Harwill History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Harwill reached England in the great wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Harwill 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 Harwill family

The surname Harwill 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 Harwill family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Harwill 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 Harwill History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Harwill Spelling Variations

Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Harwill family name include Harewell, Harwell, Harwall, Harewall and others.

Early Notables of the Harwill family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Harwill family

To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Harwill family to immigrate North America: 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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