The Name

      Like a great many other modern North American surnames, that of Shryock has not survived the years unchanged. It has undergone changes in pronunciation between family groups in different regions of the country, as well as significant changes in spelling. Since the Shryock name does not bear an obvious tie or similarity to any specific national or cultural origin it is easy to understand why so many people know so little about it.

      Although there is a great deal of disagreement with regards to the origin of the Shryock name, there is little doubt that the name has very strong German ties, and probably originated in that region of Western Europe. The men that brought what was to become the Shryock family to the North American continent were from northern Prussia (now Germany). This Prussian line, although it has not been fully established, dates back to at least the middle 1500's. There is a written record of a Cristan Schrejackh in 1561 in the village of Stockach in Germany. Since this earliest known reference to a Shryock ancestor, the name took many variations in Prussia. The following list shows many of these .....

Von Schrieck
Van Schrieck
Van der Schreick
Schreiogg, a

      The name literally means "a loud, noisy man". In the Schwabish dialect, the first syllable of the Prussian root name "Schrei" is the name of the jay (a bird) because of its harsh cry. The second syllable is probably a nickname for Jacobus, which would make it Jake or Jack b. When the family made its first appearance in North America in 1733, the 3 brothers that emigrated from Prussia signed their last names as Schreyack. The name was eventually changed to Shryock by Christian, the son of one of the three brothers who immigrated to this country. Although it is not known for certain, it is generally believed that Christian’s last name was misspelled on a deed and, rather than change the deed he changed the spelling of his name.

      The descendants of the 3 brothers have seen even further changes in the spelling and pronunciation of the name. Some of the more common spellings and pronunciations are listed below .....

Spelling            Pronunciation
Shryock            Sher ak' (1)
           Shri' ak (1)
           Shri' ock (2)
Shryhock            Shri' hok (1)
Shryack            Shri' ak (3)
Shriock            Shri' ak (1)
           (1) a as in father
           (2) o as in clock
           (3) a as in at

This page was last updated: June 17, 2020
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