Cecill History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

The name Cecill arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Cecill family lived in Devon. The name refers to the family's former place of residence, St Cecile, a Norman area of Flanders. [1]

Cecilia or Cecily (1469-1507), was "the third daughter of Edward IV, was born towards the end of 1469. At the age of five she was betrothed by proxy to James, the eldest son of James III of Scotland, and arrangements were soon made by which her dowry of twenty thousand marks should be paid by yearly installments. " [2]

Early Origins of the Cecill family

The surname Cecill was first found in Devon where they are "probably a branch of the Counts of Gand, whose arms (barry) it bears, with escutcheons charged with the lion rampant of Flanders. The arms are still borne in Flanders by a family of the same name." [1] Maurice de Cassel was probably one of the first to be listed in England during the reign of William I. His son, Robert de Kessel or Ciselle, assisted Robert Fitz-Hamon in the conquest of Glamorganshire in 1093. [1]

Another reference claims "the family, doubtless of Norman origin, can be traced to Robert Sitsilt, who in 1091 assisted Robert Fitz-Hamon in the conquest of Glamorganshire." [3] Conflicting data is quite common with early records such as these. Continuing on: "from his descendant [Robert Kessel or Robert Sitsilt] Walter de Alterens, living 1165, descended the noble house of Cecil." [1]

Further to the north, in St. Martin's in Northamptonshire a later branch of the family was found. "The church [of St. Martin's] is a handsome structure in the later English style, erected by a bishop of Lincoln in the fifteenth century, and contains monuments to several members of the Cecil family, including one to Lord Treasurer Burghley, whose ancient mansion in the immediate neighbourhood, Burghley House." [4]

Important Dates for the Cecill family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cecill research. Another 115 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1379, 1520, 1598, 1550, 1553, 1558, 1572, 1572, 1563, 1612, 1591, 1668, 1605, 1612, 1657, 1640, 1653, 1648, 1683, 1660, 1668, 1666, 1694, 1670, 1716, 1701, 1674, 1721, 1712 and 1715 are included under the topic Early Cecill History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cecill Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Cecil, Cecill, Cecyll, Cyssel, Cessell, Sitsilt, Sicelt, Seycil and many more.

Early Notables of the Cecill family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley, KG (1520-1598), an English statesman, the chief advisor of Queen Elizabeth I for most of her reign, twice Secretary of State (1550-1553) and (1558-1572) and Lord High Treasurer from 1572 until his death; Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury, KG, PC (ca. 1563-1612), an English administrator and politician; William Cecil, 2nd Earl of Salisbury, KG (1591-1668), known as Viscount Cranborne from 1605 to...
Another 76 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cecill Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cecill migration to the United States

Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Cecill name or one of its variants:

Cecill Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Cecill who settled in Barbados in 1663
  • Algerwell Cecill, who arrived in Virginia in 1666 [5]
  • William Cecill, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1682 [5]
  • William Cecill, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1682

Contemporary Notables of the name Cecill (post 1700)

  • Brigadier Cecill Bell Russell (b. 1886), Canadian District Officer Commanding 12th Military District [6]

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Citations

  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  3. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  4. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  5. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  6. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2011, October 3) Cecill Russell. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Russell/Cecill_Bell/Canada.html
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