3 grandson) both appear to take on the name Sherrock, even though their father's and grandfather's used the name Shurrock. All Herbert and Sydney's children, and presumably grandchildren, are registered with the name Sherrock. Sydney Reuben Sherrock married Edith Margaret Neale in 1908 and all their children are registered as Sherrock's, however at least one of their children - Sydney Thomas - was known as Shurrock, he is buried (1993) at the Long Crendon, Baptist Graveyard with his wife Marie Dorothy (1993).

Oxfordshire Shurrock's

The first occurence of the name Shurrock in the county of Oxfordshire appears to be with the marriage of a Martha Ball to Thomas Shurrock, who is probably the fourth son of Edward and Catherine Shurrock of Easington, Buckinghamshire. Thomas was born in 1760 and baptised at St Mary's, Chilton on 25 September he married Martha Ball (the Oxfordshire FHS have the name transcribed as Batt) on 11 February 1784 at St Mary's, Witney, both Thomas (a sawyer by trade) and Mary were sojourners at the time and from that marriage, as far as one can tell, all the other Oxfordshire Shurrock families come.

The Ball Family

Simon Ball, Martha Ball's grandfather, was a settler in the village of Kirtlington in 1755, he and his wife Elizabeth were tenants for life. Thomas Ball, Martha's father, died on 26 September 1768 when she was just two years old. Martha Ball was then the last surviving child of Thomas and Hannah (nee Nottingham) Ball. Thomas Ball and his other children Elizabeth, Sarah, Mary, Ann all died around the same period, which may imply a local epidemic. In fact Thomas Ball's father, Simon, outlives his son by two years.

Thomas Shurrock was baptised a Sherrock (as with all Edward's children none were baptised Shurrock) and appears to carry this spelling throughout his life, although Thomas never signed his name and could probably neither read or write. His daughter Elizabeth Ann, was born in Buckinghamshire and baptised a Sherrock at St Mary's, Chilton, his last daughter another Elizabeth, was baptised in 1801 at St Giles in Oxford as a Sherrard. Thomas even appears to pass on the spelling to his son Thomas Ball as he uses the spelling "Sherrock" in all his marriages. Strangely like his father-in-law, Thomas Ball, all but one of Thomas' children die as children. In fact it appears that his son Thomas Ball was the only surviving child, or at least survivor to have a family.

Thomas Ball Shurrock was born in 1790, a journeyman carpenter, he married for the first time on 15 February 1815 to Susan Cox at St Cross, Oxford, unlike his father he can write and signs his name "Thomas Sherrock". In 1818 Thomas Ball is named as a nephew and beneficiary, to the sum of £70, of Sarah Busby of Stonesfield. Sarah is undoubtedly part of the Nottingham family (another name mentioned in her will) and is probably the sister of Hannah Nottingham. This would have been quite a considerable sum in 1818, worth more than the average yearly wage. Confusingly in 1836 a Thomas Shurrock, also a carpenter by trade, marries a Martha Bosley at St Thomas, Oxford. Whether this is the same Thomas Shurrock or not is still be ascertained, but we know for a fact that in 1853 Thomas Ball married again to Eliza Smith (nee Hughes) on24 April at St Clements, Oxford.

Fortunately for the Shurrock name in Oxfordshire, Thomas Ball and his first wife Susan Cox have six sons and one daughter; Eliza Martha, William, John, Thomas, George, Henry and Charles, and even more fortunately all these sons continued the line. Thomas Ball continues to live in Oxford until his death in 1868. His wife Eliza lives a further 18 years and on her death leaves a will to the value of £284.

William was their eldest son, born on 11 March 1818 in St Giles, Oxford he spent his entire life in Oxford where he was apprenticed for seven years to George Gardiner, a tailor in St. Ebbe. He was married on 2 June 1839 at St Paul's to an Oxford girl, Mary Savin, daughter of John and Elizabeth. Mary Savin was William's cousin, a niece to William's mother, Susan Cox.

In 1841 he was, like his father before him, made a "freeman" of Oxford living at the time on Clarendon Street next door to his aunt, Elizabeth Cox. William and Mary had nine children; William Ball (1842), Mary Ann Esther (1845), Emily Harriett (1847), Clara Susannah (1849), Aubrey Hilsdon (1852), James Herbert (1854), Helen Louisa (1856), Kate Matilda (1858) and Alfred Edward (1861).

William died on 14 October, 1890 and was buried on 17 October at SS Mary & John, Cowley, on unconsecrated ground (under burial act 1880). At the time of his death William was living at 29 Cowley Road. William's will was proved at Oxford by Mary his widow and his son Alfred Edward Shurrock of 89 Cowley Rd, his personal estate was £59. 1s. Mary is now a widow and in the 1890's has her granddaughter Jane Linnington Ball, by the early 1900's Mary is living with her daughter, Clara Burrows and family. Mary Shurrock died on the 12 January 1911 and was buried with William at SS Mary & John, Cowley.

Shurrock families in the Midlands

Henry Shurrock, the fifth son of Thomas Ball and Susan (Cox), was born in 1826 and christened at St Giles in Oxford on 17 September. In 1851 he was living with his brother Thomas and wife Ann, unlike his brothers who all seem to have occupations in the trades, Henry was a general labourer. Sometime after 1851 Henry moved to Birmingham and on Christmas Day 1858 he married Susan Harris at Saint Martin's. They spend all their lives living in and around Birmingham, Henry always a general labourer. Their eldest daughter Susan Ellen (1860-1913) marries Reuben Bigland in 1883, it is strange coincidence that she dies in the same year as her brother William (1872) who married Annie Townsend.Their mother Susan also died in 1913, maybe there was a local epidemic at the time. Their father, Henry died a year later in 1914.

It is worth noting that sometime after 1901 the nephew of Henry, Aubrey Hilsdon and his wife Clementina moved from leafy Cheshire to Birmingham. Aubrey, who had been the headmaster of Tarvin Grammar School, ends his life living in Saltley and Ward End areas of Birmingham. Did he ever know his cousins; Susan Ellen, Henry, Fred, Robert, William and Lizzie who all lived on the other side of Birmingham.

Shurrock families in Lancashire

William Ball Shurrock was born in 15 January 1842 in Jericho, Oxford the eldest child of William and Mary (Savin), baptised on 13 February at St Paul's in Oxford.

William's first wife Julia Amelia Agnes Adams was the daughter of Thomas and Julia, Thomas was a music master from Basingstoke. Born in Oxford she married William Ball at St Clement's on 11 February, 1867 although their marriage was short-lived. Julia Shurrock died in Stratford on Avon in 1873, but they did have a daughter Julia Beatrice in 1869 and a son George William in 1872. It appears that William and Julia lived in the Slough and Oxford area after their marriage, but at least by 1872 they were living in Stratford on Avon as their son George is baptised there at the Holy Trinity Church. With two young children in need of a mother William didn't wait too long to remarry. His second wife Catharine Mary Sproston, was the daughter of Thomas and Julia Sproston, shopkeepers of Stratford on Avon, they were married in 1873. Shortly after their marriage they moved to Leeds. We can be fairly sure of this as their first three children are born there; Pauline Agnes in 1876, William Bernard and Hilda Mary in 1879. By 1880 the enlarged family are back in Oxford were they continue to live until the late 1890's. It is here where they have the remainder of their children; Winifred(1880), Agnes Mary(1882), Ernest Ignatius(1884), Edith Mary(1885) and Wilfred(1888). By 1901 they are living in their last home in Liverpool. William Ball spent his entire life, as his father William had, as a tailor but his children go on to work in other fields.

William Shurrock (1851-1909) son of William and Mary (Watson) of Brill, moved to Lancashire in the north of England soon after the 1871 census. He marries an Annie White and they have their first child James White Shurrock in 1874. James White is born in Openshaw, Manchester but by the time of his death in 1876 the family are living in Earlestown. The rest of William and Annie's children are born in Earlestown. William's wife Annie is a mystery, and I have yet to find their marriage assuming that they would have been married in Manchester. On the 1891 census Annie says she is from Yorkshire, in 1901 she is from Rockley, in 1911 Annie says she is from Bothamsal, Yorkshire. The only Bothamsal is near to Retford, Nottinghamshire, close by is Rockley.

Shurrock's in Scotland and North America

A number of the Shurrock families who now live in North America are ancestors of the Scottish Shurrock's and a few are the Oxford Shurrock's. There are many Shorrock and Sharrock families who emigrated from Scotland to North America, but very few Shurrock's. In the early part of the 20th century many of the Shurrock families living in New York appear to be of Polish extraction, which presumably means they anglicised their names on emigrating.

One Scottish Shurrock family came from Arbroath although it is difficult to tell whether their names were originally Shurrock. In 1852 an Andrew Shirrock, of Arbroath,  left a testament at the Forfar Sheriff Court and although I have no evidence, it is possible that this was a relative of the Shurrock's who emigrated to Boston. On 9 January 1904 a married Walter Shurrock of Arbroath (b. 1869) sailed to New York on board SS Ethiopia, he was to stay with his friend James Petrie at 21 Shillington Avenue, Boston. Then on the 19 May 1904 a Mrs Shurrock, also of Arbroath (b. 1870) along with Walter (b. 1897), Janet (b. 1899) and Norman (b. 1901) her children, and an elderly Andrew Shurrock (b. 1837) sail for New York, bound for 36 Upton Street, Boston and Walter Shurrock.

Snippet from Desert Evening News (Great Salt Lake City [Utah]) 25 June 1904

"A pretty home wedding of the week was that of Miss Eleanor Shurrock, daughter of Mr & Mrs Joseph Shurrock, and Robert Evans, which took place on Wednesday night at the home of the bride's parents, Bishop George Romney officiating in the presence of the relatives and friends. The bride wore a dainty gown ... Kate Canning, the maid of honor... Mr William Shurrock was best man."

The Pensacola Journal (Pensacola, Fla) 6 April 1905

"The Florida Presbytery convened yesterday. Large number of ministers and ruling elders are in attendance and held interesting sessions. The ruling elders are... John Shurrock of St Andrews"