Show ContentsCapel History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Today's generation of the Capel family bears a name that was brought to England by the migration wave that was started by the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Capel family lived in Herefordshire. The name refers to the family's former residence in La Chapelle, Normandy.

Early Origins of the Capel family

The surname Capel was first found in Herefordshire where another source claims that name was derived from "the ancestor of Lord Albemarle [who] was Arnord-Joost van Keppel, lord of Voerst, a descendant of one of the most ancient houses in Guerlderland, [Holland] who accompanied King WIlliam III to England in 1688, and was by him advanced to the title still enjoyed by the family. According to 'Folks of Shields,' the name is equivalent to De Capella." [1]

Early History of the Capel family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Capel research. Another 88 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1515, 1496, 1503, 1511, 1515, 1585, 1658, 1586, 1656, 1608, 1649, 1631, 1683, 1608, 1649, 1638, 1696, 1697, 1743, 1739, 1743, 1722 and 1743 are included under the topic Early Capel History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Capel Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Capel include Capel, Capell, Caple, Cappel, Keppel and others.

Early Notables of the Capel family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was William Capel (d. 1515), Sheriff of the City of London (1496), and Lord Mayor of London (1503), Member of Parliament for the City of London (1511-1515), his mansion stood on the current site of the London Stock Exchange, eponym of No. 3 Capel Court; Sir Henry Capell, of Rayne Hall, Essex; Louis Cappel (1585-1658), a French Protestant churchman and scholar; Richard Capel (1586-1656), an English nonconforming clergyman of Calvinist views, member of the Westminster Assembly, and for a period of his life...
Another 90 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Capel Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Capel Ranking

In the United States, the name Capel is the 9,994th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [2] However, in France, the name Capel is ranked the 2,515th most popular surname with an estimated 2,500 - 3,000 people with that name. [3]

Ireland Migration of the Capel family to Ireland

Some of the Capel 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.

Australia Capel migration to Australia +

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

Capel Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mrs. Elizabeth Capel, (Beardshaw, Beecher, Capill, Self), (b. 1818), aged 30, English convict who was convicted in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England for 12 years for wounding with intent, transported aboard the "Elizabeth and Henry" on 11th February 1848, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land), she died in 1880 [4]
  • Emily Capel, aged 19, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1850 aboard the ship "Stag" [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Capel (post 1700) +

  • Felton Jeffrey "Jef" Capel II (1953-2017), American National Basketball Association assistant coach
  • Felton Jeff Capel III (b. 1975), American former college basketball player at Duke University, current assistant coach
  • Michael Lee "Mike" Capel (1961-1988), American Major League Baseball right-handed pitcher who played from 1988 through 1991
  • John Capel (b. 1978), American two-time gold, silver and bronze medalist sprint athlete
  • Jason Maurice Capel (b. 1980), American former basketball player
  • Jeff Capel III (b. 1975), American basketball coach for the University of Oklahoma
  • David John Capel (1963-2020), English cricketer who played for Northamptonshire and England
  • William Anne Holles Capel (1732-1799), 4th Earl of Essex
  • General Thomas Edward Capel (1770-1855), English soldier and sportsman
  • Captain Arthur Edward "Boy" Capel CBE (1881-1919), English polo player
  • ... (Another 1 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Royal Oak
  • Charles William Capel (1919-1939), British Stoker 2nd Class with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak (1939) when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [6]

The Capel 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: Fide et fortitudine
Motto Translation: By fidelity and fortitude.

  1. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  4. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 15th March 2022). Retrieved from
  5. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) STAG 1850. Retrieved
  6. Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from on Facebook