Show ContentsEchols History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Echols is an old Anglo-Saxon name. It comes from when a family lived in Eccles which was in both Norfolk and a parish near Manchester.

Early Origins of the Echols family

The surname Echols was first found in Lancashire where the Lay Subsidy Rolls of 1332 listed: Adam de Ecclis, of Heaton with Halliwell; and Robert de Ecclis, of Pilkington. The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed Richard Eccles, Cambridgeshire. [1]

Eccles cakes, the round cake filled with currants and made from flaky pastry with butter originates in the English town of Eccles which was originally in Cheshire, then Lancashire and now in Greater Manchester. As to who was the originator of the famous pastry, there is much debate, but they are today sold throughout Lancashire and much of the United Kingdom.

Further to the north in Scotland, "there seems to have been two separate families of this name, one taking their surname from Eccles in Berwickshire, the other from Eccles in Dumfriesshire. Adam de Eccles witnessed a charter by Grim, son of Guido, to the Abbey of Melrose, c. 1170 (Seats Supp., 329). Johan de Eccles of Berwickshire rendered homage in 1296, and Sir Mathew del Ecles of Dumfriesshire was juror in 1304." [2]

Early History of the Echols family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Echols research. Another 93 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1618, 1683, 1668, 1735, 1670, 1742 and 1659 are included under the topic Early Echols History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Echols Spelling Variations

Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Echols were recorded, including Eccles, Ecles, Eckles, Eyckles, Accles, Ackles and others.

Early Notables of the Echols family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Sir Mathew Eccles of Dumfriesshire; Solomon Eccles (Eagle) (1618-1683), an English composer; and his son, John Eccles (1668-1735), an...
Another 26 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Echols Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Echols Ranking

In the United States, the name Echols is the 1,787th most popular surname with an estimated 17,409 people with that name. [3]

Ireland Migration of the Echols family to Ireland

Some of the Echols family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 64 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Echols family

To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Echols family emigrate to North America: Anne Eccles who settled in Virginia in 1698; James, John, Mary, Robert, Samuel, Thomas, and William Eccles, all arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania between 1840 and 1865..

Contemporary Notables of the name Echols (post 1700) +

  • Major-General Oliver Patton Echols (1892-1954), American Chief of the Civil Affairs Division, War Department Special Staff, Washington, D.C. (1946-1947), he has been called "The Man Who Won World War II" [4]
  • Robert L. Echols (b. 1941), United States senior federal judge (1998-2005)
  • Edward Echols (1854-1915), American political figure from the Commonwealth of Virginia. Echols held office as the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia from 1898-1902
  • Sheila Ann Echols (b. 1964), retired American track and field athlete who won the gold medal in the 4 x 100 metres relay at the 1988 Summer Olympics
  • Johnny Echols (b. 1947), American singer/songwriter and guitarist who has played in bands with performers such as Little Richard, Billy Preston and Jimi Hendrix
  • Joseph Hubbard Echols (1816-1885), American politician, Member of Georgia State Senate, 1861; Representative from Georgia in the Confederate Congress, 1864-65 [5]
  • John Echols (b. 1971), American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Arizona, 2004, 2008 [5]
  • John Echols (1823-1896), American politician, Delegate to Virginia secession convention, 1861 [5]
  • Edward Echols, American politician, Member of Virginia State Senate 9th District, 1906-12 [5]
  • E. W. Echols, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1884 [5]
  • ... (Another 7 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

USS Arizona
  • Mr. Charles Louis Echols Jr., American Electrician's Mate Third Class from Tennessee, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [6]

The Echols Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Se defendendo
Motto Translation: In his own defence.

Suggested Readings for the name Echols +

  • Echols Notes by Rebecca Echols Terry.
  • The Echols of Detroit: Genealogy by James Echols.

  1. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. 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)
  3. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  4. Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2012, January 24) Oliver Echols. Retrieved from
  5. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 28) . Retrieved from
  6. Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from on Facebook