Tag Archives: Sears

The Sears Family

Who you gonna call?

Spelling Bees and Séances

Spell AYKROYD. (without looking!)

Can you pronounce it?
(ˈeɪkˌrɔɪd ) 

Can I get the definition?
According to Collins English Dictionary, Aykroyd is a noun, meaning “Dan”.

Dan. born 1952, Canadian film actor and screenwriter, best known for the television show Saturday Night Live (1975–80) and the films The Blues Brothers (1980), Ghostbusters (1984), and Driving Miss Daisy (1989)

Can you use it in a sentence?

He also spent time with Danny Aykroyd , Eddie Murphy and some of the other younger stars of the 1980s.

Who you gonna call?

Daniel Edward Aykroyd was born in Ottawa, Canada Day, 1952 to Samuel Cuthbert Peter Hugh Aykroyd and Lorraine Gougeon Aykroyd. He acted and co-authored the movies in the Ghostbusters franchise, with Ghostbusters III in the pipeline. As Dr. Raymond Stantz (born 1959 in Brooklyn, NY), he was a bit of a bumbling, naïve, nervous believer of the paranormal. I don’t know about the bumbling, naïve or nervous part, but Dan Aykroyd believes in ghosts too. As did his great grandfather, Dr. Samuel Augustus Aykroyd, a dentist and mystic researcher from Kingston, Ontario.

According to Dan,

I am a Spiritualist, a proud wearer of the Spiritualist badge. Mediums and psychic research have gone on for many, many years… Loads of people have seen spirits, heard a voice or felt the cold temperature. I believe that they are between here and there, that they exist between the fourth and fifth dimension, and that they visit us frequently

Can you identify which one is the Ghostbusters Headquarters and which is a Spiritualism Church?

Spiritualism and the branch of Spiritism became popular in the late 1900s, with over 8 million practitioners.

Sam Aykroyd was one of them, or at least studied them as a mystic. From what I have read, he corresponded with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) on the subject of spiritualism.

Apparently Sherlock’s father had quite the effect on Canadians, including Sam Aykroyd, who had his own weekly circle of spiritualists.

Arthur Conan Doyle had a fondness for Canada that was apparent in the many positive things he had to say about our country’s natural beauty, social and economic potential, and key role in the British Commonwealth. Conan Doyle visited Canada on four occasions. The first visit in 1894 was part of a literary tour; the 1914 trip  was a pleasure tour organized by the Canadian Government to promote western tourism, and the visits he made in 1922 and 1923 were chiefly part of his efforts to promote the Spiritualist cause.

Coincidentally, and without realizing the tie-in, I visited the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle room at the Toronto Reference Library while researching the Aykroyd family name, and its tie-ins to the Sears family.

I don’t believe in coincidences. 🙂 I do believe in deja-vu, and the fact that we can see things that have happened in the past and will happen in the future, if the impressions are strong enough.

Peter Aykroyd, Dan’s father, recently released a book, “A History of Ghosts” on his ancestors and many other religion’s views on spirits.

Dan and Peter did an interview last November on it.

If you don’t believe in ghosts, The Cedars was put on the market in February. It might be a nice place to move into but I’ll pass…

A Victorian church where Sherlock Homes author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle tried to contact the dead has gone up for sale.
The Cedars Spiritualist Church in Ipswich, Suffolk – once a hotbed of British spiritualism – is on the market for between £500,000 and £700,000.
In the 1920s it hosted packed meetings where psychics would try to contact the spirits of people who had passed on.

As I was listening to it, I started browsing some of the tabs I had opened. As the interviewer asked a question about Houdini’s relation to the spirit world, I had just started reading this link, about Houdini.



Back to the AYKROYD family name. And Sam Sr. Sr.

Samuel Aykroyd was born Around 1810 he left Hudson, NY for Kingston, Ontario.

His son, Samuel Aykroyd II, is rumoured to have trekked across a frozen Loughborough Lake in 1826 to purchase his own land, still occupied today by the family of his great-great grandson.

His son, Samuel August AYKROYD III was born 1855 and died in 1933.

Around the time of Sam Aykroyd II was one Benjamin Aykroyd (1830-1898).

He married Jane SEARS on March 5, 1855.

Her parents were William Sears and Margaret NUTT. William Sears was the son of Hezekiah Sears. Though not a very common name today, it seemed popular in the 1900’s. Hezekiah was my great-great-great-great grandfather’s name. And his son’s name too. Though there are two Hezekiah’s living in that area from that same time period…

Benjamin’s dad was Stephen Aykroyd (1806-1851), who married Frances KNAPP. They had 9 sons and daughters in that family.

Benjamin’s son was George Aykroyd, born Christmas Eve, 1855 in Storrington, Ontario. He was a farmer in Loughborough. I assume he was a close relative of the Sam Aykroyd’s, though I haven’t found the tie-in yet. He married Althea SPIFFORD on Wednesday, November 13, 1878 at the young age of 23.

He died October 9, 1915 and is buried in Sydenham Cemetery. Benjamin & Althea had two children, Jennie Luenza Aykroyd (SLEETH) (1882-1950) and Wilkie Aykroyd (1886-1961).

Wilkie Aykroyd had two children Thorall Ann Aykroyd (BURNETT), (1907-1967 and Helen Elizabeth Aykroyd (BARR) (1910-?).

Brant Gibbard’s Geneaology Pages were invaluable for tracing my ancestry along with others, including the Aykroyd’s, who lived in the Kingston area.

Next up, the NUTT family and Farmer John Sears of Nutt’s Corners.

The meaning of a name

The Sears family name is derived, misspelled, translated, obscured, and Americanized into various forms.

From ancestry.com, this blurb on the Sears name seems to simplify everything.

Irish (Kerry): Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Saoghair, which in turn may be a patronymic from a Gaelicized form of the Old English personal name Saeger (see 2 below). EML.English: patronymic from a Middle English personal name Saher or Seir (see Sayer 1).Americanized form of French Cyr.

I found that the Americanized (Kentucky) version of Sears is Cyrus. As in Billy Ray, Miley, and her original ancestors.

Perhaps the best explanation for the various iterations of the Sears family name was put together by V. Suzanne Sears, who I will quote ad verbatim.

The sound Syr is nearly 2,500 years old:
the first person with this last name lived in the middle east and is recorded in ancient history

It goes back even farther:
related to pagan gods and goddess names

It spread out of the Middle East into Persia:
where it became synonymous with things Powerful:
primarily geographical…..like Rivers and Hills

but some men also took it up as a last name.

Heading north: it spread with the Celts to the Baltic Sea….
One finds the River Syr in Belgium and Lake Suire in Switzerland………..

Spreading further: it reached Norway and Sweden and is still a popular first name today: Sirre

In Scotland: it came to be a word synonymous with Hill…..

to ancient Mediterranean sailors: it was a mermaid that created havoc with their ships……..

A Syr had many powers…….

There is speculation it is the backbone of the term Sire….or Lord…..and it probably is…….

However here is where we stop:

Sears and Sire are not in any way related……..

Instead: we are now using the Latin Sutor…..

which refers to the term Pattern Maker…..
and which in French: the T is not pronounced.

Thus a person who worked with patterns was a Sire or Le Sire……..this is a huge family name in Belgium and Picardy and Flanders.

In France: it is spelled Le Sueur…….and is applied to both shoe makers and cloth makers and iron makers.

Its a trade name.

From this rose the very famous Flemish Dutch cloth of ancient times called Sayre……or Sayer.

A Sayer or Sayre was someone who was a Le Sire:
someone who worked and used patterns of Sayre cloth.

Eventually the two terms were interchangeable……..
like Smith…….

Many many families carried this last name………

England had a policy of refusing to import French or French related cloths:
and since they desperately needed them:
instead they imported Sayres…..or Le Syrs

One can find Le Syrs and various spellings as early as 1100AD in all parts of England……..including Colchester regions of the Richard Sayres fame………

They were so highly prized as tradesmen: they were imported to all regions of Britain and Scotland and Ireland and Wales.

Mary Queen of Scots imported a group of Flemish Sayres to Scotland: only to have her son James resettle them in Bedfordshire.

Bedfordshire was also the place where in the 1400s a group of Flemish weavers sought and applied for the right to settle…….and was granted: as in the Sears of Bedfordshire known in early New England.

We also have the Syers of Sussex:
who were also Flemish……..

Thus Sayer and Sears and any other British spelling
are not one genetic family
but many:
anyone who plied this trade.

Some indeed did become wealthy from the actual import and export of the cloth Sayre
most did not

Certainly the cloth workers: disenchanted with the Catholic and Anglican relgion that were the backbone of Puritanism……..driving themselves and others of like persuasion to North America………

The Flemish cloth weavers of Britain had floated its economy for a very long time with little reward in general.

As to Norman or French origins from Serez or any other Normandy town:
thats inconsistent with the facts……

The only version of the name in Normandy was Le Sueur…..and most became Huguenots: and some did migrate to London England Threadneedle district…….

certainly not during the times of the Norman invasion……

Sayre is a simple Flemish word for cloth and clothweaver:
there is no magical French noble version…….

There are thousands of persons today named Le Sire and Le Sueur and Sayre and Sirre still living in this north eastern part of France and Flanders ,,,,,,,

and they are very clear on their origins……
Most even carry Germanic or Jewish DNA profiles….
with a few Swiss ones with typical Celt profiles….

Only the Irish versions are slightly different in origin:
every original Seers in Ireland belongs to the
Seer O Sullivan clan.
and indeed it did mean builder:
but related to stone masonry

All other versions came over to Ireland from Britain and Flanders at later periods and are not indigenous to Ireland.

It was primarily in America where the name and similar sounding ones all seemed to become Sears……even Scearce became Sears: which is unrelated in meaning and origin.

Hope this helps demystify what is really a very simple last name…….

Thanks V. Suzanne.

After reading this, I figured other than trying to trace back a few generations of Sears from direct descendants birth and marriage certificates, and cemetary headstones, it will be a tough task trying to tie them together without DNA evidence.

Perhaps the friends and relatives of my great great ancestors were more interesting anyway….

Next up, the Powell family, my Great Uncle (in-law).