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The Welsh surname Powell comes from the personal name Hoel or Howell, which were both derived from the Old Welsh name Houel. The surname Powell features the distinctive Welsh patronymic prefix "ap-". The original form of the name was ap-Hoel or ap-Howell, but the prefixes have been assimilated into the surname over the course of time.

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The surname Powell was first found in Breconshire (Welsh: Sir Frycheiniog), a traditional county in southern Wales, which takes its name from the Welsh kingdom of Brycheiniog (5th-10th centuries), where the name "are descended from Philip ap Howell, whose pedigree is traced to Edwin ap Grono, Lord of Tegaingl, founder of the XIII noble tribe of North Wales and Powys." [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
However other records claim the name came from the Welsh King Hywel Dda"the Good" ap Cadell (c.880- c.950), son of Cadell ap Rhodri, in turn a son of Rhodri the Great.

Although there are not an extremely large number Welsh surnames, there are an inordinately large number of spelling variations of those surnames. This variety of spellings began almost immediately after the acceptance of surnames within Welsh society. As time progressed, these old Brythonic names were eventually were recorded in English. This process was problematic in that many of the highly inflected sounds of the native language of Wales could not be properly captured in English. Some families, however, did decide to modify their own names to indicate a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even a patriotic affiliation. The name Powell has seen various spelling variations: Powell, Powel and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Powell research. Another 399 words (28 lines of text) covering the years 1600, 1798, 1673, 1750, 1795, 1608, 1660, 1624, 1680, 1660, 1637, 1630, 1692, 1689, 1628, 1678, 1660, 1678, 1632, 1696, 1688, 1803, 1834, 1641, 1721 and 1653 are included under the topic Early Powell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Prominent amongst the family during the late Middle Ages was Thomas Powell (c.1608-1660), a Welsh cleric and writer from Cantref, Breconshire; Sir William Powell, 1st Baronet ( c. 1624-1680), born William Hinson, an English politician who sat in the House of Commons in 1660; William Powell (d. 1637), was an esquire of...

Another 142 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Powell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Some of the Powell family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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The Welsh migration to North America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries contributed greatly to its rapid development. These migrants were in search of land, work, and freedom. Those Welsh families that survived the long ocean journey were critical to the development of new industries and factories, and to the quick settlement of land. They also added to an ever-growing rich cultural heritage. A search of the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name Powell:

Powell Settlers in United States in the 16th Century

  • Edward Powell, who came to Virginia in 1587

Powell Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • John Powell arrived in Virginia in 1607
  • John Powell, who arrived in Jamestown, Va in 1607
  • Thomas Powell, who came to Virginia in 1618
  • Gody Powell on record in Virginia in 1623
  • Catherine Powell on record in Virginia in 1623
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Powell Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Edward Powell, who landed in Virginia in 1701
  • Francis Powell, who landed in Virginia in 1701
  • Jean Powell, who landed in Virginia in 1714
  • Anthony Powell, who arrived in America in 1760-1763

Powell Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • David N Powell, aged 20, arrived in New York in 1812
  • Evan Powell, aged 21, arrived in Delaware in 1812
  • Isaac Powell, who arrived in New York in 1824
  • Howell Powell, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1844
  • Elias Powell, who arrived in West Virginia in 1863
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Powell Settlers in Canada in the 17th Century

  • Nicholas Powell, settled in Carbonear in 1641

Powell Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Mr. William Powell U.E. who arrived at Port Roseway, [Shelbourne], Nova Scotia on October 26, 1783 was passenger number 205 aboard the ship "HMS Clinton", picked up on September 28, 1783 at Staten Island, New York, USA
  • Mr. Lewis Powell U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784
  • Mr. Abrahm Powell U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784
  • Mr. Caleb Powell U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784
  • Capt. John Powell U.E. who settled in Home District [York County], Ontario c. 1785 he served in the Indian Department, married with 3 children
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Powell Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Robin Powell, in Tickle Cove, Newfoundland in 1825
  • Ephraim Powell, who landed in Canada in 1841

Powell Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Thomas Powell, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Arab" on July 3, 1822, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Austraila
  • Thomas Powell, English convict from Worcester, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on July 29th, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
  • John Powell, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on October 22nd, 1824, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • Thomas Powell, English convict from Shropshire, who was transported aboard the "Arab" on February 22, 1834, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Austraila
  • Charles Powell a gardener, arrived in Kangaroo Island aboard the ship "Duke of York" in 1836
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Powell Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • John Powell, aged 32, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "London" in 1842
  • Benjamin Powell, aged 38, a farmer, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Mary Ann" in 1842
  • Elizabeth Powell, aged 38, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Mary Ann" in 1842
  • Griffith Powell, aged 13, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Mary Ann" in 1842
  • Catherine Powell, aged 8, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Mary Ann" in 1842
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  • William Stevens Powell (1919-2015), American historian, writer and academic
  • Ozie Powell (b. 1913), African American teenage hobo, one of the Scottsboro Boys, accused of rape aboard a train, convicted and finally receiving a full posthumous pardon on November 21, 2013
  • Earl Rudolph "Bud" Powell (1924-1966), American jazz pianist
  • John Wesley Powell (1834-1902), American soldier, geologist, professor and explorer of the American West, best known for his 1869 Powell Geographic Expedition which did the first known passage through the Grand Canyon
  • Colin Luther Powell (b. 1937), United States Army soldier and general, U.S. Secretary of State (2001-2004) and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • William Horatio Powell (1892-1984), American actor nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor three times
  • Herbert Butler Powell (1903-1998), American diplomat and general, US ambassador to New Zealand (1963-1967)
  • Sumner Chilton Powell (b. 1924), American historian, who won the Pulitzer Prize for history in 1964
  • Lewis Franklin Powell Jr. (1907-1998), American jurist who served as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1971-1987)
  • Jaime Eduardo Powell (1953-2016), Argentine paleontologist
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Powell Historic Events



Empress of Ireland

  • Mr. Leonard Amos Goerge Powell, British Assistant Boots from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking on May 29th 1914

Halifax Explosion

  • Miss Hilda May  Powell (1917-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who survived the Halifax Explosion on 6th December 1917 but later died due to injuries
  • Mr. Richard E.  Powell (1877-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion on 6th December 1917

HMAS Sydney II

  • Mr. Lyal Llewellyn Powell (1918-1941), Australian Able Seaman from Newtown, New South Wales, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II on the 19th November 1941 and died during the sinking

HMS Prince of Wales

  • Mr. Powell, British Stoker, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking

HMS Repulse

  • Mr. John Powell, British Marine, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking and was evacuated

RMS Lusitania

  • Mr. George A. Powell, Canadian 1st Class Passenger from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking
  • Mr. Edward Powell, English Trimmer from Liverpool, England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking
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  • James Ball and Calvin Powell Connections by Grace Powell Harms.
  • Jerry Basham and Ellen Higgs by Omegene Powers Powell.
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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: Edrych i fynw
Motto Translation: Looking Up.

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Citations



  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.

Other References

  1. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  2. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  3. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  5. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  6. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  7. Rowlands, John, John Rowlands and Sheila Rowlands. Welsh Family History: A Guide to Research. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1999. Print. (ISBN 080631620).
  8. Morgan, T. J. Morgan and Prys Morgan. Welsh Surnames. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1985. Print.
  9. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  11. ...

The Powell Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Powell 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 July 2016 at 17:17.

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