Show ContentsCadwallader History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Brythonic in origin, the name of Cadwallader came from the rugged landscape of Wales. The name is from the Welsh personal name Cadwaladyr. In Old Welsh, this name was Catguallon. Both Cornish and Breton, which along with Welsh, make up the family of Brythonic Celtic languages have cognate forms of this name; the Cornish form is Caduualant, and the Old Breton form is Catuualon.

Early Origins of the Cadwallader family

The surname Cadwallader was first found in Harlech, where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D. According to legend, this ancient family is descended from Cadwaladr (d. circa 664) Welsh King of Gwynedd, leader of the Celtic resistance against the Anglo-Saxons. Later accounts have made him a national hero, a Saint, and called him the last of the Kings of Briton. [1]

Cadwaladr (d. 1173), the son of Gruffudd, the son of Cynan, "was the son and the brother of the two most famous north Welsh princes of their time. During his father's lifetime he accompanied his elder brother, Owain, on many predatory excursions against rival princes. In 1121 they ravaged Meirionydd, and apparently conquered it. In 1135 and 1136 they led three successful expeditions to Ceredigion, and managed to get possession of at least the northern portion of that district. " [1]

Early History of the Cadwallader family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cadwallader research. Another 73 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1520, 1590, 1568, 1610, 1610, 1610, 1666 and 1690 are included under the topic Early Cadwallader History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cadwallader Spelling Variations

Compared to other ancient cultures found in the British Isles, the number of Welsh surnames are relatively few, but there are an inordinately large number of spelling variations. These spelling variations began almost as soon as surname usage became common. People could not specify how to spell their own names leaving the specific recording up to the individual scribe or priest. Those recorders would then spell the names as they heard them, causing many different variations. Later, many Welsh names were recorded in English. This transliteration process was extremely imprecise since the Brythonic Celtic language of the Welsh used many sounds the English language was not accustomed to. Finally, some variations occurred by the individual's design: a branch loyalty within a family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations were indicated by spelling variations of one's name. The Cadwallader name over the years has been spelled Cadwallader, Cadwelleder, Kadwalleder, Cadwinder and many more.

Early Notables of the Cadwallader family (pre 1700)

Prominent amongst the family during the late Middle Ages was Casail Cadwaladr (fl. 1590), a Welsh poet, who flourished in the latter part of the sixteenth century. [1] Roger Cadwallador (1568-1610), was an English divine, a native of Stretton Sugwas, Herefordshire. " At length, on Easter day, 1610, he was apprehended and taken before Dr. Robert Bennet, bishop of...
Another 57 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cadwallader Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cadwallader Ranking

In the United States, the name Cadwallader is the 11,907th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [2]

United States Cadwallader migration to the United States +

Many people from Wales joined the general migration to North America in the 19th and 20th centuries, searching for land, work, and freedom. Like the many other immigrants from the British Isles, they made a significant contribution to the development of Canada and the United States. The Welsh and their descendents added a rich cultural tradition to the newly developed towns, cities, and villages. An investigation of the immigration and passenger lists has revealed a number of people bearing the name Cadwallader:

Cadwallader Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Humphry Cadwallader, who landed in Virginia in 1640 [3]

New Zealand Cadwallader 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:

Cadwallader Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • William Cadwallader, aged 22, a ploughman, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alma" in 1857
  • A. Cadwallader, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Zealandia" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 8th December 1863 [4]
  • Benjamin Cadwallader, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Stracathro" in 1881

Contemporary Notables of the name Cadwallader (post 1700) +

  • Ray Cadwallader (b. 1932), American politician, former member of the Ohio House of Representatives
  • John Cadwallader (1742-1786), American commander of Pennsylvania troops during the American Revolutionary War
  • Douglas Pope Cadwallader (1884-1971), American bronze medalist for golf at the 1904 Olympic games [5]
  • Cyrus Cadwallader, American politician, Member of Pennsylvania State Senate, 1816-24 [6]
  • Dilys Cadwallader (1902-1979), Welsh poet
  • Gavin Cadwallader (b. 1986), English professional football player
  • Thomas Cadwallader Zimmerman (1838-1914), American Pennsylvania German writer and translator
  • Cadwallader Colden Washburn (1818-1882), American businessman, politician, and soldier, 11th Governor of Wisconsin (1872-1874)
  • Cadwallader M. Barr (1876-1960), American Republican politician, Member of Pennsylvania State Senate 40th District, 1919-26 [7]

  1. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  2. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  3. 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)
  4. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from
  5. Athletes - Famous Olympic Athletes, Medalists, Sports Heroes. (Retrieved 2011, July 20) Douglas Cadwallader. Retrieved from
  6. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 11) . Retrieved from
  7. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 15) . Retrieved from on Facebook