Honeywell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Cornwall, one of the original six "Celtic nations" is the homeland to the surname Honeywell. A revival of the Cornish language which began in the 9th century AD has begun. No doubt this was the language spoken by distant forebears of the Honeywell family. Though surnames became common during medieval times, English people were formerly known only by a single name. The way in which hereditary surnames were adopted in medieval England is fascinating. Many Cornish surnames appear to be topographic surnames, which were given to people who resided near physical features such as hills, streams, churches, or types of trees, many are actually habitation surnames. The name Honeywell is a local type of surname and the Honeywell family lived in Devon. Their name however, is derived from the Old English words hunig and welle, which means honey and well, respectively, and indicates that the original bearer lived near a spring or well where there was an abundance of honeycombs.

Early Origins of the Honeywell family

The surname Honeywell was first found in Devon, where they held a family seat from ancient times.

Early History of the Honeywell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Honeywell research. Another 163 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1500, 1524, and 1642 are included under the topic Early Honeywell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Honeywell Spelling Variations

Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Honeywell, Honeywill, Honnywill, Honiwell and many more.

Early Notables of the Honeywell family (pre 1700)

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


United States Honeywell migration to the United States +

Amongst the settlers in North America with this distinguished name Honeywell were

Honeywell Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Edward Honeywell who sailed to Charleston South Carolina in 1821

Australia Honeywell migration to Australia +

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

Honeywell Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Vinecombe Honeywell, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Duke of Wellington" in 1851 [1]

New Zealand Honeywell migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Honeywell Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Harriet Honeywell, (b. 1856), aged 19, Cornish servant departing on 21st February 1875 aboard the ship "White Rose" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 21st July 1875 [2]
  • Mr. John Honeywell, (b. 1858), aged 17, Cornish labourer departing on 21st February 1875 aboard the ship "White Rose" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 21st July 1875 [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name Honeywell (post 1700) +

  • Mark Charles Honeywell (1874-1964), American electronics industrialist, founder and eponym of Honeywell Inc


  1. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) DUKE OF WELLINGTON 1851. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1851DukeOfWellington.htm
  2. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to Lyttelton 1858-84 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/new_zealand_assisted.pdf


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