Covel History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the Covel family brought their name to England in the wave of migration after the Norman Conquest of 1066. They lived in Yorkshire. The family was originally from Chauvel in Manche, Normandy, and it is to their residence in this area that the name refers. [1]

Another source claims the name could have been a nickname from the Old English word "cufle" for "cloak." [2]

Early Origins of the Covel family

The surname Covel was first found in Yorkshire where Robert Covell was listed there in 1476 in the York Freeman's Register. [3] Today, the Covel variant is popular in Lincolnshire.

Early History of the Covel family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Covel research. Another 74 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1638, 1722, 1688, 1722, 1638, 1654, 1658, 1661, 1614, 1589, 1584, 1588, 1601, 1595 and 1596 are included under the topic Early Covel History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Covel 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 Covel were recorded, including Covell, Covel and others.

Early Notables of the Covel family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John Covel, Covell, Colvill (1638-1722), English clergyman and scientist who became Master of Christ's College, Cambridge (1688-1722) and vice-chancellor of the University. He was the son of William Covel, and was born at Horningsheath, Suffolk, on 2 April 1638. "After receiving his early education at the grammar school, Bury St. Edmunds, he was admitted a member of Christ's College, Cambridge, on 31 March 1654, being then in his sixteenth year. He...
Another 79 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Covel Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Covel 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 Covel arrived in North America very early: Ezra Covell who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1635 with his brother Joseph; Nicholas Covell settled in Virginia in 1648; Cesara Covell settled in New England in 1635.


Contemporary Notables of the name Covel (post 1700) +

  • Toby Keith Covel (b. 1961), known as Toby Keith, an American country music singer, songwriter, record producer, entrepreneur and actor
  • Michael W. Covel (b. 1968), American bestselling author, entrepreneur, and film director
  • Sean Covel (b. 1976), American two-time Independent Spirit Award nominated film producer, known for Napoleon Dynamite (2004), Beneath (2007) and Napoleon Dynamite (2012)


  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges, A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8)


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