Gravel History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

Gravel is an ancient Norman name that arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Gravel family lived in the place named Grenneville in the barony of St. Denis de Gaste, Normandy. The family name Gravel was brought to England after the Norman Conquest, when William the Conqueror gave his friends and relatives most of the land formerly owned by Anglo-Saxon aristocrats. The Normans frequently used the name of their estate in Normandy as part of their name. The surname Gravel was established by Norman landholders in the county of Buckinghamshire.

Early Origins of the Gravel family

The surname Gravel was first found in Buckinghamshire where they held a family seat soon after the Norman Conquest. They are believed to be from Grenneville in the barony of St. Denis de Gaste in the Cotentin in Normandy. Accompanying the Conqueror at Hastings in 1066 the family, father William and son Robert, became under-tenants of the Giffards in Buckinghamshire. Richard, son of Robert, married Isabel, daughter and heiress of Gautier Giffard, Earl of Buckingham, thus inheriting the title which would later become the Duke of Buckingham. Although the Harleian Society claims there is no relationship to the west country Grevilles in Gloucester, a branch which emerged about 1250, we find this most unlikely. The similarity of the Coat of Arms of each of these families is more than conclusive evidence that the Grevilles of Gloucester were directly related to the Grenvilles of Buckinghamshire, although it must be admitted there was a noble family of Lagravol or Greville in Montfaucon-du-Velay in Forez also emerging in the 13th century.

Important Dates for the Gravel family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gravel research. Another 156 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1250, 1267, 1607, 1643, 1628, 1658, 1643, 1658, 1677, 1720, 1699, 1701, 1701 and 1705 are included under the topic Early Gravel History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gravel Spelling Variations

Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Greville, Grevill, Graville, Gravill, Gravell, Gravelle, Gravel, Grevil, Grevile, Gravile and many more.

Early Notables of the Gravel family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir Edward Greville of Milcote; Robert Greville, 2nd Baron Brooke (1607-1643), an English Civil War Roundhead General, the cousin and adopted son of Fulke Greville, 1st Baron Brooke, owner of Warwick Castle, Parliament for Warwickshire (1628), reportedly shot by a...
Another 48 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gravel Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gravel migration to the United States

To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Gravel or a variant listed above:

Gravel Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Gravel, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1828 [1]
  • Franz W Gravel, aged 37, who landed in Baltimore, Maryland in 1839 [1]

Gravel migration to Canada

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Gravel Settlers in Canada in the 17th Century
  • Joseph-Massé Gravel who arrived in Quebec from Brittany in 1641
  • Massé-Joseph Gravel, son of Joseph and Marguerite, married Marguerite Tavernier, daughter of Éloi and Margeurite, in Notre-Dame-des-Anges, Quebec on 1st May 1644 [2]
  • Pierre Gravel, son of Massé-Joseph and Marguerite, married Madeleine Cloutier, daughter of Zacharie and Madeleine-Barbe, in Château-Richer, Quebec on 4th February 1676 [2]
  • Jean Gravel, son of Massé-Joseph and Marguerite, married Marie Cloutier, daughter of Zacharie and Madeleine-Barbe, in Château-Richer, Quebec on 26th April 1684 [2]
  • Claude Gravel, son of Massé-Joseph and Marguerite, married Jeanne Cloutier, daughter of Charles and Louise, in Château-Richer, Quebec on 4th February 1687 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Gravel Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Augustin Gravel, son of Pierre and Madeleine, married Élisabeth Caron, daughter of Pierre and Marie, in Cap-Saint-Ignace, Quebec on 7th January 1702 [2]
  • Joseph Gravel, son of Joseph and Marie, married Barbe Gagnon, daughter of Noel and Geneviève, in Château-Richer, Quebec on 4th November 1715 [2]
  • Athanase Gravel, son of Charles and Françoise, married Marie-Anne Doyon, daughter of Antoine and Françoise, in Château-Richer, Quebec on 15th November 1717 [2]
  • Pierre-Paul Gravel, son of Claud and Jeanne, married Marguerite Prieur, daughter of Joseph and Hélène, in Château-Richer, Quebec on 18th January 1721 [2]
  • Charles Gravel, son of Charles and Françoise, married Thérèse Michel, daughter of Olivier and Madeleine, in Château-Richer, Quebec on 22nd September 1723 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Gravel (post 1700)

  • Camille Francis Gravel Jr. (1915-2005), American lawyer and politician from Louisiana, adviser to Governors Earl Kemp Long, John McKeithen, and Edwin Washington Edwards
  • Maurice Robert "Mike" Gravel (b. 1930), American former politician, United States Senator from Alaska (1969-1981), 3rd Speaker of the Alaska House of Representatives (1965-1967)
  • Maurice Robert Gravel (b. 1930), American Democrat politician, Member of Alaska State House of Representatives, 1963-66; Speaker of the Alaska State House of Representatives, 1965-66 [3]
  • Leonard J. Gravel, American politician, Candidate for Presidential Elector for Vermont, 1948 [3]
  • Camille Francis Gravel Jr. (1915-2005), American Democrat politician, Member of Democratic National Committee from Louisiana, 1954; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Louisiana, 1956 [3]
  • Louis-Pierre Gravel (1868-1926), French Canadian missionary and who founded the town of Gravelbourg, Saskatchewan
  • Evens Gravel (b. 1970), French Canadian fencer at the 1992 and 1996 Summer Olympics
  • Elphège Gravel (1838-1904), French Canadian Roman Catholic priest, 1st Bishop of Nicolet, Québec (1885-1904)
  • Michel Gravel (b. 1939), French Canadian former politician, Member of the Canadian Parliament for Gamelin (1984-1988)
  • John Gravel (b. 1941), Canadian former WHA ice hockey defenceman
  • ... (Another 2 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

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Citations

  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Internoscia, Arthur E., and Claire Chevrier. Dictionnaire National des Canadiens Français 1608-1760. Vol. 1, Institut Drouin, 1958.
  3. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 1) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
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