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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Getchell family come from? What is the English Getchell family crest and coat of arms? When did the Getchell family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Getchell family history?


It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Getchell are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Getchell include: Gatcliff, Gatcliffe, Getcliffe, Getliff, Catliffe, Catcliffe, Catliff, Cetliff, Gatclif, Getclif and many more.

First found in Yorkshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. The Saxon influence of English history diminished after the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The language of the courts was French for the next three centuries and the Norman ambience prevailed. But Saxon surnames survived and the family name was first referenced in the 13th century when they held a family seat in that shire.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Getchell research. Another 153 words(11 lines of text) covering the years 1455, 1457, and 1487 are included under the topic Early Getchell History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Getchell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Getchell or a variant listed above:

Getchell Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • John Getchell, aged 19, arrived in Virginia in 1684

Getchell Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Everett T. Getchell, aged 69, who emigrated to the United States, in 1903
  • Everett Getchell, aged 73, who settled in America, in 1906
  • Frank H. Getchell, aged 65, who landed in America, in 1912
  • George Getchell, aged 50, who emigrated to America, in 1918
  • Guy A. Getchell, aged 38, who landed in America, in 1919


  • Robert Getchell (b. 1936), American two-time Academy Award nominated, BAFTA Award winning screenwriter, best known for writing Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore
  • Mike Getchell, retired American soccer midfielder
  • William Henry Getchell (1829-1910), American photographer in Boston, Massachusetts


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  1. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  2. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  3. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  4. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  5. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  6. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  7. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  8. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  9. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  10. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  11. ...

The Getchell Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Getchell Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 11 November 2014 at 20:38.

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