Show ContentsCastles History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Anglo-Saxons of Britain first developed the name Castles. It was a name given to someone who was a person who worked in a castle. The original bearer of the surname Castles may have held the post of governor or constable of the castle. However, the surname might also be derived from residence near a castle, or from services or rent owed to a castle. The surname Castles is derived from the Old Norman French word castel, which means castle. [1]

Early Origins of the Castles family

The surname Castles was first found in Sussex where Richard and Robert Castel were first recorded 1148-54. They were descended from the Lords of Iystynton, and a few years later in 1201 John Castle held estates in Leicestershire. [2]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed Alan de Castell, London; and Andrew de Castello, Norfolk. Later the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls included Thomas de Castell; and Magota del Castell as holding lands there at that time. [3] The Household Book of Queen Isabelle listed Roger atte Castell in 1358 and Kirby's Quest included William atte Castle, Somerset, 1 Edward III (during the first year's reign of King Edward III. [4]

In Scotland, "Ricardus de Castello is mentioned in a charter by David I, c. 1142. Magister Peter de Castro witnessed a confirmation by Galfridus. bishop of Dunkeld, of the church of Madirnyn (Madderty) and lands of the Abthan of Maddirnyn in 1238. Normannus de Castello, burgess of Dundee, witnessed Ysabell de Brus's gift of her messuage of Cragyn near Dundee to the monks of Lundors, c. 1240. " [5]

Early History of the Castles family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Castles research. Another 158 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1240, 1273, 1281, 1380, 1408, 1420, 1421, 1426, 1606, 1612, 1621, 1624, 1625, 1628, 1635, 1641, 1644, 1645, 1661, 1673, 1685, 1698 and 1750 are included under the topic Early Castles History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Castles Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Castles have been found, including Castle, Castell, Castles, Castel, Castello and others.

Early Notables of the Castles family

Notables of the family at this time include John Castell (a.k.a. John Castle (c.1380-1426), English academic, Master of University College, Oxford (c. 1408-1420), and later a Chancellor of the University of Oxford (1421-1426); and Edmund Castell (1606-1685), an English Orientalist from Tadlow, Cambridgeshire, Prebendary of Canterbury Cathedral and Professor of Arabic at Cambridge. He was "the second son of Robert Castell (probably of Christ's College, Cambridge), a man of property and education, and was born 'iratis Musis,' as he said, at East Hatley in Cambridgeshire in the year 1606, whence, after the usual grammatical training of the period, he proceeded in...
Another 126 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Castles Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Castles migration to the United States +

Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Among the first immigrants of the name Castles, or a variant listed above to cross the Atlantic and come to North America were:

Castles Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Michael Castles, who arrived in New York, NY in 1834 [6]
  • James Castles, aged 29, who landed in Missouri in 1841 [6]
  • S N Castles, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [6]

Canada Castles migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Castles Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. John Castles U.E. who settled in Lancaster, Saint John County, New Brunswick c. 1783 [7]

Australia Castles migration to Australia +

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

Castles Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Castles, (b. 1793), aged 29, Irish carpenter who was convicted in Wicklow, Ireland for 7 years, transported aboard the "Countess of Harcourt" on 3rd September 1822, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [8]
  • Mr. William Castles who was convicted in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Elizabeth" on 3rd October 1831, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [9]
  • Mr. Thomas Castles who was convicted in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "England"on 31st March 1832, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [10]
  • Mr. George Castles, British Convict who was convicted in Bath, Somerset, England for 10 years, transported aboard the "Dudbrook" on 17th November 1852, arriving in Western Australia [11]

Contemporary Notables of the name Castles (post 1700) +

  • Neil "Soapy" Castles (1934-2022), American NASCAR Grand National and Winston Cup Series driver who raced from 1957 to 1976
  • Joseph J. Castles, American Republican politician, Presidential Elector for Illinois, 1876 [12]
  • J. Harry Castles, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Virginia, 1960 (alternate), 1964 [12]

  1. Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-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. Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  5. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  6. 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)
  7. Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  8. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 24th March 2021). Retrieved from
  9. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 9th March 2022). Retrieved from
  10. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 26th April 2022).
  11. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 23rd July 2021). Retrieved from
  12. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 20) . Retrieved from on Facebook