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

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

Southwell is a name whose history is connected to the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the Southwell family once lived in the parish of Southwell found in the county of Nottingham.


Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Southwell family name include Southwell, Sothwell and others.

First found in Nottinghamshire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, as Lords of the manor of Southwell, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Southwell research. Another 135 words(10 lines of text) covering the years 1561, 1595, 1504, 1564, 1694, 1678, 1682, 1689, 1912, 1635, 1702, 1690, 1688, 1667, 1729, 1671, 1730, 1665, 1720, 1695, 1713, 1698, 1766, 1717 and 1720 are included under the topic Early Southwell History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 139 words(10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Southwell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Southwell family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 235 words(17 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, Canada, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Southwell surname or a spelling variation of the name include:

Southwell Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Susannah Southwell who settled in Maryland in 1775

Southwell Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • John Southwell, who landed in New York in 1852
  • George and Thomas Southwell arrived in Pennsylvania in 1855
  • John T Southwell, who arrived in Mississippi in 1859
  • Joseph Southwell, who landed in Arkansas in 1882


  • Sir Richard Southwell (1503-1564), English Privy Councillor
  • Robert Southwell (1561-1595), English Jesuit priest and poet
  • Edward Southwell (1705-1755), Irish politician from King's Weston, Gloucestershire
  • Hugo Finlay Grant Southwell (b. 1980), Scottish rugby union footballer
  • Ven. Roy Southwell, Archdeacon of Hendon
  • Ordinary Seaman Bennett Southwell GC (1913-1940), British seaman awarded a posthumous George Cross
  • Sir Richard Vynne Southwell MA, LLD, FRS (1888-1970), British mathematician who specialized in applied mechanics
  • Edward Southwell (1738-1777), 20th Baron de Clifford, British politician
  • Thomas Southwell (1721-1780), 1st Viscount Southwell, Irish MP for Enniscorthy and Limerick County 17611766
  • Thomas Southwell (1742-1796), 2nd Viscount Southwell, Irish MP for Limerick County 17671780



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: Nec male notus eques
Motto Translation: A knight not badly known.


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  1. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  2. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  3. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  4. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  5. 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.
  6. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  7. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  8. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  9. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  10. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The Southwell Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Southwell 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 3 July 2014 at 20:52.

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