Cantell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Anglo- Norman Conquest of Ireland lead by Strongbow introduced the first non-Gaelic elements into Irish nomenclature. These Anglo- Normans brought some traditions to Ireland that were not readily found within Gaelic system of hereditary surnames. One of the best examples of this is the local surname. Local surnames, such as Cantell, were taken from the name of a place or a geographical feature where the person lived, held land, or was born. These surnames were very common in England, but were almost non-existent within Ireland previous to the conquest. The earliest surnames of this type came from Normandy, but as the Normans moved, they often created names in reference to where they actually resided. Therefore, some settlers eventually took names from Irish places. Originally, these place names were prefixed by de, which means from in French. This type of prefix was eventually either made a part of the surname, if the place name began with a vowel, or was eliminated entirely. The Cantell family originally lived in the place called Cauntelo in Northern France. Early medieval deeds record the surname Cantell as de Cantelupo, the Latin equivalent of the Norman name de Cauntelo. Before their migration to Ireland, the Cantell family spent a long period in England. The shrine of St. Thomas de Cantelupe, who was the last English saint canonized prior to the Reformation, is in Hereford Cathedral.

Early Origins of the Cantell family

The surname Cantell was first found in County Kerry (Irish:Ciarraí) part of the former County Desmond (14th-17th centuries), located in Southwestern Ireland, in Munster province, where they held a family seat at Ballyheige where they had been granted lands after the Norman invasion in 1172 by Strongbow.

As one would expect, not all of the family moved to Ireland. Bingley in the West Riding of Yorkshire was an ancient family seat. "This place is one of the thirty two lordships granted by the Conqueror to Erneis de Berun, from whose descendants it was conveyed to the Paganells and the Gants, and afterwards to the Cantilupe family." [1]

On the infamous side, Fulk de Cantelo, Canteleo, Cantelupe, Cantilupe ( fl. 1209), "is mentioned by Wendover as one of John's evil counsellors. After the election of Stephen Langton as archbishop he was sent by John to expel the Canterbury monks, and the lands of the see were put under his charge." [2]

Roger de Cantelupe (fl. 1248), legist, son of Roger de Cantelupe, was hanged for treason in 1225. [2]

George de Cantelupe (d. 1273), was son of William, the third Baron Cantelupe (d. 1254), is styled Baron of Bergavenny. He was knighted by Henry III in 1272, on the occasion of the marriage of Edmund of Cornwall. He was put into possession of his lands on 23 April 1273, but died the following November. His sister Joanna married Henry of Hastings. [2]

Early History of the Cantell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cantell research. Another 86 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1275, 1299, 1680 and 1734 are included under the topic Early Cantell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cantell Spelling Variations

Church officials and medieval scribes often spelled early surnames as they sounded. This practice often resulted in many spelling variations of even a single name. Early versions of the name Cantell included: Cantillon, Cantilon, Cantlin, Cantilupe, Cantlowe, Cantelowe, Cantell, Cantillion, Cantlon, Cantlow and many more.

Early Notables of the Cantell family (pre 1700)

Another 49 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cantell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Cantell migration to the United States +

Ireland went through one of the most devastating periods in its history with the arrival of the Great Potato Famine of the 1840s. Many also lost their lives from typhus, fever and dysentery. And poverty was the general rule as tenant farmers were often evicted because they could not pay the high rents. Emigration to North America gave hundreds of families a chance at a life where work, freedom, and land ownership were all possible. For those who made the long journey, it meant hope and survival. The Irish emigration to British North America and the United States opened up the gates of industry, commerce, education and the arts. Early immigration and passenger lists have shown many Irish people bearing the name Cantell:

Cantell Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Mary Cantell, who landed in Maryland in 1680 [3]

Australia Cantell migration to Australia +

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

Cantell Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Charles Cantell, English convict who was convicted in Wiltshire, England for 10 years, transported aboard the "Barossa" on 9th May 1844, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [4]

New Zealand Cantell 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:

Cantell Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Charles Cantell, aged 25, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bombay" in 1865
  • Susannah Cantell, aged 24, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bombay" in 1865
  • Joseph Cantell, aged 16, a labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Avalanche" in 1875


  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  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. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 24th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/barossa


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