Posted By:v. suzanne sears
Subject:Sayres of Birch Essex c. 1300AD
Post Date:June 06, 2010 at 19:36:56
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Forum:Sayre Family Genealogy Forum
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We find William and John Sayer living in the town of Birch:

Between 1066 and 1086 AD there were listed about 28 freemen and unfree men.

By 1377 around 198 people lived there.

Count Eustache of Bolougne in 1086AD : post conquest: who held the main manors of Birch and Colchester until around 1400AD but was lived in by the Gernons and Peytons and Baynards.

Little Birch came into the possession of the De Vere family of Brittany until the 1800s

Early family names are:

Chemin: 1293 AD
Helyoun: 1275 AD
Robert de Winterford: 1276AD
Verley: 1276 AD
Tendring: 1325AD
Hugh de Montfort: 1086AD aka Birch family of later years
St. Quentin:1086AD
Holte: 1327AD
Tey: 1384AD
Boys: 1382AD
Costentyn: 1391Ad

On Great Birch manor:

by the 1300s the Sayres are mentioned as farming large amounts of land along with the Birches;( who are Montforts from France)

Colchester is about 5miles away and the roads today follow the same routes as in Roman times..........

It was around 1381AD that Birch residents shifted to Colchester due to the road to London.......and became merchants and trademen:

By the mid 1400s John Sayre is living in Colchester listed as a bailiff but also in the profession of being a Shearer.

One wonders if this is the start of the intermixing of the name Sayre and Sears.

It is worth remembering that Sayre is a Flemish name:
Bays and Says, tapestry and brocade.........referring to fabric and fact there was a guild called Bays and Says

Bays being an open weave wool
Say is a type of serge cross woven cloth mainly used as lining and for under garments and aprons.......

Say is from the Latin Sagum: basically referring to the coarse blanket of Roman soldiers

.....and the Dutch Flemings pretty much were controlling the entire trade in Colchester......

The Flemmings had been there since the 1100s AD.
Boidin the Flemming was reeve of Colchester in 1181AD
and in 1440 there were 38 men listed as Aliens:
meaning Flemmings

The trade between Colchester and Flanders in the 1100s and 1200s was very extensive and a natural flow of men occured.
All manner of goods were made there and were shipped all over the world.........

thus creating a fair pool of wealth for these merchants and tradesmen most of whom owned land as a result.

the Flemings started to arrive in Essex post conquest after their lands in Flanders flooded around 1107AD......although some fought alongside the Conqueror under Walter de Bec and received land in exchange.........about the time we see the first Sayre as a farmer in Birch

in 1407 the names
Sumpter...........were the wealthiest men in the town

St. Helens Guild: was the club to belong to:
attached to the local parish church
from the early 1481 there were 87 members of which John Bourchier was one.......

Colchester became a vibrant centre of commerce and moneylending: there had been a strong Jewish population from Flanders from the time of the conquest onwards that funded the growth of imports and exports.......

It would appear that the Sayres were part of the early 12th century migration from Flanders and propsered through land and trade............