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

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

The ancestors of the Kentwell surname lived among the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. The name comes from when they lived in Kentwell, in the county of Suffolk. Kentwell dates back to the Domesday Book where it was listed as Kanewella, part of the lands held by Frodo, the Abbot's Brother. "Aelfgar held Kentwell freely under Siward of Maldon as a manor with 2 carucates of land with Soke. There were thereon at that time 7 villans, and afterwards, and now 4 villans." [1] Today, Kentwell Hall is a stately home in Long Melford, Suffolk and is used for numerous film and television productions, However, it does date back to presumably the manor mentioned in the Domesday Book but in a very different form. Kentwell Hall was owned later by Galleus from 1145 to 1148. In the early 13th century, records show that Sir Gilbert de Kentewell held the manor, but by 1252 had been granted by King Henry III to Sir William de Valence.

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Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Kentwell include Cantwall, Cantwell, Cantwel, Kantwell, Kentwell and many more.

First found in Suffolk where the earliest records were in the year 1273 when Gilbert de Kentwelle was listed in the Hundred Rolls. This is presumed to be the senior line of the family name but they held a family seat there from a very early date, probably the 10th century.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kentwell research. Another 57 words(4 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1500, 1406, 1452 and 1319 are included under the topic Early Kentwell History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Some of the Kentwell family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 359 words(26 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants: John Cantwell settled in Virginia in 1623; Mary Cantwell settled in Pennsylvania in 1685; Edward, Joseph, Leonard, Mathias, Michael, and Patrick all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1870..

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  • W.H. Kentwell, Australian President of the Mosman Rugby Club in 1923, eponym of the Kentwell Cup


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  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)

Other References

  1. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  2. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  3. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  4. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  5. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  6. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. 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).
  8. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  9. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  10. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  11. ...

The Kentwell Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Kentwell 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 29 August 2013 at 11:03.

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