Show ContentsBuswell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The prestigious surname Buswell came to Britain with the Norman invasion of 1066. It is thought that the surname originated in Beauzeville, France, and that Elias de Boesevilla of this region was the first Norman settler to Britain. Many of these Norman families moved north, into Scotland in the period following the Norman Conquest of England. [1]

Early Origins of the Buswell family

The surname Buswell was first found in Yorkshire, where Sir Ralph Boswell of Guntwaite, a descendant of Elias de Boesevilla, the first settler from Normandy, held lands. In the 12th century Sir Ralph lost his Yorkshire estates to the Earls of Warenne. "The family were in England in 1136, and probably from the period of the Conquest." [2]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 included: John de Bosevil, Yorkshire; and Henry de Bosevil, Northamptonshire while the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 included Agnes Bosseuill as holding lands there at that time. [3]

In Norfolk, record there show Robert de Bosewill, or Bosville, 1360; Walkcline de Bosevile, 1199; Isabell Boswel, 1464; and William Boswell, 1620. [4]

The family moved north to Scotland at the invitation of David, Earl of Huntingdon, where they settled in Berwickshire at Edenham. "The first of the name in Scotland was Robert de Boseuille, who witnessed several charters in the earlier part of the reign of William the Lion, and is said to have held land in Berwickshire. He was witness to a charter by Walter de Berkeley to the Abbey of Aberbrothoc c. 1170 and to the king's confirmation of same. Between 1178-80 he witnessed gift by William the Lion of a salina in Kars to the same abbey, and last appears c. 1204 when he witnessed grant of a toft in Forfar. Paganus de Bosseuilla before 1200 gave a bovate of land in Ede nlum to the Abbey of Kelso. Henry de Boysuill witnessed a charter by John, earl of Huntingdon to Norman, son of Malcolm c. 1225. Walter de Boseville was taken prisoner at Dunbar, 1296, and William de Boseville of Berwickshire and William de Boseville of Roxburghshire rendered homage, in same year. Noteworthy, too, is the fact that the names are alike spelled 'Boyville.' William de Boswill received payment of money for Sir Alexander de Seton, 1329, and Roger de Bosseuyll or Bosvyll was custumar and burgess of Edinburgh, 1368-9. Roger de Boswell married Marietta, daughter and co-heiress of Sir William Lochore of that Ilk, about middle of fourteenth century and was first of the family settled in Fife. " [5]

Early History of the Buswell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Buswell research. Another 63 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1513, 1572, 1606, 1633, 1649, 1698, 1700, 1706, 1720, 1727, 1729, 1730, 1740, 1742, 1746, 1748, 1750, 1752, 1754, 1756, 1763, 1766, 1775, 1778, 1780, 1782, 1795, 1797, 1799, 1801, 1803, 1804, 1806, 1822 and 1824 are included under the topic Early Buswell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Buswell Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Boswell, Boswall, Boseville, Boswald, Bosswald, Bosville, Boeseille, Bosvile, Bovill, Bowelle and many more.

Early Notables of the Buswell family

Notable among the family at this time was Macdonald Bosville of Sleat, Chief of the MacDonalds; and James Boswell (1740-1795), famous biographer of "The Life of Dr. Johnson," the great lexicographer. John Bossewell (fl. 1572), was an English "heraldic writer, was, according to his own statement, a northern man, and probably a member of the family of Bosvile, established for many generations in the neighbourhood of Doncaster. " [6] John Boswell (1698-1756), was an English author, descended...
Another 75 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Buswell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Buswell Ranking

In the United States, the name Buswell is the 17,850th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [7]

Ireland Migration of the Buswell family to Ireland

Some of the Buswell 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 Buswell migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Buswell Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Isaac Buswell, who landed in Salisbury Massachusetts in 1640 [8]
Buswell Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Mathew Buswell, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1830 [8]
  • William Buswell, who landed in Arkansas in 1859 [8]

Australia Buswell migration to Australia +

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

Buswell Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • John Buswell, English convict from Leicester, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 29, 1828, settling in New South Wales, Australia [9]
  • Mr. George Buswell, English convict who was convicted in Leicestershire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Egyptian" on 5th April 1839, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [10]

Contemporary Notables of the name Buswell (post 1700) +

  • James Oliver Buswell IV (1946-2021), American violinist, chamber musician, conductor and educator
  • Michelle Buswell (b. 1983), American model
  • Blair Buswell (b. 1958), American artist who specializes in sports sculptures
  • James Oliver Buswell Jr. (1895-1977), American Presbyterian fundamentalist educator and institution builder
  • Charles Albert Buswell (1913-2008), American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church
  • Oliver B. Buswell, American politician, Member of New Hampshire State Senate 10th District, 1854-55 [11]
  • J. Oliver Buswell Jr., American politician, Prohibition Candidate for Illinois Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1938 [11]
  • Caleb Buswell, American politician, Member of New Hampshire State House of Representatives from Warner, 1825 [11]
  • Neville Buswell (b. 1943), British actor from Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, best known for his role as Ray Langton in Coronation Street
  • Walter "Walt" Buswell (1907-1991), Canadian professional ice hockey forward
  • ... (Another 1 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. Peter Buswell, English 1st Class Passenger from London, England, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania (1915) and survived the sinking [12]

The Buswell 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: Vraye Foi
Motto Translation: True faith.

  1. 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)
  2. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. 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. Rye, Walter, A History of Norfolk. London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, 1885. Print
  5. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  6. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  7. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  8. 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)
  9. State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 24) Albion voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1828 with 192 passengers. Retrieved from
  10. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 26th January 2022). Retrieved from
  11. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 12) . Retrieved from
  12. Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from on Facebook