Show ContentsIsbell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Isbell family

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]

Isabella of Angoulême (d. 1246), was the Queen of King John, daughter and heiress of Aymer, count of Angoulême, by Alicia, daughter of Peter of Courtenay, a younger son of Louis VI of France. [3]

Isabella (1214-1241), wife of the emperor Frederic II, born in 1214, was the second daughter and fourth child of John, King of England, and his Queen, Isabella of Angoulême. [3]

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]

Early History of the Isbell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Isbell research. Another 108 words (8 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 and printed products wherever possible.

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

Early Notables of the Isbell family (pre 1700)

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

Isbell Ranking

In the United States, the name Isbell is the 2,631st most popular surname with an estimated 12,435 people with that name. [4]

United States Isbell 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 Isbell or a variant listed above:

Isbell Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Isbell, who arrived in Virginia in 1664 [5]
Isbell Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Isbell, who landed in Virginia in 1703 [5]
Isbell Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Richard ISbell, (b. 1810), aged 27, Cornish baker departing from Falmouth aboard the ship"Royal Adelaide" arriving in the United States on 8th May 1837 [6]
  • Mrs. Eleanor Isbell, (b. 1808), aged 29, Cornish settler departing from Falmouth aboard the ship"Royal Adelaide" arriving in the United States on 8th May 1837 [6]
  • Albert M. Isbell, aged 48, who immigrated 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 immigrated 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 immigrated to the United States, in 1906
  • Ernest Isbell, aged 43, who immigrated to America, in 1909
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Isbell migration to Australia +

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

Isbell Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Henry Isbell, (b. 1870), aged 22, Cornish settler travelling aboard the ship "India" arriving in Queensland, Australia on 5th February 1892 [7]

Contemporary Notables of the name Isbell (post 1700) +

  • 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
  • James Isbell Armstrong (1919-2013), American academic, President of Middlebury College (1963-1975)

  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)
  3. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  4. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  5. 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)
  6. Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to New York 1820 - 1891 [PDF]. Retrieved from
  7. Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retreived 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from on Facebook