Show ContentsGressell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Anglo-Saxon name Gressell comes from when the family resided in the village of Gresham in the county of Norfolk. [1] [2] [3]

Early Origins of the Gressell family

The surname Gressell was first found in Norfolk at Gresham, a parish, in the union of Erpingham, hundred of North Erpingham. "Gresham gave name to the family of which Sir Thomas [Gresham] (c. 1519-1579), the founder of the Royal Exchange and of Gresham College, was a member." [4]

The same Sir Thomas is again mentioned in the same source in Battisford, Suffolk. "The framework of the late Royal Exchange, London, erected by Sir Thomas Gresham, was made here; Sir Thomas residing in the adjoining parish of Kingshall, and having considerable property in this." [4]

Another family seat was found at Barnby-Upon-Don in the West Riding of Yorkshire. "The church [of Barnby-Upon-Don] is a well-built structure of very ancient date, with a chancel the property of the Gresham family, which contains some handsome monuments to their ancestors and others." [4]

Ancient rolls give typically give a glimpse of the many spellings in use over the years, but this name is the exception as William de Gresham was registered in the Pipe Rolls for Norfolk in 1199 and Thomas Gresham was recorded in the Assize Rolls for Lancashire in 1446. It wasn't until the 16 century to find a variant, that of Richard Gressam listed as a Freeman of York in 1551. [5]

Early History of the Gressell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gressell research. Another 186 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1485, 1495, 1519, 1537, 1549, 1556, 1579, 1626, 1627, 1649, 1660, 1696, 1709, 1718 and 1776 are included under the topic Early Gressell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gressell Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Gressell include Gresham, Gressam and others.

Early Notables of the Gressell family

Notables of this surname at this time include: Sir John Gresham (1495-1556), an English merchant, courtier and financier who worked for King Henry VIII of England, Cardinal Wolsey and Thomas Cromwell, Lord Mayor of London and founded Gresham's School, Holt, Norfolk; Sir Richard Gresham (c.1485-1549), an English mercer, Merchant Adventurer, Lord Mayor of London, and Member of Parliament who was descended from an ancient family which long resided in the village...
Another 71 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gressell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Gressell family

A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants: Edward Gressam who settled in St. Christopher in 1635; Joe Gressam settled in Virginia in 1635; Ed. Gresham settled in Virginia in 1650; Andrew Gresham arrived in Philadelphia in 1858..



  1. Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  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. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)


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