Chiswell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the Chiswell surname lived among the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. The name comes from when they lived in Chishall, two parishes in the county of Essex. It is from the place-name that the family name is derived. Today, Fort Chiswell is located in Wythe County, Virginia, United States and was originally a frontier fort built in 1758 during the French and Indian War; and the Chiswell Islands are a group of rocky, uninhabited islands in the Gulf of Alaska. Unfortunately, the reason for the named locations has been lost.

Early Origins of the Chiswell family

The surname Chiswell was first found in Essex at either Great Chishall or Little Chishall, both in the union of Royston, hundred of Uttlesford. [1] Chiswell Green is a village, in St Albans, Hertfordshire which dates back to 1782. The name was thought to have been derived from "the gravelly spring or stream" from the Old English "cis" + "wella" + "green." [2]

One of the first records of the family was John de Chishull (d. 1280), Bishop of London, "probably born in Essex in the village of Chishall, between Royston and Saffron from which he doubtless took his name. A branch of his family was afterwards settled at Bardfield in the same county. In 1252 he was appointed rector of Isleham in Cambridgeshire, and in 1256 he received from the king the church of Upwell in Norfolk. Previously to 1262 he had become Archdeacon of London, and in that year acted as executor for Bishop Wingham." [3]

Early History of the Chiswell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Chiswell research. Another 82 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1673, 1751, 1671, 1733, 1670, 1671, 1639, 1711, 1673 and 1751 are included under the topic Early Chiswell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Chiswell Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Chiswell include Chiswell, Chissell, Chishull, Chussell and others.

Early Notables of the Chiswell family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Robert Muilman French-Chiswell; and Richard Chiswell (1673-1751), a wealthy English merchant and politician, Director of the Bank of England. Edmund Chishull (1671-1733), was an English divine and antiquary, son of Paul Chishull, born at Eyworth, Bedfordshire, 22 March 1670-1671. [3] Richard Chiswell the Elder (1639-1711), ''who...
Another 50 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Chiswell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Chiswell migration to the United States +

A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:

Chiswell Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Mary Chiswell, aged 24, who arrived in Virginia in 1683 [4]

New Zealand Chiswell migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Chiswell Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • William Chiswell, aged 34, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alumbagh" in 1875 [5]
  • Mary Chiswell, aged 34, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alumbagh" in 1875 [5]
  • Ida Chiswell, aged 8, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alumbagh" in 1875 [5]
  • William Chiswell, aged 5, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alumbagh" in 1875 [5]
  • Mary Chiswell, aged 2, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alumbagh" in 1875 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Chiswell (post 1700) +

  • Mr. James Robert Chiswell C.B., C.B.E. (b. 1964), born in Berlin, British Major General for the British Army, was appointed Companion of the Order of Bath on 8th June 2018 [6]
  • Richard Muilman Trench Chiswell (1735-1797), born Richard Multon but assumed the extra surnames of Trench and Chiswell by royal licence in 1772 following the death of his mother's brother Richard Chiswell, whereupon he inherited over £120,000 and Debden Hall in Essex [7]
  • Major-General James Robert Chiswell CBE MC, British Army officer who currently commands 1st Armoured Division
  • The Rt Rev Peter Chiswell (b. 1934), Australian retired Bishop of Armidale (1976 to 1999)

  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from
  6. ^ "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62310, 4 July 2019 | London Gazette, The Gazette, June 2018,
  7. ^ Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 25 Nov. 2019 on Facebook