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SQUIRE Family History

This very interesting surname is of Norman-French origins. It was introduced into England after the Conquest of 1066 as a "status name". At first it signifed a young man of good birth, who was attendant on a knight, being his shield-bearer. The derivation is from the Old French "escuier", in Middle English this became "squyer", both ultimately from the Roman (Latin) "scutum", meaning a shield. By the 14th Century the name had become anglicized to Squire or Squeer, and the northern forms of Swire, Swier, and Swyer, with the patronymic 'son of' being denoted by a single suffix of 's'. By the 17th Century the word and hence the name had become a term for the local lord of the manor, or any member of the landed gentry...

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