Cessell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Cessell is one of the names that was brought to England in the wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Cessell 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 Cessell family
The surname Cessell 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 Cessell family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cessell 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 Cessell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Cessell Spelling Variations
Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Cessell include Cecil, Cecill, Cecyll, Cyssel, Cessell, Sitsilt, Sicelt, Seycil and many more.
Early Notables of the Cessell 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...
Migration of the Cessell family
In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Cessells to arrive on North American shores: 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..
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.