Bishell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Anglo-Saxon name Bishell comes from when the family resided in Yorkshire, in the parish of Bossall. While the surname is largely considered local, there are other possible origins of this name. It may be of patronymic origin, based on the first name of the father and would have derived as "the son of Bussell."

The name may also be of occupational origin and in this latter case it was originally derived from the Old English word busshel and would probably have been used to describe one who made bushel-baskets.

Early Origins of the Bishell family

The surname Bishell was first found in the North Riding or Yorkshire as Bossall, a parish, partly in the wapentake of Birdforth, but chiefly in that of Bulmer. [1] The parish dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086 where it was first listed as Bosciale [2] and probably meant "nook of land of a man called Bot or Botsige," from the Old English personal name + "halh." [3]

The parish of Hutton-Buscel (also in the North Riding of Yorkshire) is of particular significance to the family. "This parish derives its name from having been anciently the 'High town of the Buscel or Bushel family.' " [1]

Over in Leyland, Lancashire, another branch of the family was found in ancient times. "Warin Bussel, one of the barons under Roger de Poictou, in the reign of William I., held, among his ample demesnes, the parish of Leyland: at a very early period." [1]

Another early record was found in Birkdale, Lancashire. The manor of Birkdale was originally held by Wibert in 1066. Warin Bussel (presumably the same as the aforementioned) held a portion of Penwortham before 1100. However, there mention of Bussel handing the property down to his heirs as the manor was passed to the Halsall family. [4]

Early History of the Bishell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bishell research. Another 195 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1140, 1200, 1140, 1594, 1674, 1594, 1609, 1651, 1643, 1651, 1670, 1701, 1621, 1684, 1701, 1609 and 1667 are included under the topic Early Bishell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bishell Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore, spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Bishell has been recorded under many different variations, including Bushell, Bussel, Bushle, Bushel, Bussell, Buchell, Buchel, Boushell, Boushel, Bousel and many more.

Early Notables of the Bishell family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Thomas Bushell (1594-1674), English speculator and farmer of the Royal mines, born about 1594, and was a younger son of a family of that name living at Cleve Prior in Worcestershire. "At the age of fifteen he entered the service of the great Sir Francis Bacon, and afterwards acted as his master's seal-bearer. When Bacon became lord chancellor, Bushell accompanied him to court, and attracted the notice of James I by the gorgeousness of his attire. On the occasion of Bacon's disgrace Bushell thought it prudent to retire to the Isle of Wight, where he...
Another 177 words (13 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bishell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Bishell migration to the United States +

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Bishell or a variant listed above:

Bishell Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Fra Bishell, who arrived in Virginia in 1651 [5]
Bishell Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Frank Ernest Bishell, aged 35, who landed in America from London, England, in 1910
  • Kate Bishell, aged 34, who settled in America from Hornsey, England, in 1911
  • Thomas Amund Bishell, aged 2, who landed in America from Hornsey, England, in 1911
  • Beatrice Ann Bishell, aged 6, who immigrated to the United States from Hornsey, England, in 1911
  • Wilhelm Bishell, aged 27, who immigrated to the United States, in 1918


The Bishell 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: Dum spiro spero
Motto Translation: While I have breath I hope.


  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  4. ^ 'Townships: Scarisbrick', in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3, ed. William Farrer and J Brownbill (London, 1907), pp. 265-276. British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/lancs/vol3/pp265-276 [accessed 21 January 2017].
  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)


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