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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


The name Cardwell was brought to England by the Normans when they conquered the country in 1066. The ancestors of the Cardwell family lived in Wiltshire, after arriving from the cantor of Cardville, Normandy with the invasion of England in 1066.

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It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Cardwell are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Cardwell include Cardwell, Cardville, Cairdwell, Cairdville, Cardvell, Cartwell, Cardvill, Cartville, Kartwell, Kardwell, Kartville, Kardville, Kairdwell and many more.

First found in Wiltshire where they held a family seat from early times, and granted lands by William the Conqueror for their assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cardwell research. Another 265 words (19 lines of text) covering the years 1066, 1273, and 1606 are included under the topic Early Cardwell History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Cardwell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Cardwell family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 128 words (9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Cardwell, or a variant listed above:

Cardwell Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • John Cardwell settled in Dover, Maine, in the year 1654
  • Grace Cardwell, who landed in Virginia in 1664
  • Wm, Cardwell Jr., who arrived in Virginia in 1664

Cardwell Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Abraham C Cardwell, aged 23, landed in Maryland in 1812
  • Alexander Cardwell, who arrived in New York in 1842
  • L Cardwell, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • Calvert, Henry, John, William, and W. H. Cardwell, all settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania between 1760 and 1868
  • Henry Cardwell, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1871

Cardwell Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Joseph Cardwell arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Nimroud" in 1863
  • W. Cardwell arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Blairgowrie" in 1875

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  • Timothy Michael Cardwell (1967-1988), American Student from Cresco, Pennsylvania, America, who flew aboard the Pan Am Flight 103 from Frankfurt to Detroit, known as the Lockerbie bombing in 1988 and died
  • Lloyd Raymond Cardwell (1913-1997), American college football player and coach
  • Rosemary Z. Cardwell, American Republican politician, Candidate for Mayor of Hartford, Connecticut, 1989
  • Paul Cardwell, American politician, Candidate for Texas State Board of Education 9th District, 2010
  • Isaac Newton Cardwell (b. 1827), American politician, Member of Kentucky State House of Representatives, 1872
  • H. C. Cardwell, American politician, Member of California State Assembly from Sacramento District, 1849-51
  • George B. Cardwell, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Indiana, 1888
  • Edward Cardwell, American politician, Member of Montana State Senate 4th District, 1891-94
  • Douglas Cardwell, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Louisiana, 1960
  • Thomas Perrin Cardwell (1829-1915), American politician, Member of Kentucky State House of Representatives, 1864-65; Member of Kentucky State Senate, 1865-69

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  • The Cardwells of Virginia by Allen Pendergraft.
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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: Agissez honnetement
Motto Translation: Act honestly

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  1. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  2. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  3. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  4. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  5. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  6. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  7. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  8. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  9. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  10. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  11. ...

The Cardwell Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Cardwell Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 15 December 2015 at 10:43.

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