Harswell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name Harswell came to England with the ancestors of the Harswell family in the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Harswell family lived in Devon. This name however, is a topographical reference indicating that the original bearer lived in close proximity to a hazel tree or grove. 
Early Origins of the Harswell family
The surname Harswell was first found in Devon at Halsewell. This parish "was possessed by the family surnamed from it De Halsewell, almost from the period of the Conquest, and it still belongs to their descendant, Colonel Kemeys-Tynte, whose ancestor married the heiress in the XVII. century."  They were descended from Halsewell or De Halsewell from Normandy. 
In turn, the name evolved into the shortened forms including Hazel, Hazell, Hasel, Hasell, Haisell and others and spread throughout ancient Britain. By example, Alured del Hesel was listed in Worcester c. 1182, Gamel Hesel listed in the Pipe Rolls of Lincolnshire in 1203, and Hugh de Hesill in the Assize Rolls of Yorkshire in 1204. 
Early History of the Harswell family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Harswell research. Another 213 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 162 and 1628 are included under the topic Early Harswell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Harswell Spelling Variations
It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Harswell are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Harswell include Halsewell, Halswell, Harsewell, Harswell, Hazel, Hazell, Hassal, Hassel, Hassall and many more.
Early Notables of the Harswell family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Harswell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Harswell, or a variant listed above:
Harswell Settlers in United States in the 17th Century