Show ContentsBaskerville History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Baskerville came to England with the ancestors of the Baskerville family in the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Baskerville family lived in Herefordshire, although the name is derived from the area of the family's residence sometime prior to the 1066 invasion. The family was formerly from Boscherville in Eure, Normandy. 1

The name of this town comes from the Old Northern French elements bochet, which means copse or thicket, and ville, which means town.

However, another source has a slightly different place of origin, that of: "Nicholas de Basquevile, one of the six sons of Baudry-le Teuton, who derived his name from Basceville or Basqueville, in the Fays de Caux." 2

Early Origins of the Baskerville family

The surname Baskerville was first found in Herefordshire, where "the family of Baskerville is one of the most ancient and honourable in England, and from the time of it's Norman patriarch, has continued to hold the highest position amongst the great landed proprietors. It's earliest residence was the castle of Erdisley." 3

"Bacquevile or Baskerville is not written in Domesday; but Mr. A. S. Ellis suggests that the surname of Ralph, a sub-tenant of Roger de Laci, at Icombe, in Salemanesberie hundred, and Winrush, Gloucestershire, was probably De Baskerville. In 1109, Robert de Baskerville, on his return from the Holy Land, granted lands to Gloucester Abbey. Either he, or another of the same name, held five knight's fees in 1165 of Hugh de Laci in Herefordshire; and Radulph de Baskerville one fee under Adam de Port in the same county." 2

Of this line one of the earliest records of the name was Sir Richard Baskerville of Erdisley who represented the county of Hereford in parliament in 1295. His wife was daughter of Rees ap Griffith, Prince of South Wales. 3

Roger de Bascheruilla was listed in Gloucestershire in 1127. 4 Shropshire had the following early records: Roger de Bascrevill (reign of Henry III); and Nesta de Baskervill. The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed Hugh de Baskerville in Shropshire. 4

Some of the family have been well established at Winterbourne-Basset since early times. "Some property here formerly possessed by the Baskervilles has descended to Lord Holland. The church is a small ancient edifice with a neat tower, containing portions in the early and later English styles; it has a handsomely carved font, and in one of the aisles is a singularly elegant window: the chief monuments are of the family of Baskerville, who long resided here." 5

Baskerville Hall, formally Clyro Court and the legend of Squire Richard Cabell in Buckfastleigh, Devon is generally thought to have been the inspiration for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Hound of the Baskervilles.

Early History of the Baskerville family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Baskerville research. Another 126 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1295, 1314, 1315, 1572, 1574, 1592, 1597, 1615, 1630, 1640, 1641, 1668, 1720, 1922 and 1936 are included under the topic Early Baskerville History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Baskerville Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Baskerville are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Baskerville include Baskerville, Baskervile, Baskervill, Baskerfield, Baskervyle, Basquill and many more.

Early Notables of the Baskerville family

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was

  • Sir Richard Baskerville, Member of Parliament for Hereford in 1295; Sir John Baskerville of Combe who served in the retinue of Henry V. at the battle of Agincourt; Richard de Baskervill, High Sheriff...
  • Sir Simon Baskerville (1574-1641), was an English physician, "son of Thomas Baskervile or Baskerville, apothecary, and sometime one of the stewards of Exeter, who was descended from the ancient family...

Baskerville Ranking

In the United States, the name Baskerville is the 7,049th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. 6

Ireland Migration of the Baskerville family to Ireland

Some of the Baskerville 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.

United States Baskerville migration to the United States +

Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Baskerville, or a variant listed above:

Baskerville Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Richard Baskerville who settled in New England in 1634
  • Mary and Robert Baskerville who settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Robert Baskerville, aged 22, who landed in Virginia in 1635 7
  • Rota Baskerville, who arrived in Virginia in 1642 7
  • John Baskerville, who arrived in Virginia in 1662 7
Baskerville Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Thomas Baskerville, who landed in South Carolina in 1701 7
Baskerville Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William Baskerville, who arrived in New York, NY in 1836 7
  • Mary Ann Baskerville, who arrived in New York, NY in 1836 7

Australia Baskerville migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Baskerville Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Thomas Baskerville, (b. 1800), aged 21, English brick layer who was convicted in Reading, Berkshire, England for 7 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Claudine" on 20th May 1821, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) 8
  • Mr. George Baskerville, English convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Aurora" on 18th June 1835, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) 9
  • Mr. John Baskerville, British Convict who was convicted in Spilsby, Lincolnshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Eden" on 12th March 1842, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Island) 10
  • Mr. Thomas Baskerville, (b. 1865), aged 23, Cornish settler travelling aboard the ship "Quetta" arriving in Queensland, Australia on 28th May 1888 11

New Zealand Baskerville migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Baskerville Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Walter Baskerville, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Inchinnan" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 27th May 1852 12

Contemporary Notables of the name Baskerville (post 1700) +

  • John Baskerville (1706-1775), English type designer and printer famous for developing the "Baskerville" font
  • Jerry W. Baskerville (b. 1951), retired American NBA basketball player from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Charles Baskerville (1870-1922), American chemist who announced the discovery of two new elements which claimed to have separated from thorium
  • Howard Baskerville (1885-1909), American teacher in the Presbyterian mission school in Tabriz, Iran
  • Thomas Baskerville (1812-1840), English botanical writer
  • Stephen Baskerville, Professor of Political Science at Howard University in Washington, DC
  • Albert "Bert" Henry Baskerville (1882-1908), New Zealand rugby union forward, author of the book "Modern Rugby Football: New Zealand Methods; Points for the Beginner, the Player, the Spectator"
  • John David Baskerville (1857-1926), Canadian politician, member of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba from 1915 to 1920

Victoria steamboat disaster
  • John Baskerville, Canadian passenger who was killed in the Victoria steamboat disaster when the boat capsized in 1881

The Baskerville Motto +

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: Spero ut fidelis
Motto Translation: I hope as being faithful.

  1. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 1 of 3
  3. Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  4. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  6. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  7. 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)
  8. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th February 2021). Retrieved from
  9. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 20th August 2020). Retrieved from
  10. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 15th December 2021). Retrieved from
  11. Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retreived 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from
  12. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from on Facebook