Kendell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The proud Kendell family originated in Cornwall, a rugged coastal region in southwestern England. In early times, people were known by only a single name. However, as the population grew and people traveled further afield, it became increasingly necessary to assume an additional name to differentiate between bearers of the same personal name. The manner in which hereditary surnames arose is interesting. Local surnames are derived from where the original bearer lived, was born, or held land. The Kendell family originally 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 Kendell family

The surname Kendell 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]

"This place belonged for many ages to the ancient and respectable family of Kendall, who had their seat here; one of whom was sheriff of Cornwall in the year 1385. In this family it remained until the days of William III. when John Kendall, Esq. having no issue, sold Treworgye to the family of Williams of Bodenick." [6]

"The Kendalls of Cornwall, long and still resident at Pelyn, were formerly of Treworgy in that county." [4]

"The Kendalls of Pelyn [in the parish of Lanlivery, Cornwall] are descended from Walter, third son of John Kendall of Treworgy, who married a daughter and co-heiress of Robert Holland, descended from the Bishop of Exeter. There are several memorials in Lanlivery church for this family; that which bears the earliest date is for Walter Kendall, in 1547." [6]

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. [7]

Early History of the Kendell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kendell research. Another 240 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1539, 1588, 1577, 1643, 1625, 1640, 1647, 1708, 1690, 1694, 1686 and 1696 are included under the topic Early Kendell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Kendell 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 Kendell 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 Kendell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Kendell Ranking

In Newfoundland, Canada, the name Kendell is the 354th most popular surname with an estimated 131 people with that name. [8]


United States Kendell migration to the United States +

In the immigration and passenger lists a number of early immigrants bearing the name Kendell were found:

Kendell Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Hans Jacob Kendell, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1748 [9]
  • Joseph Kendell, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1765 [9]
  • Theobald Kendell, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1765 [9]
Kendell Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Robert Kendell, who arrived in New York in 1834 [9]
  • Ruth Kendell, aged 14, who landed in New York in 1862 [9]
  • Ann Kendell, aged 36, who arrived in New York in 1862 [9]
  • Charles Kendell, aged 38, who landed in New York in 1862 [9]
  • Elizabeth Kendell, aged 5, who arrived in New York in 1862 [9]

Contemporary Notables of the name Kendell (post 1700) +

  • Don Kendell AM (1930-2001), Australian founder and Chairman of Kendell Airlines, now a part of Regional Express Airlines
  • Kathryn Dean "Kate" Kendell (b. 1960), American Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR)
  • Julia Kendell (b. 1968), English interior designer, television presenter and writer
  • Dr. Robert Evan Kendell FRSE (1935-2002), Welsh psychiatrist, Chief Medical Officer of Scotland in 1990, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in 1997, elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh
  • William Kendell (1851-1922), Australian politician, Member of the Australian Parliament for Corio (1913-1914)
  • Ebenezer Thomas Kendell (1886-1966), Australian politician, Member for Corowa NSW (1946-1950)
  • Kendell Kroeker, American politician, Member of the Wyoming House of Representatives (2011-2016)
  • Kendell McFayden (b. 1988), American soccer player
  • Kendell Geer, South African artist, performance artist, musician and film-maker


The Kendell Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Virtus depressa resurget
Motto Translation: Virtue, though depressed, shall rise again.


  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. ^ Lower, 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. ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  7. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  8. ^ The order of Common Surnames in 1955 in Newfoundland retrieved on 20th October 2021 (retrieved from Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland by E.R. Seary corrected edition ISBN 0-7735-1782-0)
  9. ^ 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)


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