Cessel History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Cessel is a name that came to England in the 11th century wave of migration that was set off by the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Cessel family lived in Devon. The name refers to the family's former place of residence, St Cecile, a Norman area of Flanders. 
Cecilia or Cecily (1469-1507), was "the third daughter of Edward IV, was born towards the end of 1469. At the age of five she was betrothed by proxy to James, the eldest son of James III of Scotland, and arrangements were soon made by which her dowry of twenty thousand marks should be paid by yearly installments. " 
Early Origins of the Cessel family
The surname Cessel was first found in Devon where they are "probably a branch of the Counts of Gand, whose arms (barry) it bears, with escutcheons charged with the lion rampant of Flanders. The arms are still borne in Flanders by a family of the same name."  Maurice de Cassel was probably one of the first to be listed in England during the reign of William I. His son, Robert de Kessel or Ciselle, assisted Robert Fitz-Hamon in the conquest of Glamorganshire in 1093. 
Saissil was recorded in Hertfordshire in the Domesday Book of 1086.  Later in Shropshire, Seisil was listed in the Pipe Rolls of 1188. Mononym names were quite common at this time. By 1205, William Seisel was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Hertfordshire and later again, William Seysel was found in the Subsidy Rolls for Worcestershire in 1275. 
Another reference claims "the family, doubtless of Norman origin, can be traced to Robert Sitsilt, who in 1091 assisted Robert Fitz-Hamon in the conquest of Glamorganshire."  Conflicting data is quite common with early records such as these. Continuing on: "from his descendant [Robert Kessel or Robert Sitsilt] Walter de Alterens, living 1165, descended the noble house of Cecil." 
Further to the north, in St. Martin's in Northamptonshire a later branch of the family was found. "The church [of St. Martin's] is a handsome structure in the later English style, erected by a bishop of Lincoln in the fifteenth century, and contains monuments to several members of the Cecil family, including one to Lord Treasurer Burghley, whose ancient mansion in the immediate neighbourhood, Burghley House." 
Early History of the Cessel family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cessel research. Another 115 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1379, 1520, 1598, 1550, 1553, 1558, 1572, 1572, 1563, 1612, 1591, 1668, 1605, 1612, 1657, 1640, 1653, 1648, 1683, 1660, 1668, 1666, 1694, 1670, 1716, 1701, 1674, 1721, 1712 and 1715 are included under the topic Early Cessel History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Cessel Spelling Variations
Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence in the eras before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate regularly changed the spellings of their names as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Cessel have been found, including Cecil, Cecill, Cecyll, Cyssel, Cessell, Sitsilt, Sicelt, Seycil and many more.
Early Notables of the Cessel family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley, KG (1520-1598), an English statesman, the chief advisor of Queen Elizabeth I for most of her reign, twice Secretary of State (1550-1553) and (1558-1572) and Lord High Treasurer from 1572 until his death; Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury, KG, PC (ca. 1563-1612), an English administrator and politician; William Cecil, 2nd Earl of Salisbury, KG (1591-1668), known as Viscount Cranborne from 1605 to...
Another 76 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cessel Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Cessel family
For many English families, the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. For such families, the shores of Ireland, Australia, and the New World beckoned. They left their homeland at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. Many arrived after the long voyage sick, starving, and without a penny. But even those were greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. Numerous English settlers who arrived in the United States and Canada at this time went on to make important contributions to the developing cultures of those countries. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Cessel were among those contributors: John Cecill who settled in Barbados in 1663; William Cecill arrived in Pennsylvania in 1682; later Joseph Cecil arrived in New York in 1823; and Thomas Cecil arrived in Philadelphia in 1866..
Related Stories +
The Cessel 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: Cor unum via una
Motto Translation: One heart one way.
- ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
- ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.