Show ContentsCavel History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

As a result of the frequent commercial intercourse between the Flemish and English nations, many Flemish migrants settled in Britain. The Cavel history starts with such a migration. As the population grew and people traveled further afield, it became increasingly necessary to assume an additional name to differentiate between bearers of the same personal name. A broad and miscellaneous class of surnames, nickname surnames refers either directly or indirectly to a characteristic of the first person who used the name. They can describe the bearer's favored style of clothing, physical appearance, habits, or character, among other attributes. Flemish names of this type frequently feature the prefixes lile, which meant the. The surname Cavel is a nickname for a bald person. The surname Cavel is a diminutive of the Old French words chauf and cauf, which mean bald. [1]

Early Origins of the Cavel family

The surname Cavel was first found in Cornwall where they held a family seat from about the year 1200, being originally from Cavell in Flanders.

Portingten, with Cavil is a township, in the parish of Eastrington, union of Howden, wapentake of Howdenshire. "Thence the name easily crossed over into Lincolnshire In some cases it may be represented by some more southern locality." Indeed, following this direction, the Hundredorum Rolls of 12763 list Robert de Cavilla in Lincolnshire. [2] However, the Pipe Rolls of 1190 and 1195 list Roger Caluel, Chauuel in Kent at that time. [1]

In Somerset, Walter Cavel was listed there 1 Edward III (during the first year of King Edward III's reign.) [3] John Cavel, was rector of Sizeland, Norfolk [4]

Returning to the original Cornish listing, we found "the manor of Treharrick [in the parish of St. Kew] belonged to a family of that name long before the Reformation; but in the days of Henry VII. it was carried in marriage to the Cavells. From this family it passed by an heiress, about the commencement of the last century, to Thomas Vivian, Esq. of Trenowth." [5]

Early History of the Cavel family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cavel research. Another 99 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cavel History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cavel Spelling Variations

Flemish surnames are characterized by a large number of spelling variations. One reason for this is that medieval English lacked definite spelling rules. The spellings of surnames were also influenced by the official court languages, which were French and Latin. Names were rarely spelled consistently in medieval times. Scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to specific spelling rules, and people often had their names registered in several different forms throughout their lives. One of the greatest reasons for change is the linguistic uniqueness of the Flemish settlers in England, who spoke a language closely related to Dutch. The pronunciation and spelling of Flemish names were often altered to suit the tastes of English-speaking people. In many cases, the first, final, or middle syllables of surnames were eliminated. The name has been spelled Cavell, Cavill, Cavil, Cavyl, Cavel, Cavall and others.

Early Notables of the Cavel family (pre 1700)

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

Cavel Ranking

In France, the name Cavel is the 6,887th most popular surname with an estimated 1,000 - 1,500 people with that name. [6]

United States Cavel migration to the United States +

Some of the first North American settlers with Cavel name or one of its variants:

Cavel Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Philip and Maria Cavel, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1732
  • Maria Cavel, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1732 [7]

  1. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  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. 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.
  4. Rye, Walter, A History of Norfolk. London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, 1885. Print
  5. Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  7. 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) on Facebook