Kendal History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

The illustrious surname Kendal finds its origin in the rocky, sea swept coastal area of southwestern England known as Cornwall. Although surnames were fairly widespread in medieval England, people were originally known only by a single name. The process by which hereditary surnames were adopted is extremely interesting. As populations grew, people began to assume an extra name to avoid confusion and to further identify themselves. Under the Feudal System of government, surnames evolved and they often reflected life on the manor and in the field. Lords and their tenants often became known by the name of the feudal territory they owned or lived on. Unlike most Celtic peoples, who favored patronymic names, the Cornish predominantly used local surnames. This was due to the heavy political and cultural influence of the English upon the Cornish People at the time that surnames first came into use. Local surnames were derived from where a person lived, held land, or was born. While many Cornish surnames of this sort appear to be topographic surnames, which were given to people who resided near physical features such as hills, streams, churches, or types of trees, many are actually habitation surnames derived from lost or unrecorded place names. The name Kendal is a local type of surname and the Kendal family lived in Treworgy in Duloe. The parish of Kendall in Westmorland was home to many of the family. "On the east bank of the river are the ruins of a castle, the baronial seat of the lords of Kendal, and the birthplace of Catherine Parr, the last queen of Henry VIII." [1] "The manufacture of 'Kendal green' made this town early famous, and of necessity caused the surname to be common." [2] [3] However, another source disagrees with these sources. "The general opinion seems to be that this family is of different origin from that of the Kendalls of Westmorland, whose name is derived from Kirby-in-Kendale. Kendall signifies to see or behold the dale or valley; otherwise Kendall or Cendall is fine linen; and Cendale may be a corruption of Pendall, i. e. the head of the valley." [4]

Early Origins of the Kendal family

The surname Kendal was first found in Treworgy in Duloe, and are traced to Richard Kendall or Treworgy, Burgess for Lunceston in the forty-third of Edward III. For many centuries Pelyn was the family seat for this family. And it here that Walter, the third son of John Kendall of Treworgy married a daughter and coheir of Robert Holland, an illegitimate son of a Duke of Exeter. [5] "The Kendalls of Cornwall, long and still resident at Pelyn, were formerly of Treworgy in that county." [4] Later, the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 had the following listings of the family: Johannes de Kendall; Thomas de Kendale; Edmundus de Kendall and finally Johannes de Kendall, Webster. [2] John de Kendale was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Lancashire in 1332. [6]

Important Dates for the Kendal family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kendal research. Another 212 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1577, 1643, 1625, 1640, 1647, 1708, 1690, 1694, 1686 and 1696 are included under the topic Early Kendal History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Kendal Spelling Variations

Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Kendall, Kendal, Kendel, Kendell, Kendale and others.

Early Notables of the Kendal family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was Nicholas Kendall (c. 1577-1643), an English politician who sat in the House of Commons in 1625 and 1640 killed in action fighting on the Royalist side in the English Civil War; and James Kendall (1647-1708), English soldier and...
Another 45 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kendal Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Kendal migration to the United States

An investigation of the immigration and passenger lists has revealed a number of people bearing the name Kendal:

Kendal Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Francis Kendal, who landed in Woburn, Massachusetts in 1647 [7]
  • John Kendal, who arrived in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1647 [7]
  • Thomas Kendal, who arrived in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1648 [7]
  • William Kendal, who landed in Virginia in 1653 [7]
  • William Kendal, who settled in Virginia in 1653 with his wife Mary
Kendal Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • M Kendal, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850 [7]

Kendal migration to Canada

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Kendal Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Kendal William U.E. who settled in New Brunswick c. 1784 [8]
Kendal Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Steven Kendal, who settled in Canada in 1839

Kendal migration to Australia

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

Kendal Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. H. J. Kendal, (b. 1819), aged 21, Cornish farm servant travelling aboard the ship "Alfred" arriving in New South Wales, Australia on 7th January 1840 [9]
  • Miss Susan Kendal, (b. 1818), aged 22, Cornish servant travelling aboard the ship "Alfred" arriving in New South Wales, Australia on 7th January 1840 [9]
  • Mr. Henry F. Kendal, (b. 1819), aged 21, Cornish farm servant, from Padstow, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "Alfred" arriving in New South Wales, Australia on 7th January 1840 [10]
  • Miss Susan Kendal, (b. 1817), aged 22, Cornish servant travelling aboard the ship "Alfred" arriving in New South Wales, Australia on 7th January 1840 [10]
  • George Kendal, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Amity Hall" in 1850 [11]

Kendal 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:

Kendal Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Kendal, (b. 1850), aged 20, English ploughman, from Norfolk travelling from London aboard the ship "Ramsey" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 17th June 1870 [12]

Contemporary Notables of the name Kendal (post 1700)

  • Charles Kendal Bushe (1767-1843), Irish lawyer and jurist, nicknamed the "silver-tongued Bushe," he held the positions of Solicitor-General for Ireland (1805-1822) and Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench for Ireland (1822-1841)
  • Adrian Kendal Dixon FRCR, FRCP, FRCS, FMedSci (b. 1948), English Master of Peterhouse, Cambridge (2008-)
  • Kendal Cronkhite, American production designer for DreamWorks Animation's Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted
  • Kendal Nathaniel "Tiny" Pinder (b. 1956), Bahamian former professional basketball player
  • Kendal Unruh, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Colorado, 2008, 2012 (alternate) [13]

You May Also Like


  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  4. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  5. ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
  6. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  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. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  9. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, May 30). Ships' Passenger Lists of Arrivals in New South Wales on (1828 - 1842, 1848 - 1849) [PDF]. Retrieved from
  10. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from
  11. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) AMITY HALL 1850. Retrieved from
  12. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from
  13. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 16) . Retrieved from
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