Colewill History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The ancestors of the Colewill family brought their name to England in the wave of migration after the Norman Conquest of 1066. They lived in Colton. There are places named Colton in Staffordshire and Norfolk. The family claim descent from Gilbert de Colleville, who lived in Coleville, a town in Normandy.
Early Origins of the Colewill family
The surname Colewill was first found in Suffolk, where they held a family seat from early times. They were descended from Gilbert de Colleville (Colavilla, Colvile) from Coleville, a town between Caen and Bayeux in Normandy. He accompanied Duke William from Normandy and had two sons.  From Gilbert and William the English Barons of Colleville are descended. William held lands in Yorkshire. His eldest son Phillip acquired the lands of Ancroft in Northumberland, and from him are descended the Lords of Colville in Scotland.
Searching other records, we found Thomas de Colevill who was listed as a witness to many documents in the late 1100s, as well as being mentioned in a perambulation of the marches of Elstaneshalche in 1181. A Thomas de Colouilla, who may or may not be the same man, was charged with treason in 1211. Ada de Coleuyll generously gave the lands of Kynnard in Fife to the monks of the Abbey of Neubotle in 1241 and Thomas de Coleville, who lived in Dumfriesshire rendered homage to King Edward I on his invasion of Scotland in 1296. Robert de Colvylle of Scotland was rewarded for extreme courage and steady obedience in 1358; he was granted an annuity of 20 marks from the customs of Kingston on Hulle. 
Richard de Collewele was listed in the Assize Rolls of Somerset in 1268 and Robert de Kolewell was listed in the Sudsidy Rolls of Sussex in 1296. 
Early History of the Colewill family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Colewill research. Another 101 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1174, 1296, 1358, 1337, 1394, 1377, 1384, 1385, 1390, 1393, 1540, 1605, 1551, 1629, 1604, 1675, 1662, 1675, 1690, 1813, 1898 and 1871 are included under the topic Early Colewill History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Colewill Spelling Variations
Before the last few hundred years the English language had no fixed system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations occurred commonly in Anglo Norman surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Colewill were recorded, including Colville, Coleville, Colevile, Colwell, Colwill, Collwell, Collwill, Colewell, Colewill, Caulville, Caulwell and many more.
Early Notables of the Colewill family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir John Colville (c.1337-1394), of Newton, Cambridgeshire and Walsoken, Norfolk, Member of the Parliament for Cambridgeshire in 1377, 1384, 1385, 1390 and 1393; John Colville (c.1540-1605), a Scottish clergyman, judge, politician and author who was implicated in the Earl of Bothwell's attack on Holyrood Palace, and was outlawed with the earl, he died in exile in Paris; James Colville (1551-1629), 1st Lord Colville of Culross in 1604; William Colvill, (Colville) (died 1675), a Scottish clergyman and scholar and was the Principal of the University of Edinburgh (1662 to 1675); Daniel Colwall (died 1690)...
Another 112 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Colewill Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Colewill family to Ireland
Some of the Colewill family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Colewill family
The unstable environment in England at this time caused numerous families to board ships and leave in search of opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad in places like Ireland, Australia, and particularly the New World. The voyage was extremely difficult, however, and only taken at great expense. The cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels caused many to arrive diseased and starving, not to mention destitute from the enormous cost. Still opportunity in the emerging nations of Canada and the United States was far greater than at home and many went on to make important contributions to the cultures of their adopted countries. An examination of many early immigration records reveals that people bearing the name Colewill arrived in North America very early: John Colvil who settled in New Hampshire in 1718; Matuerin Colvill settled in Charles Town [Charleston], South Carolina in 1762; Joseph and Cathy Colville settled in New Jersey in 1804.
Related Stories +
- ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
- ^ 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)
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)