Halywel History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The ancient history of the Halywel name begins with the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the family resided near a holy spring having derived from the Old English terms halli, which meant holy, and welle, which meant spring. 
There are several place-names that are also derived from these words, including Halliwell in Lancashire, Holwell in Dorset and Oxfordshire, and Holywell and Northumberland.
Early Origins of the Halywel family
The surname Halywel was first found in Lancashire at Halliwell, a township, and ecclesiastical district, in the parish of Deane, union of Bolton, hundred of Salford. " The first mention of Halliwell occurs in the 17th year of the reign of John, when the abbot of Cockersand had an exemption from fines and amerciaments, by a charter of that date from the king." 
Hollowell is a hamlet, in the parish and hundred of Guilsborough, union of Brixworth, S. division of the county of Northampton. "The former of these two places has made Halliwell a familiar surname in South Lancashire." 
However, by the time of the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 the name was scattered throughout ancient Britain: Adam de Holewell, Norfolk; Simon de Holewell, Bedfordshire; John de Holowell, Buckinghamshire; Godfrey de Haliwell, London; and Richard de Holewell, Huntingdonshire. 
In Somerset, John de Holewell and Edith atte Holywelle were both listed 1 Edward III (in other words during the first year of King Edward III's reign). 
Further to the south in Devon, the Testa de Nevill, sive Liber Feodorum, temp. Henry III-Edward I listed William de Halegewelle. 
Later in Scotland, Halywell is mentioned in Berwick Retours and Thomas de Halywell was superior of the Abbey of Kelso in 1465. "Robert Halywell was notary public in St. Andrews diocese, 1473. Thomas Halywell, a Scot born at Grynlawe, in 1480 had letters of denization in England, John Halywell was killed in 1535 and William Halywell was burgess of Linlithgow, 1537." 
Early History of the Halywel family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Halywel research. Another 75 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1200, 1535, 1548, 1564, 1649, 1686, 1655, 1676, 1744 and 1676 are included under the topic Early Halywel History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Halywel Spelling Variations
Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Halywel include Halliwell, Halligwell, Haliwell and others.
Early Notables of the Halywel family (pre 1700)
Notables of the family at this time include Oibert Halliwell of Halliwell; and Edward Halliwell, English fellow of King's College, Cambridge from 1535 to 1548 who wrote the lost tragedy, Dido, which was performed before Queen Elizabeth I during her royal visit to the university on 7 August 1564.
John Holwell (1649-1686) was an English astrologer and mathematician. He claimed descent from the Holwells of Holwell House, near Tavistock, Devon, and his father and...
Migration of the Halywel family
Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Halywel or a variant listed above: Richard Halliwell settled in New York State in 1774.