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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

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.


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." [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. [2] Roger de Bascheruilla was listed in Gloucestershire in 1127. [3] 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. [3] 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." [4]

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.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Baskerville research. Another 251 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1922, 1936, 1295, 1314, 1315, 1572, 1597, 1592, 1615, 1640, 1597, 1668, 1630 and 1720 are included under the topic Early Baskerville History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 197 words (14 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Baskerville Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Baskerville family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 41 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


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, landed in Virginia in 1635
  • Rota Baskerville, who arrived in Virginia in 1642
  • John Baskerville, who arrived in Virginia in 1662

Baskerville Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Thomas Baskerville, who landed in South Carolina in 1701

Baskerville Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • William Baskerville, who arrived in New York, NY in 1836
  • Mary Ann Baskerville, who arrived in New York, NY in 1836


  • 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
  • John Baskerville (1706-1775), English type designer and printer famous for developing the "Baskerville" font
  • 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"
  • Stephen Baskerville, Professor of Political Science at Howard University in Washington, DC
  • John David Baskerville (1857-1926), Canadian politician, member of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba from 1915 to 1920


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.


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  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Other References

  1. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  2. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  3. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  4. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  5. 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).
  6. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  8. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  9. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  10. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  11. ...

The Baskerville Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Baskerville 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 4 May 2016 at 17:00.

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