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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: English, French

Where did the English Basil family come from? What is the English Basil family crest and coat of arms? When did the Basil family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Basil family history?

It was among those Anglo-Saxon tribes that once ruled over Britain that the name Basil was formed. The name was derived from Basile, which means royal. There is some disagreement about this name's origin. While the Anglo-Saxon reference is strong, there is strong evidence that the name could have been derived from the name Bezilles, from Biszeilles in Flanders. In this case, the name could have landed in England and settled in Berkshire where the local Besselsleigh was their ancient homestead.

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Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Basil include Basile, Bassil, Basil, Basill, Bassal, Basall, Basilie, Basille, Bazill, Bazil and many more.

First found in Yorkshire, where they held a family seat from ancient times.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Basil research. Another 406 words(29 lines of text) covering the years 1219, 1251, 1273, 1500, 1674, and 1675 are included under the topic Early Basil History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Basil Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Basil were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records:

Basil Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • John Basil, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1840
  • Winnefred Basil who arrived in Boston in 1849

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  1. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  2. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  3. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  4. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  6. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  7. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  8. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  9. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  10. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  11. ...

The Basil Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Basil Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 27 October 2010 at 13:17.

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