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

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

The ancestors of the Kentwell surname lived among the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. The name comes from when they lived in Kentwell, in the county of Suffolk. Kentwell dates back to the Domesday Book where it was listed as Kanewella, part of the lands held by Frodo, the Abbot's Brother. "Aelfgar held Kentwell freely under Siward of Maldon as a manor with 2 carucates of land with Soke. There were thereon at that time 7 villans, and afterwards, and now 4 villans." [1] Today, Kentwell Hall is a stately home in Long Melford, Suffolk and is used for numerous film and television productions, However, it does date back to presumably the manor mentioned in the Domesday Book but in a very different form. Kentwell Hall was owned later by Galleus from 1145 to 1148. In the early 13th century, records show that Sir Gilbert de Kentewell held the manor, but by 1252 had been granted by King Henry III to Sir William de Valence.


Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Kentwell include Cantwall, Cantwell, Cantwel, Kantwell, Kentwell and many more.

First found in Suffolk where the earliest records were in the year 1273 when Gilbert de Kentwelle was listed in the Hundredorum Rolls. This is presumed to be the senior line of the family name but they held a family seat there from a very early date, probably the 10th century.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kentwell research. Another 57 words(4 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1500, 1406, 1452 and 1319 are included under the topic Early Kentwell History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Kentwell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Kentwell family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 359 words(26 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants: John Cantwell settled in Virginia in 1623; Mary Cantwell settled in Pennsylvania in 1685; Edward, Joseph, Leonard, Mathias, Michael, and Patrick all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1870..


  • W.H. Kentwell, Australian President of the Mosman Rugby Club in 1923, eponym of the Kentwell Cup


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  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)

Other References

  1. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  2. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  3. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  4. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  5. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  6. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  8. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  9. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  10. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  11. ...

The Kentwell Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Kentwell 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 29 August 2013 at 11:03.

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