Joel History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The history of the Joel name began with the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from the baptismal name Joel. The surname Joel referred to the son of Joel which belongs to the category of patronymic surnames. In Old English, patronyms were formed by adding a variety of suffixes to personal names, which changed over time and from place to place. For example, after the Norman Conquest, sunu and sune, which meant son, were the most common patronymic suffixes. In the 12th and 13th centuries, the most common patronymic names included the word filius, which meant son. By the 14th century, the suffix son had replaced these earlier versions. Surnames that were formed with filius or son were more common in the north of England and it was here that the number of individuals without surnames was greatest at this time.

Early Origins of the Joel family

The surname Joel was first found in Devon where the Testa de Nevill, sive Liber Feodorum, temp. Henry III- Edward I. included three listings of the name as both a forename and a surname: Warin filius Juelis, Henry III Edward I; Juel de Stanhuse; and Juel de Buketon, Devon. [1]

"Helias and Robert Juels are mentioned in the Norman Exchequer Rolls of 1180-95. Galfrid, William, and Richard Juel or Joel occur in Huntingdonshire, about 1272. (Rot Hundred.) 'This family derived probably from Juel or Judael de Mayennc, Baron of Totness and Barnstaple, temp. William I.: a Breton noble (see Maine}. He held lands from the Earl of Mortaine, besides his own barony; and a portion of the former, as well as a fief created in the Barony of Totness, seems to have passed to the younger branch names Fitz Juel. Warin Fitz Juel, in 1242, held a knight's fee,which had been granted by the Earl of Mortaine at the Conquest.' " [2]

The source Calendarium Genealogicum: Henry III- Edward I had two listings: Jordan filius Juel; and Jordan filius Jowell, 25 Edward I (during the 25th year of King Edward I's reign.) [3]

Robert le Jewell, Alicia le Jueler were listed in the Subsidy Rolls for London in 1319. [4]

John Jowell, was Sheriff of Norwich, Norfolk in 1486. [5]

"Jewell was the name of a gentle family of Bowden in the parish of Berry - Narbor or Berryn - Arbor, near Ilfracombe, [Devon], in the 16th and 17th centuries; to this family belonged John Jewell, the noted Bishop of Salisbury, who was born at Berryn - Arbor in 1522 (W. and Pr.). The name is now well represented in the Bideford district, but still occurs in Berry. Narbor. It has also long been a Cornish name." [6]

Early History of the Joel family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Joel research. Another 50 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1560, 1559, 1522, 1571, 1522 and 1535 are included under the topic Early Joel History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Joel Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Joel family name include Jewell, Jewall, Jule, Joel, Jouel and others.

Early Notables of the Joel family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: John Jewell (1522-1571), Bishop of Salisbury. He was "born on 24 May 1522, was the son of John Jewel of Buden, in the parish of Berimber, or Berrynarbor, Devonshire. His mother's name was Bellamy, and at the age of seven he...
Another 48 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Joel Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Joel migration to the United States +

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, the Canadas, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Joel surname or a spelling variation of the name include :

Joel Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Benjamin Joel, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1785
Joel Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Joseph Joel, who arrived in Arkansas in 1877 [7]
  • Moses Joel, who landed in Arkansas in 1887 [7]
  • Jake Joel, who landed in Arkansas in 1892 [7]

Australia Joel migration to Australia +

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

Joel Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Joel Bingham, English convict who was convicted in Chester, Cheshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Baring" in December 1818, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [8]
  • Mr. Mark Joel, English convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for life, transported aboard the "Clyde" on 20th August 1830, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [9]
  • Mr. Joel Burford, English convict who was convicted in Devon, England for 10 years, transported aboard the "Barossa" on 8th December 1839, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [10]
  • Mr. Thomas Joel, (b. 1820), aged 23, English seaman who was convicted in Bath, Somerset, England for 10 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Cressy" on 28th April 1843, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land), he died in 1848 [11]

New Zealand Joel 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:

Joel Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Elizabeth J. Joel, (b. 1841), aged 22, Cornish settler departing on 18th June 1863 aboard the ship "Accrington" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 5th September 1863 [12]
  • Martha Joel, aged 20, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alumbagh" in 1875 [13]

Contemporary Notables of the name Joel (post 1700) +

  • William Martin "Billy" Joel (b. 1949), famous American singer and songwriter, six-time Grammy Award winner, reportedly the sixth best selling artist in the United States
  • Sergeant First Class Lawrence Joel (1928-1984), United States military veteran, recipient of the Medal of Honor
  • Alexander Joel (b. 1971), English born, German pianist and conductor
  • Joel Joel (1836-1893), founder of the Joel family of England who made a fortune in diamonds in South Africa
  • Nicolas Joel (1953-2020), or Joël, a French opera director and administrator of opera houses
  • Karl Amson Joel (1889-1982), German-Jewish textile merchant and manufacturer
  • Alan Joel Greiman (1931-2022), American judge and politician, born in Chicago, Illinois
  • William Joel Stone (1848-1918), American Democratic Party politician, U.S. Representative from Missouri 12th District, 1885-91; Governor of Missouri, 1893-97; Member of Democratic National Committee from Missouri, 1896-1904 [14]
  • Lloyd Joel Andrews (b. 1920), American Republican politician [15]
  • Philip Joel Urry (b. 1973), known by his stage name Phil Joel, New Zealand musician and the former bassist for the Christian rock group Newsboys


  1. ^ Testa de Nevill or "Liber Feodorum" or "Book of Fees," thought to have been written by Ralph de Nevill, for King John (1199–1216)
  2. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 2 of 3
  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. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. ^ Rye, Walter, A History of Norfolk. London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, 1885. Print
  6. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  7. ^ 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)
  8. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/baring
  9. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 19th February 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/clyde
  10. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 24th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/barossa
  11. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 21st May 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/cressy
  12. ^ 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
  13. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  14. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 2) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  15. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, August 17) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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