6. 16th, 17th, 18th Centuries

Many of the sources available for charting surname distribution through the centuries are necessarily confined to the wealthier sectors of the population: in general, nobody wanted to know the names of the poor but the names of those with money or land were naturally of interest to the authorities.

However, one source that covers the whole of the social spectrum is provided by English parish registers, the earliest of which began in 1538 following a mandate that all parish priests should keep a weekly record of all baptisms, marriages and burials that took place in their parish. A survey of a cross section of parish registers for the years 1601 and 1602 was carried out in 1910 by F K and S Hitching; incidences of a particular surname are noted by parish and county, although with no indication of numbers of references.

These volumes were consulted but nothing was found for the name Sholicar or similar.

A useful guide to the distribution of surnames for the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in England is provided by the indexes to wills proved, and administrations granted, at the Prerogative Court of (the Archbishop of) Canterbury, in London, which had superior jurisdiction over local ecclesiastical courts where wills were proved until 1858. The PCC thus provides a national index, although it is not a completely representative one, as testators whose wills were proved in the PCC were mostly among the wealthier members of society, and a disproportionate number of them were from London or Middlesex.

A search of the printed indexes for the years 1558 to 1583; 1584 to 1604; 1605 to 1619; 1620 to 1629; 1653 to 1656; 1657 to 1660; 1661 to 1670; 1671 to 1675; 1676 to 1685; 1686 to 1693; 1694 to 1700; 1701 to 1749; and 1750 to 1800 found the following entries for possible variants of Sholicar:

1590 – Anthonye Shallocke, yeoman Fishtofte, Lincoln

1599 – Thomas Sherlocke, citizen and baker of London, St Dunstan in the East

1654 – Mary Shurlocke, Whissinne, property in Fillsto, Suffolk

1672 – Simon Shurlocke, St Peter in Ruthin, Denbighshire

1710 – Elizabeth Sherlocke, Pts

1718 – Ann Sharlicar, Middlesex

The PCC was the usual court used for testators who died abroad and there is one example of that happening in this list:

Elizabeth Shallocke died in partibus transmarinus, which is indicated in the probate indexes as Pts.

A reference was found to a Shallocke in the north of England in Lincolnshire, in the west, in Denbighshire and in the east in Suffolk as Shurlocke and as Sharlicar in London; all four examples seem to be variants of Sholicar but Shurlocke could be a variant of Sherlock.

If they are all variants of Sholicar, these very few examples prove how far the name had spread throughout England and Wales, appearing in Suffolk and Wales, by the seventeenth century and as far south as Middlesex by the eighteenth.

Thomas Sherlocke and Elizabeth Sherlocke may not be relevant to this list, as their name might have been a variant of Sherlock, but they are included on the basis of a possible clerical error.

For the nineteenth century, H B Guppy’s survey has been mentioned above. Another important Victorian source is the Return of Owners of Land of 1873, sometimes known as the Modern Domesday Book. This source lists, county by county, every owner of an acre of land or more, with their residence (not necessarily the address of their property) and the acreage of their holding.

No entries for the name Sholicar or similar were found in any county.

In such cases where there are so few entries for a surname, Debretts usually turn to the International Genealogical Index (IGI), which is an index to baptisms and marriages compiled by the Church of Latter-day Saints, more commonly known as the Mormon Church. The index, based mainly on parish registers, is arranged alphabetically by county; and while it is neither complete nor wholly accurate it is a useful guide to the original sources.

The International Genealogical Index (Extracts):

14 Sep 1695 – James son of Laurence Shirlacker
Formby, Lancs

29 Sep 1700 – Thomas son of Laurence Shorlickers
Formby, Lancs

30 Aug 1703 – John son of Laurence Shorlickers
Formby, Lancs

12 Feb 1706 – Robert son of Laurence Shirlacker
Formby, Lancs

2 Oct 1713 – Edward son of Laurence Shirlacker
Formby, Lancs

12 Jan 1717 – Mary dau of Laurence Shirlacker
Formby, Lancs

25 May 1731 – Robert Shirlacker married Easter Moorcroft
Formby, Lancs

11 Nov 1733 – Jennet dau of Robert and Easter Shirlacker
Formby, Lancs

12 Feb 1738 – Jennet dau of Robert and Easter Shirlacker
North Meols, Lancs

7 Oct 1739 – Margaret dau of Robert and Easter Shirlacker
North Meols, Lancs

7 Mar 17423 – Mary dau of Robert and Easter Shirlacker
North Meols, Lancs

8 Nov 1747 – Jennet dau of Robert and Easter Shirlacker
North Meols, Lancs

14 Apr 1761 – Robert Aughton married Margaret Shirlacker
[at] North Meols, Lancs

22 Sep 1874 – Henry Howard married Hannah Sholicar
[at] Aughton by Ormskirk, Lancs

As shown, in the whole of the world index there is only one Sholicar reference and very few references to variants of this name. This one Sholicar entry proved to be the marriage of a direct ancestor of the author of this site – & was a Hannah Sholicar (1874).

As the ancestral family were known to have resided in Ormskirk for several generations, it was therefore not surprising to find that this marriage took place near to that parish. However, it was surprising that only one entry for the name world-wide was found.

The Shirlacker/Shirlackers entries all related to one family group, headed by Laurence Shirlacker. His son, Robert, was a travelling rabbit dealer and was mentioned in T K Glazebrook’s Guide to Southport (1826). Both he and Easter or Esther lived to a great age and their gravestone reads:

Here lieth Jennet
the Daughter of
Robert Sherlocker
She Died the 9 of July 1710

Here lieth the Body of
Easter Sherlocker who
departed this life the of
September 1786 Aged 99 years

Robert Sherlocker died
April 10th 1802 Aged 101

I lodged have in many in a town,
And travelled many a year;
But Age & Death have brought me down
To my last lodging here.

The compilers of the International Genealogical Index have also released the British Isles Vital Records Index on CD-ROM, which includes many entries taken from civil registration indexes, parishes registers, bishop’s transcripts and non-conformist records not previously available on the IGI. Consultation of this index found further entries for Sholicar etc as follows:

Vital Records Index, British Isles


1 Apr 1713 Jonathan Evard married Elizabeth Shorlicar
St Peter, Church Street, Liverpool, Lancashire

… Nov 1754 Laurence Sherlicar married Cicely Jump
Walton on the Hill, Lancashire

15 Feb 1774 James Hurst married Ellin Shirliker
Garstang, Lancashire

17 May 1819 John Lovelady married Jane Shorlicar
Formby, Lancashire

28 May 1821 John Wright married Mary Shorlicar

25 Sep 1821 James Westby married Jane Shorlicar
Ormskirk, Lancashire

1 Mar 1824 Richard Houghton married Mary Shorlicar
Ormskirk, Lancashire

18 Sep 1825 John Voce married Mary Sharlicar
Ormskirk, Lancashire

21 Nov 1832 John Peet married Ann Shorlicar
Ormskirk, Lancashire

25 Feb 1854 Richard Horsfield, widower, married Jane Sherleker
St Mary, Blackburn, Lancashire

21 Jun 1873 Henry Sherliker son of John Sherliker
married Mary Rose dau of John Fare [at] Penwortham, Lancashire


22 Jun 1606 Edward Sherlocker
St Nicholas, Liverpool, Lancashire

28 May 1708 Jane Shurliker daughter of John Shurliker, born 19 May
St Nicholas, Liverpool, Lancashire

20 Aug 1723 Jane Shurlicar daughter of James Shurlicar
St Nicholas, Liverpool, Lancashire

10 Jun 1726 Anne Shurlicker daughter of James Shurlicker
St Nicholas, Liverpool, Lancashire

1 Dec 1782 Peggy dau of Richard and Peggy Shorlicar
Standish, Lancashire

20 Nov 1785 Nanny dau of Richard and Margaret Shorlicar
Standish, Lancashire

25 Jul 1790 Thomas son of William and Helen Shorlicar
Formby, Lancashire

14 Apr 1793 Elizabeth dau of William and Ellen Shorlicar
Formby, Lancashire

6 Dec 1795 James son of William and Helen Shorlecar
Formby, Lancashire

8 Jul 1821 Rebecca dau of Richard and Mary Shorlicar
Ormskirk, Lancashire, born 6 May

2 Mar 1823 Rebecca dau of Richard and Mary Shorlicar
Ormskirk, Lancashire, born 13 February

22 Aug 1825 Alice dau of John and Catherine Shorlicar
Ormskirk, Lancashire, born 9 July

31 Aug 1825 Margaret dau of John and Catherine Shorlicar
Ormskirk, Lancashire, born 9 July

19 Sep 1828 Richard son of John and Catherine Shorlicar
Ormskirk, Lancashire

11 Nov 1828 Richard son of Henry and Ann Shorlicar
Ormskirk, Lancashire

23 Jan 1830 Maria dau of John and Catherine Shorlicar
Ormskirk, Lancashire

22 Mar 1831 Henry dau of Henry and Ann Shorlicar
Ormskirk, Lancashire

19 Apr 1832 Catherine dau of John and Catherine Shorlicar
Ormskirk, Lancashire

23 May 1834 Margaret dau of Elizabeth Shorliker
Ormskirk, Lancashire

11 Nov 1834 Helen dau of John and Catharine Shorliker
Ormskirk, Lancashire

18 Sep 1835 Robert son of Susannah Shorlicar
Ormskirk, Lancashire

All of the entries were for Lancashire and the majority were from Ormskirk.

The Ormskirk baptisms had, in the main, been attributed to the ancestral family, the other entries shown here, cannot be immediately identified. However, given their proximity to the area where the ancestral family had thus far been found, it was likely that these are parts of the genealogy of one family.

Are there any famous bearers of the Sholicar name or Printed Genealogies?

Unfortunately, reference to the Dictionary of National Biography for the British Isles, show that there are also no references to the Sholicar surname. No references were found for coats of arms listed in Burke’s General Armory granted to men of the name Sholicar etc, nor any reference to a printed genealogy for a family of this name or similar.