Cantrell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Cantrell was brought to England in the great wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Cantrell family lived in Lancashire. The family descend from a Norman noble who arrived from the area of Chantarel, Normandy with the 1066 invasion. The name is possibly derived from the Old French words chanterelle, which translates in English to "a small bell" or from canterellus which means "the little singer." [1]

By way of confirmation, researchers found William and Roger Cantarel, of Normandy, 1198 listed in the Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae. [2]

Early Origins of the Cantrell family

The surname Cantrell was first found in Yorkshire. "Most of my instances hail from Yorkshire. I could have adduced others. It is there the surname is still most largely represented." [3]

The first record of the family in Britain was found in the Rotuli Curiae Regis. There Alberic Chanterhill, of England, 1199 was listed. [2]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed Alice Cainterel, Yorkshire; William Chanterel, Northamptonshire; Richard Chaunterel, Wiltshire; and Martin Chanterrl, Yorkshire. Later the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 included: Johannes Quayntorell; and Johanna Quayntell. [3]

Early History of the Cantrell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cantrell research. Another 120 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1200, 1503, 1632, 1569, 1685, 1773, 1685, 1673 and 1700 are included under the topic Early Cantrell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cantrell Spelling Variations

Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Cantrell, Cantrel, Cantrill, Cantril, Chantrell and many more.

Early Notables of the Cantrell family (pre 1700)

Another 40 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cantrell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cantrell Ranking

In the United States, the name Cantrell is the 860th most popular surname with an estimated 34,818 people with that name. [4]

Ireland Migration of the Cantrell family to Ireland

Some of the Cantrell 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 Cantrell migration to the United States +

To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Cantrell or a variant listed above:

Cantrell Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Cantrell, who arrived in Jamestown, Va in 1607 [5]
  • Mary Cantrell, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1685 [5]
Cantrell Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • D. Cantrell arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • E. Cantrell, aged 47, who immigrated to America from Liverpool, in 1896
  • Mrs. Frank Cantrell, aged 54, who immigrated to the United States, in 1896
Cantrell Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Joseph F. Cantrell, aged 37, who settled in America from Birmingham, in 1906
  • Miss A.L. Cantrell, aged 50, who landed in America, in 1906
  • Daisy Cantrell, aged 28, who landed in America, in 1908
  • Alice A. Cantrell, aged 25, who landed in America from Bedford, England, in 1911
  • Bessie Cantrell, aged 40, who immigrated to the United States, in 1911
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Cantrell migration to Australia +

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

Cantrell Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Charles Cantrell, English convict who was convicted in London, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Charles Kerr" on 6th June 1837, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [6]
  • Joseph Cantrell, English convict from Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "Anson" on September 23, 1843, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [7]

New Zealand Cantrell 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:

Cantrell Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. T. Cantrell, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship 'Merchantman' arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 6th September 1855 [8]

Contemporary Notables of the name Cantrell (post 1700) +

  • LaToya Cantrell (b. 1972), American politician, 62nd Mayor of New Orleans, Louisiana (2018-)
  • Laura Cantrell (b. 1967), American country singer-songwriter and DJ
  • Willard "Bill" Cantrell (1914-1986), American midget, sprint, and stock car racing driver
  • William "Wild Bill" Cantrell (1908-1996), American power boat and IndyCar driver, inducted in the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 1992
  • Blu Cantrell (b. 1976), born Tiffany Cobb, American Grammy Award-nominated R&B and soul singer
  • Private Charles P. Cantrell (1874-1948), American soldier awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery
  • Rob Cantrell, American comedian [9]
  • Jerry Fulton Cantrell Jr. (b. 1966), American guitarist, singer, and songwriter
  • Doreen Cantrell FRS,CBE, FRSE, FMedSci, British scientist and Professor of Cellular Immunology at the University of Dundee
  • Lana Eleanor Cantrell AM (b. 1943), Australian Grammy Award nominated singer and entertainment lawyer
  • ... (Another 1 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

The Cantrell 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: Propio vos sanguine pasco
Motto Translation: I feed you with kindred blood.

Suggested Readings for the name Cantrell +

  • The Cantrill-Cantrell Genealogy: A Record of the Descendants of Richard Cantrill, Who Was a Resident of Philadelphia Prior to 1689, and of Earlier Cantrills in England and America by Susan Cantrill Christie.
  • Letters to My Grandchildren by Sabra Phillips Cantrell.

  1. ^ Barber, Henry, British Family Names London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, 1894. Print.
  2. ^ 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)
  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. ^
  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)
  6. ^ Convict Records of Australia ( retrieved 1st February 2021, retrieved from
  7. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2015, January 8) Anson voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1843 with 499 passengers. Retrieved from
  8. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from
  9. ^ Rob Cantrell. (Retrieved 2010, September 27) Rob Cantrell. Retrieved from on Facebook