Dewell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Dewell is one of the oldest family names to come from the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It is derived from the baptismal name Joel. The surname Dewell referred to the son of Joel which belongs to the category of patronymic surnames. In Old English, patronyms were formed by adding a variety of suffixes to personal names, which changed over time and from place to place. For example, after the Norman Conquest, sunu and sune, which meant son, were the most common patronymic suffixes. In the 12th and 13th centuries, the most common patronymic names included the word filius, which meant son. By the 14th century, the suffix son had replaced these earlier versions. Surnames that were formed with filius or son were more common in the north of England and it was here that the number of individuals without surnames was greatest at this time.

Early Origins of the Dewell family

The surname Dewell was first found in Devon where the Testa de Nevill, sive Liber Feodorum, temp. Henry III- Edward I. included three listings of the name as both a forename and a surname: Warin filius Juelis, Henry III Edward I; Juel de Stanhuse; and Juel de Buketon, Devon. [1]

"Helias and Robert Juels are mentioned in the Norman Exchequer Rolls of 1180-95. Galfrid, William, and Richard Juel or Joel occur in Huntingdonshire, about 1272. (Rot Hundred.) 'This family derived probably from Juel or Judael de Mayennc, Baron of Totness and Barnstaple, temp. William I.: a Breton noble (see Maine}. He held lands from the Earl of Mortaine, besides his own barony; and a portion of the former, as well as a fief created in the Barony of Totness, seems to have passed to the younger branch names Fitz Juel. Warin Fitz Juel, in 1242, held a knight's fee,which had been granted by the Earl of Mortaine at the Conquest.' " [2]

The source Calendarium Genealogicum: Henry III- Edward I had two listings: Jordan filius Juel; and Jordan filius Jowell, 25 Edward I (during the 25th year of King Edward I's reign.) [3]

Robert le Jewell, Alicia le Jueler were listed in the Subsidy Rolls for London in 1319. [4]

John Jowell, was Sheriff of Norwich, Norfolk in 1486. [5]

"Jewell was the name of a gentle family of Bowden in the parish of Berry - Narbor or Berryn - Arbor, near Ilfracombe, [Devon], in the 16th and 17th centuries; to this family belonged John Jewell, the noted Bishop of Salisbury, who was born at Berryn - Arbor in 1522 (W. and Pr.). The name is now well represented in the Bideford district, but still occurs in Berry. Narbor. It has also long been a Cornish name." [6]

Early History of the Dewell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dewell research. Another 50 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1560, 1559, 1522, 1571, 1522 and 1535 are included under the topic Early Dewell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dewell Spelling Variations

Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Dewell has undergone many spelling variations, including Jewell, Jewall, Jule, Joel, Jouel and others.

Early Notables of the Dewell family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: John Jewell (1522-1571), Bishop of Salisbury. He was "born on 24 May 1522, was the son of John Jewel of Buden, in the parish of Berimber, or Berrynarbor, Devonshire. His mother's name was Bellamy, and at the age of seven he...
Another 48 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dewell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Dewell migration to the United States +

To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Dewell were among those contributors:

Dewell Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Tho Dewell, who arrived in Virginia in 1703 [7]

Australia Dewell migration to Australia +

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

Dewell Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. George Dewell, English convict who was convicted in London, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Enchantress"on 6th April 1833, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [8]
  • Mr. Samuel Dewell, English labourer who was convicted in Suffolk, England for 14 years for embezzlement, transported aboard the "Eden" on 8th July 1840, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died in 1867 [9]
  • Mr. John Dewell, (b. 1833), aged 30, Cornish seaman who immigrated to New South Wales, Australia aboard the ship "Shackamaxon" in 1863 convicted at Darlinghurst Gaol in 1863 [10]

Contemporary Notables of the name Dewell (post 1700) +

  • John Dewell, American politician, Member of Connecticut State Senate 17th District, 1843 [11]
  • J. S. Dewell, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Iowa, 1908 [11]
  • Burdette G. Dewell, American Democratic Party politician, Chair of Greene County Democratic Party, 1927 [11]


  1. ^ Testa de Nevill or "Liber Feodorum" or "Book of Fees," thought to have been written by Ralph de Nevill, for King John (1199–1216)
  2. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 2 of 3
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. ^ Rye, Walter, A History of Norfolk. London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, 1885. Print
  6. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  7. ^ 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)
  8. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 20th April 2022). https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/enchantress
  9. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 20th October 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/eden
  10. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retreived 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_nsw_gaol_admissions.pdf
  11. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 17) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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