Cresswell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Early Origins of the Cresswell family
The surname Cresswell was first found in Renfrewshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Rinn Friù), a historic county of Scotland, today encompassing the Council Areas of Renfrew, East Renfrewshire, and Iverclyde, in the Strathclyde region of southwestern Scotland where they were recorded as a family of great antiquity seated at Carswell in the parish of Neilston in that shire, and later branched to Carnswell in the barony of Carnwath in Lanarkshire, and to Carswell in the barony of Hassendean in Roxburghshire.
"A family of Carsewells, who derived their name from Carsewell in the parish of Neilston, are said to have been settled in Renfrewshire for centuries, but they seldom appear in the public records. There is also a Carswell (in 15. cent., Creswell or Carswell) in the barony of Carnwath, Lanarkshire and there was a tenement of the same name in the barony of Hassendean, Roxburghshire. "
Alexander de Cressewell witnessed a charter by Roland of Galloway, son of Vchtred, c. 1200 and William Cresswell was Chancellor of Moray between 1281-1298. 
King Edward I's short lived invasion of Scotland was a difficult time for many including this family as Robert de Cressewelle was one of the Scots prisoners of war taken at Dunbar Castle in 1296. Symon de Cresseville of the county of Roxburgh, and David de Cressewelle of Lanarkshire rendered homage (to King Edward I) in 1296. 
Further to the south in England, the Hundreorum Rolls of 1723 list Richared de Carswall; (Dominus) de Carswill; and William de Karswill as all holding lands in Devon at that time. 
The Cresswell variant hails from Cresswell, Northumberland and there the name literally meant Cress-Spring dervived from the Old English caerse, cress + wiell (a spring: cp. Old English wiellcaerse, watercress) 
"The district comprises the townships of Cresswell and Ellington, the former of which was a possession of the Cresswell family previous to the reign of King John: the surface is generally level; and there is a good freestone-quarry. The old tower and mansionhouse of the Cresswells front the sea, and have in view the fine beach and sands of Druridge bay; the tower is 21½ feet long, and 16½ feet wide, within, and consists of a strong room vaulted with stone, on the groundfloor, and two rooms above, approached by a circular stone staircase. The new mansion, Cresswell Hall, the seat of A. J. Baker Cresswell, Esq., is a magnificent structure, erected in 1822." 
Early History of the Cresswell family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cresswell research. Another 60 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1373, 1603, 1560, 1572, 1567, 1569, 1557, 1623, 1583, 1688, 1743, 1710, 1713, 1713, 1715, 1654, 1712 and 1709 are included under the topic Early Cresswell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Cresswell Spelling Variations
Medieval Scottish names are rife with spelling variations. This is due to the fact that scribes in that era spelled according to the sound of words, rather than any set of rules. Cresswell has been spelled Carswell, Cresswell, Carsewell, Cressville, Carswele, Kersewell, Cressewell, Chriswell and many more.
Early Notables of the Cresswell family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the family at this time was John Carsewell (fl. 1560-1572), Scottish Bishop of the Isles, was in his earlier years chaplain to the Earl of Argyll and rector of Kilmartin. He was also Dean of the Chapel Royal of Stirling. "In his capacity of superintendent of Argyll he was appointed by the assembly, in 1567, to 'take satisfaction' from Argyll for separation from his wife, and for 'other heinous offences'. In July 1569 he was rebuked by the assembly for accepting the...
In the United States, the name Cresswell is the 16,589th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name.  However, in New Zealand, the name Cresswell is ranked the 893rd most popular surname with an estimated 821 people with that name. 
Many Scots were left with few options other than to leave their homeland for the colonies across the Atlantic. Some of these families fought to defend their newfound freedom in the American War of Independence. Others went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. The ancestors of all of these families have recently been able to rediscover their roots through Clan societies and other Scottish organizations. Among them:
Cresswell Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:
Cresswell Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
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:
Cresswell Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. 
Cresswell Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
Empress of Ireland