Harwall History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Harwall reached English shores for the first time with the ancestors of the Harwall family as they migrated following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Harwall family lived in Harivel which is "very common in Normandy. It is synonymous with Haridelle, still found in our modem dictionaries. 'Harivels,' or 'harivilliers,' are frequently seen at our fairs; they are persons dealing only in 'harins' or 'haridelles,' small or inferior horses, leaving the trade in riding horses and animals of a superior quality to the regular horse dealers.' There exists, however, an aristocratic family named Le Harivel, that is found in Normandy as early as the fifteenth century, and once possessed several important fiefs, such as Sourdeval, Beaumanoir, Maizet, Gonneville, Flagy, &c. It furnished proofs of its nobility in 1463, and in 1671 was again declared Estre noble par charte de franc-fiefs. " [1]

Harwell is a parish, in the union of Wantage, hundred of Moreton, Berkshire. Now part of Oxfordshire, this parish dates back to Saxon times when it was known as Haranwylle in 956. [2] By the time of the Domesday Book of 1086, it was known as Harvvelle. [3]

Harwell is also a parish of Everton, union of East Retford, North Clay division of the wapentake of Bassetlaw, N. division of the county of Nottingham. [4]

The place name literally means "spring or stream by the hill called Hara (the grey one)." [2]

Early Origins of the Harwall family

The surname Harwall was first found in Somerset where "John de Harewell was chaplain to Edward the Black Prince, Chancellor of Gascony, and Bishop of Wells. He lies buried before the altar of St. Calix in Wells Cathedral. " [1]

"A Cecilia de Harewell, and her son Robert are mentioned in 1202 in Oxfordshire (Rotuli Cancellarii): but I cannot find that the name occurs there again." [5]

Another source notes that an early Latin form of the name, Cecilia de Harewella was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Oxfordshire in 1194. The same source also notes Thomas de Harwell in London in 1325-1326 and John Harwell in the Feet of Fines of Warwickshire 1496-1497. [6]

Early History of the Harwall family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Harwall research. Another 138 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1510, 1600, 1043, 1352, 1486, 1566, 1455 and 1487 are included under the topic Early Harwall History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Harwall Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Harewell, Harwell, Harwall, Harewall and others.

Early Notables of the Harwall family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Harwall Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Harwall family

Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Harwall name or one of its variants: the name represented in many forms and recorded from the mid 17th century in the great migration from Europe. Migrants settled in the eastern seaboard from Newfoundland, to Maine, to Virginia, the Carolinas, and to the islands..



  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  4. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  5. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 2 of 3
  6. ^ 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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