Heddle History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the bearers of the Heddle family name are thought have lived in ancient Anglo-Saxon England. They were first found near a hill or near the source of a stream or the head of a valley. The name was originally derived from the Old English heafod, which meant head. The surname Heddle belongs to the class of topographic surnames, which were given to people who resided near physical features such as hills, streams, churches, or types of trees. Heddle may have also been a nickname given to someone with a large head or with some other peculiarity of the head.

Early Origins of the Heddle family

The surname Heddle was first found in Norfolk, but we must look to Nottinghamshire to find the first listing of the name, Thomas del Heved who was listed there in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273. [1] The same roll has lists the spelling as Hedde and the old Anglo-Saxon spelling Heved. (BP)

Early History of the Heddle family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Heddle research. Another 76 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1275, 1737, 1609, 1689, 1667, 1679, 1637, 1686, 1628 and 1641 are included under the topic Early Heddle History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Heddle 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 Heddle include Head, Heade, Heads, Heed and others.

Early Notables of the Heddle family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Heddle family to Ireland

Some of the Heddle family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 121 words (9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Heddle migration to the United States +

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 Heddle or a variant listed above:

Heddle Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Alexander Heddle, aged 16, who landed in Savanna(h), Georgia in 1774 [2]

Australia Heddle migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Heddle Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • John Heddle, aged 41, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Macedon" in 1849 [3]
  • Elizabeth Heddle, aged 42, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Macedon" in 1849 [3]
  • James Heddle, aged 12, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Macedon" in 1849 [3]
  • Thomas Heddle, aged 9, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Macedon" in 1849 [3]
  • John Heddle, aged 15, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Macedon" in 1849 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Heddle (post 1700) +

  • Enid Moodie Heddle (1904-1991), Australian poet and writer for children from Elsternwick, Victoria, best known for her book The Boomerang Book of Legendary Tales which won the Children's Book of the Year Award: Older Readers in 1957
  • Matthew Forster Heddle FRSE (1828-1897), was Scottish physician and amateur mineralogist from Hoy in Orkney, son of Robert Heddle (1780-1842)
  • Charles William Maxwell Heddle (1812-1889), Sierra Leonian-born businessman and shipowner of Scottish descent, he built Heddle's Farm around 1820 which housed various notable people including two governors, now a national monument in Freetown, Sierra Leone
  • Ian Heddle (b. 1963), Scottish former footballer who played from 1983 to 1998
  • Kathleen Joan Heddle OBC (b. 1965), Canadian three-time gold medalist rower; she and her rowing partner Marnie McBean were the first Canadians to win three Olympic Gold medals
  • Bentley John Heddle (1943-1989), known as John Heddle, a British Conservative Party politician, Member of Parliament for Lichfield & Tamworth (1979-1983), and for Mid Staffordshire (1983-1989)


  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  3. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The MACEDON 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Macedon.htm


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