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An excerpt from archives copyright 2000 - 2016


The surname Isbell was first found in Oxfordshire where Walter Ysabelle as listed in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273. The same roll listed: John Isabell in Norfolk; and Walter filius Isabell in Lincolnshire. [1] The name is thought to have originated for the personal name "Isabella, a pet form of Elizabeth, which seems to have developed in Provence. " [2] Other early rolls revealed William Isabel in the Subsidy Rolls of Worcestershire in 1275 while the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 list: Ricardus Deyne et Isabella uxor ejus; Matilda Isebell; Johannes Issebell; and Johannes Isbell. [1]

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 Isbell include Isabell, Isbell, Ysbell, Ysabell, Ysabelle and others.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Isbell research. Another 215 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1523, 1455 and 1487 are included under the topic Early Isbell History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Isbell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


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 Isbell or a variant listed above:

Isbell Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Jno Isbell, who arrived in Virginia in 1664

Isbell Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • John Isbell, who landed in Virginia in 1703

Isbell Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Albert M. Isbell, aged 48, who emigrated to the United States, in 1896
  • Arthur A. Isbell, aged 23, who settled in America from Liverpool, in 1898

Isbell Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Besse Isbell, aged 24, who emigrated to the United States, in 1903
  • Wyatt H. Isbell, who landed in America, in 1903
  • Maud Isbell, aged 24, who landed in America, in 1905
  • Marie Isbell, aged 28, who emigrated to the United States, in 1906
  • Ernest Isbell, aged 43, who emigrated to America, in 1909


  • Virginia Isbell (b. 1922), American politician and former educator
  • Larry Isbell (1930-1978), American football quarterback at Baylor University, member of the Texas Sports Hall of Fame
  • John R. Isbell (1930-2005), American mathematician
  • Joe Isbell (b. 1940), American NFL football player for the Dallas Cowboys and Cleveland Browns
  • Jason Isbell (b. 1979), American singer, songwriter, and guitarist
  • Frank Isbell (1875-1941), American Major League Baseball first baseman, second baseman, and outfielder
  • Cecil Frank Isbell (1915-1985), American football player
  • Captian Arnold J. Isbell (1899-1945), American Naval officer and Naval Aviator


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  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. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)

Other References

  1. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  2. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  3. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  5. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  6. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  7. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  8. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  9. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  10. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The Isbell Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Isbell Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 16 September 2015 at 12:13.

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