Show ContentsJel History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Jel is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England with the Norman Conquest of 1066. Jel is a name that comes from the classical French name Gellius. [1] The name is also a pet form of the female given name Juliana or Gillian, and occasionally was given to children through rare metronymic descent. This occasionally occurred if a man married twice; in such a case the children of his second marriage would bear the name of their mother to distinguish them from the children of their father's first marriage.

Early Origins of the Jel family

The surname Jel was first found in Yorkshire and Derbyshire. "Hopton [in Derbyshire] was the property and residence of Sir John Gell, who, when Charles I. raised the royal standard at Nottingham, proceeded to Derby, assembled a strong body of troops for the parliament, and performed a conspicuous part throughout the war." [2]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list: Gelle Winter in Cambridgeshire; and Emma Gele in Suffolk. The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 list Thomas Gele. [3]

Early History of the Jel family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Jel research. Another 113 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1651, 1719, 1740, 1806, 1775, 1842, 1593, 1671, 1593, 1612, 1689 and 1665 are included under the topic Early Jel History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Jel Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Gell, Gill, Jell and others.

Early Notables of the Jel family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir John Gell, 1st Baronet (1593-1671), a Parliamentarian politician and military figure in the English Civil War. His family were Wirksworth/Hopton area landholders for over 500 years. He was the son of Thomas Gell of Hopton, Derbyshire, and Millicent, daughter of Ralph Sacheverell, was born 22 June 1593. [4] His...
Another 57 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Jel Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Jel family

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Jel or a variant listed above were: John Gell who arrived in Philadelphia in 1741.

  1. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print on Facebook