Cartmel History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

In ancient Anglo-Saxon England, the ancestors of the Cartmel surname lived in or near the village of Cartmel in the county of Lancashire (now part of Cumbria.) [1] Thus, Cartmel is a habitation surname which is derived from the name of a place. Like most English local surnames, the name Cartmel was originally preceded by a preposition such as de. However, the preposition had usually been dropped from the name by the end of the 14th century. "The Staffordshire variants of this surname seem to have come from North Lancashire via Cheshire." [2]

One source notes: "Cartmell was the name of four tenants in Garstang in the reign of James I." [3]

And another sources adds this anecdote: "The signification of this name apparently has reference to the famous passage - at low water - across the Leven sands. The guides over the sands are, or were, called carters, passengers generally being con­veyed in carts." [4]

Early Origins of the Cartmel family

The surname Cartmel was first found in Lancashire, at Cartmel, a parish, in the union of Ulverston, hundred of Lonsdale north of the Sands. "This place, which is supposed to have derived its name from the British words Kert, a camp, and mell, a fell, or small mountain, according to Camden was given to St. Cuthbert, in 677, by Egfrid, King of Northumbria, with all the Britons inhabiting it. In 782, Ethelred, upon his restoration to the throne of that kingdom, allured from their sanctuary at York the sons of Alfwold, who had been advanced to the crown upon his expulsion, and put them to death at Cartmel. In 1188, William Mareschall, Earl of Pembroke, founded a priory for Regular canons of the order of St. Augustine, dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, and endowed it with all his lands at 'Kertmell,' " [5] Now a village in Cumbria, it has more recently become known as the "home of sticky toffee pudding."

Early History of the Cartmel family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cartmel research. Another 116 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1300, 1378, 1578, 1681, 1748, 1701, 1648, 1673 and are included under the topic Early Cartmel History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cartmel Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Cartmel are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Cartmel include: Cartmill, Cartmills, Cartmell, Cartmells, Kertmell, Cartmele, Cartmail, Kartmill, Kartmell, Certmill, Cartnell and many more.

Early Notables of the Cartmel family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Cartmel Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Cartmel family to Ireland

Some of the Cartmel family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 81 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Cartmel migration to the United States +

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Cartmel or a variant listed above:

Cartmel Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Wilson Cartmel, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1858

Australia Cartmel migration to Australia +

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

Cartmel Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • William Cartmel, English convict from Kent, who was transported aboard the "Adelaide" on April 16, 1855, settling in Western Australia [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Cartmel (post 1700) +

  • R. T. Cartmel, American politician, Member of Missouri State House of Representatives from Barton County, 1867-68
  • Neil Cartmel (b. 1968), English cricketer for Berkshire who played in the 1990s
  • Andrew Cartmel (b. 1958), British author and journalist, and former script editor of Doctor Who


  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  4. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  5. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  6. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 17) Adelaide voyage to Western Australia, Australia in 1855 with 261 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/adelaide/1855


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