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

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

The prestigious surname Boswell came to Britain with the Norman invasion of 1066. It is thought that the surname originated in Beauzeville, France, and that Elias de Boesevilla of this region was the first Norman settler to Britain. Many of these Norman families moved north, into Scotland in the period following the Norman Conquest of England.

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Spelling variations of this family name include: Boswell, Boswall, Boseville, Boswald, Bosswald, Bosville, Boeseille, Bosvile, Bovill, Bowelle and many more.

First found in Yorkshire, where Sir Ralph Boswell of Guntwaite, a descendant of Elias de Boesevilla, the first settler from Normandy, held lands. In the 12th century Sir Ralph lost his Yorkshire estates to the Earls of Warenne. The family moved north to Scotland at the invitation of David, Earl of Huntingdon, where they settled in Berwickshire at Edenham.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Boswell research. Another 302 words(22 lines of text) covering the years 1296 and 1740 are included under the topic Early Boswell History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 30 words(2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Boswell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Boswell family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 63 words(4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Boswell Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • John Boswell settled in Salem, Massachusetts in 1630
  • Jonathan Boswell, who arrived in Cambridge Massachusetts in 1632
  • Jo Boswell, aged 17, landed in St Christopher in 1635
  • Samuel Boswell settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Samuel Boswell, aged 23, arrived in Virginia in 1635


Boswell Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • David Boswell, who landed in Maryland in 1700
  • Richd Boswell, who landed in Virginia in 1703
  • John Boswell settled in Maryland in 1720
  • Letitia Boswell, who landed in America in 1740
  • Charles Boswell settled in New England in 1740


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  • James Griffin Boswell (1882-1952), American founder of the J. G. Boswell Company, the world's largest privately owned farm
  • Vet Boswell (1909-1988), American blues singer
  • David Wilson Boswell (1945-2012), American Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Robert Allen "Bobby" Boswell (b. 1983), American soccer player
  • John Eastburn Boswell (1947-1994), American historian and a professor at Yale University
  • Lewis Archer Boswell (1834-1909), American early aviation pioneer who some claim made the first powered heavier-than-air flight, before the Wright Brothers
  • James Boswell (1740-1795), 9th Laird of Auchinleck, Scottish lawyer, diarist, and author, his surname became a term as in when Sherlock Holmes says of Dr. Watson, "I am lost without my Boswell"
  • Timothy Eric Boswell (b. 1942), British member of Parliament for Daventry
  • Ronald Leslie Doyle "Ron" Boswell (b. 1940), Australian politician, member of the Australian Senate
  • Mark Boswell (b. 1977), Jamaican-born, Canadian high jumper

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  • The Boswells of Shelby County, Kentucky by Eula Richardson Hasskarl.
  • Descendants of Edward Boswell: Prince William County, Virginia and Orange County, North Carolina by Jean Boswell Pippenger.
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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Vraye Foi
Motto Translation: True faith.

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  1. Donaldson, Gordon and Robert S. Morpeth. Who's Who In Scotish History. Wales: Welsh Academic Press, 1996. Print. (ISBN 186057-0054).
  2. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and David Hicks. The Highland Clans The Dynastic Origins, Cheifs and Background of the Clans. New York: C.N. Potter, 1968. Print.
  3. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. The Charters of David I The Written Acts of David I King of Scots, 1124-53 and of His Son Henry, Earl of Northumerland, 1139-52. Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 1999. Print.
  5. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  6. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  7. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  8. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  9. Scarlett, James D. Tartan The Highland Textile. London: Shepheard-Walwyn, 1990. Print. (ISBN 0-85683-120-4).
  10. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Socts Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Modern Application of the Art of Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
  11. ...

The Boswell Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Boswell 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 2 April 2014 at 09:17.

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