The surname of SHEEPWASH was a locational name meaning the place where sheep were washed. There is a spot SHEEPWASH near Waterhead in Oldham, Lancashire so called. Probably many small localities would obtain this name since sheep-washing would have been a widespread occupation. The name was derived from the Old English word SCEAPWAESCE and the earliest of the place-name on record appears to be SEPEWAIS which was recorded in the year 1184 and the place was recorded in 1249 as SHEPWASSE. Surnames can be divided into four categories; place names, occupation names, nicknames and patronymics. PLACE NAMES are the largest group and covers all those names first applied to people who lived in or nearby to a particular place. For example, Grove, Wood, Field, Meadow, and Street are obvious. Occasionally names were taken from obscure villages or hamlets which no longer exist and this can make research confusing. OCCUPATION NAMES cover nearly all trades which existed in the Middle Ages. These are numerous. It does not necessarily follow that such names as King, Duke, Earl and so on mean your ancestors were of noble blood. It is much more likely that such named people worked for the person referred to. NICKNAMES. This is a smaller group but in many ways more interesting. They usually originated as a by-name for someone by describing their appearance, personal disposition or character but which became handed down through the ages and did not apply to their descendants. For instance the name Black would denote a dark man, Little, someone small (or even somewhat ambiguously) someone tall. PATRONYMICS. This group covers all names which derive immediately from the owner's father. Many christian names which are also surnames have, over the years, lost the possessive form but the origin is still the same. Examples of this could be names such as Peter,Thomas, Henry - all names which became both christian and surnames over the years.
Later instances of the name include Joseph Adrey SHEEPWASH who was baptised at St. Mary, Aldermary, London in the year 1657, and John SHIPWASH was baptised at Canterbury Cathedral in the year 1725. Robert SHIPWASH and Mary Barlow were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1800.
No arms recorded
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