Creswell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Creswell family

The surname Creswell 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. [1]

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. [1]

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. [2]

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) [3]

"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." [4]

Early History of the Creswell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Creswell research. Another 60 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1373, 1603, 1560, 1572, 1557, 1623, 1583, 1688, 1743, 1710, 1713, 1713, 1715, 1654, 1712 and 1709 are included under the topic Early Creswell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Creswell Spelling Variations

Before the printing press standardized spelling in the last few hundred years, no general rules existed in the English language. Spelling variations in Scottish names from the Middle Ages are common even within a single document. Creswell has been spelled Carswell, Cresswell, Carsewell, Cressville, Carswele, Kersewell, Cressewell, Chriswell and many more.

Early Notables of the Creswell 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. Joseph Cresswell (1557-1623?), was an English Jesuit, born in London and entered the Society of Jesus...
Another 47 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Creswell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Creswell migration to the United States +

For Scottish immigrants, the great expense of travel to North America did not seem such a problem in those unstable times. Acres of land awaited them and many got the chance to fight for their freedom in the American War of Independence. These Scots and their ancestors went on to play important roles in the forging of the great nations of the United States and Canada. Among them:

Creswell Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Creswell, aged 22, who arrived in St Christopher in 1635 [5]
  • Henry Creswell, who arrived in Maryland in 1665 [5]
Creswell Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Creswell, who landed in Maryland in 1811 [5]

Canada Creswell migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Creswell Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • William Creswell, aged 28, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Prudence" in 1838

Australia Creswell migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Creswell Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Henry Creswell, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Almorah" on April 1817, settling in New South Wales, Australia [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Creswell (post 1700) +

  • Harry Thornton Creswell (1850-1914), American lawyer and politician, Member of the Nevada Senate from the Nye County district (1876-1880)
  • Mary Ethel Creswell (1879-1960), the first female to receive an undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia (UGA) in Athens, Georgia
  • John Andrew Jackson Creswell (1828-1891), American politician, United States Senator from Maryland (1865-1867), 23rd United States Postmaster General (1869-1874)
  • Vice Admiral Sir William Rooke Creswell KCMG KBE (b. 1852), Australian naval officer, the 'father' of the Royal Australian Navy, brother of Colonel Edmund William Creswell
  • Toby Creswell (b. 1955), Australian music journalist and pop-culture writer., former editor of Rolling Stone
  • Thomas Edgar Creswell (1852-1920), Australian politician, Member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly for St Leonards (1904–1907)
  • Sir Michael Justin Creswell KCMG (1909-1986), British diplomat, Ambassador to Finland (1954-1958), Ambassador to Yugoslavia (1960-1964), and Ambassador to Argentina (1964-1969), son of Colonel Edmund William Creswell
  • Sir Keppel Archibald Cameron Creswell CBE FBA (b. 1879), English architectural historian
  • Harry Bulkeley Creswell FRIBA (1869-1960), British architect and author
  • Colonel Frederic Hugh Page Creswell DSO (1866-1948), British Labour Party politician in South Africa, Minister of Defence (1924-1933), Leader of the South African Labour Party (1910-1928), son of Colonel Edmund William Creswell
  • ... (Another 2 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Empress of Ireland
  • Mr. Joseph Creswell (1883-1914), Canadian Third Class Passenger from Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [7]


  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  4. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  5. ^ 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)
  6. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Almorah voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1817 with 180 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/almorah/1817
  7. ^ Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 16) . Retrieved from http://www.empress2014.ca/seclangen/listepsc1.html


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