Show ContentsGaskell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Gaskell family

The surname Gaskell was first found in Westmorland, at Gaisgill, a "hamlet two miles from Tebay." [1] The village name literally meant " wild-goose valley." [2] Today the hamlet is amalgamated with Tebay in Cumbria.

"The hamlet of Gaisgill being on the Yorkshire border, it is easy to see why the surname is found in the Yorkshire Poll Tax for West Riding of Yorkshire in 1379:" Alicia de Gasegill; Agnes de Gasegyll; Johannes Gaysegill; Robertus Gaysegill; Katerina de Gaseggyl; and Jacobus de Gasegill, of 'Rymyngton' all held lands there at that time.

In Scotland, where the name is now more popular, one of the first records was that of Thomas Gaskel, who was one of the witnesses in a dispute concerning lands of Monachkeneran in 1233. [3]

One noted source postulated the family originated in Normandy, France and emigrated to northern England and southern Scotland shortly after the Conquest as he believes the family originated in Gascuil, Vascoeuil, or Wascuil, near Andelys, Normandy. Gilbert de Wascuil occurs there 1180-1195 according to the Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae. [4]

Two sources claim the name was originally Gaelic from Gaisgeil, meaning valorous. [5] [6]

Early History of the Gaskell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gaskell research. Another 85 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1332, 1560, 1742, 1805, 1884, 1819, 1805, 1824, 1825, 1884, 1872, 1810, 1865 and 1810 are included under the topic Early Gaskell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gaskell Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Gaskell, Gaskill, Gaitskill, Gaitskell and others.

Early Notables of the Gaskell family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was Samuel Gaskell, a tanner at Newton Stewart in 1742. William Gaskell (1805-1884), Unitarian minister, eldest son of William Gaskell (d. 15 March 1819), sail-canvas manufacturer, was born at Latchford, near Warrington, on 24 July 1805. Of an old nonconformist family, he was early destined for the ministry. After studying at Glasgow, where he graduated M.A. in 1824, he was admitted in 1825 to Manchester College, York, being nominated by Thomas Belsham as a divinity student on the Hackney fund. Gaskell died at his residence, Plymouth Grove, Manchester, on 11 June 1884; he was buried...
Another 123 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gaskell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gaskell Ranking

In the United States, the name Gaskell is the 15,828th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [7]

United States Gaskell migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Gaskell Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Edward Gaskell, who landed in Salem, Massachusetts in 1637 [8]
Gaskell Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Lawrence Gaskell who settled in Maryland in 1774
Gaskell Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • H C Gaskell, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 [8]

Canada Gaskell migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Gaskell Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • W P Gaskell, who landed in Victoria, British Columbia in 1862

Australia Gaskell migration to Australia +

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

Gaskell Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • James Gaskell, British convict from Gibralter, who was transported aboard the "Agamemnon" on April 22, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia [9]
  • John Gaskell, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Bolton" in 1848 [10]

New Zealand Gaskell migration to New Zealand +

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:

Gaskell Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Joseph Gaskell, aged 16, who arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ballochmyle" in 1874

Contemporary Notables of the name Gaskell (post 1700) +

  • Whitney Gaskell (b. 1972), American novelist of eight comedic novels
  • The Reverend William Gaskell (1805-1884), British minister and educator, husband of novelist and biographer Elizabeth Gaskell [11]
  • Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell (1810-1865), née Stevenson, English novelist and short story writer, often referred to as Mrs Gaskell, the first to write a biography of Charlotte Bronte in 1857 [11]
  • Ms. Christine Ann Gaskell C.B.E., M.B.E., D.L., (b. 1959), British Chair of National Local Enterprise Partnership Network Management Board, was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire on 29th December 2018 for services to the community in Cheshire by her Majesty The Queen [12]
  • Kevin F. Gaskell (b. 1968), New Zealand-born designer and founder of Gaskell Guitars
  • Richard Halliwell Gaskell (1905-1983), English association footballer
  • James Gaskell (b. 1990), English rugby union player for Wasps in the Aviva Premiership
  • John David Gaskell (b. 1940), English former football goalkeeper for Manchester United from 1955 to 1957
  • Charles George Milnes Gaskell PC (1842-1919), English lawyer and Liberal Party politician, Member of Parliament for Morley (1885-1892)
  • Lady Constance Harriet Stuart Gaskell DCVO (1885-1964), née Knox, English Woman of the Bedchamber to Queen Mary (1937-1953), Lady-in-Waiting to Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent (1953-1960)
  • ... (Another 9 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Alfred Gaskell (d. 1912), aged 16, English Second Class passenger from Liverpool, Merseyside who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [13]

The Gaskell 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: Spe
Motto Translation: By hope.

  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. Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  3. 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)
  4. 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)
  5. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  6. Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  7. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  8. 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)
  9. State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Agamemnon voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1820 with 179 passengers. Retrieved from
  10. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) BOLTON 1848. Retrieved from
  11. Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 30 June 2020
  12. "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018,
  13. Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from on Facebook