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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Isbell family come from? What is the English Isbell family crest and coat of arms? When did the Isbell family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Isbell family history?


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.

First found in Oxfordshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. The Saxon influence of English history diminished after the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The language of the courts was French for the next three centuries and the Norman ambience prevailed. But Saxon surnames survived and the family name was first referenced in the year 1273 when Walter Ysabelle held estates in that shire.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Isbell research. Another 216 words(15 lines of text) covering the years 1455, 1487, and 1523 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. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  2. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  3. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  4. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  5. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  7. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  8. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  9. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  10. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  11. ...

The Isbell Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com 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 30 March 2014 at 16:20.

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