Colwel History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name Colwel was brought to England by the Normans when they conquered the country in 1066. The ancestors of the Colwel family 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 Colwel family
The surname Colwel 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. 
In Scotland, 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 Subsidy Rolls of Sussex in 1296. 
Early History of the Colwel family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Colwel 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 Colwel History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Colwel Spelling Variations
It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Colwel are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Colwel include Colville, Coleville, Colevile, Colwell, Colwill, Collwell, Collwill, Colewell, Colewill, Caulville, Caulwell and many more.
Early Notables of the Colwel 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 Colwel Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Colwel family to Ireland
Some of the Colwel 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 Colwel family
Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Colwel, or a variant listed above: 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.
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- ^ 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)