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

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

The origins of the Welsh name Kidwell go back to the ancient Celtic culture that existed in the hills and Moors of Wales. The forbears that initially held the name Kidwell once lived in the town of Kidwelly, which is situated in the Welsh region of Dyfed. The Normans noted the strategic importance of this town, which is bordered by the coastline and two minor valleys. The town features a magnificent castle which dates from the 13th century; however, this stands on the site of a previous castle built in 1094, by William de Londres. The surname Kidwell belongs to the category of habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.


Although there are not an extremely large number Welsh surnames, there are an inordinately large number of spelling variations of those surnames. This variety of spellings began almost immediately after the acceptance of surnames within Welsh society. As time progressed, these old Brythonic names were eventually were recorded in English. This process was problematic in that many of the highly inflected sounds of the native language of Wales could not be properly captured in English. Some families, however, did decide to modify their own names to indicate a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even a patriotic affiliation. The name Kidwell has seen various spelling variations: Kidwelly, Kidwelley, Kidwell, Kidwall, Kedwell and others.

First found in Dyfed a former county, and the ancient Welsh Kingdom of Pwyll, Lord of Dyfed in South-west Wales, comprised of the present day counties of Pembroke, Carmarthen, and Cardigan, where they held a family seat from ancient times.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kidwell research. Another 137 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1094, 1589 and 1747 are included under the topic Early Kidwell History in all our PDF Extended History products.


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


In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, many people from Wales joined the general migration to North America in search of land, work, and freedom. These immigrants greatly contributed to the rapid development of the new nations of Canada and the United States. They also added a rich and lasting cultural heritage to their newly adopted societies. Investigation of immigration and passenger lists has revealed a number of people bearing the name Kidwell:

Kidwell Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • J. H. Kidwell, who sailed to San Francisco in 1851
  • J H Kidwell, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851

Kidwell Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • John E. Kidwell, who emigrated to America, in 1906
  • Mabel Kidwell, aged 36, who emigrated to the United States, in 1909
  • Edioh Kidwell, aged 21, who emigrated to the United States from Gloucester, England, in 1909
  • Herbert Kidwell, aged 17, who landed in America, in 1917
  • F.R. Kidwell, aged 46, who landed in America, in 1918


  • Homer Baird Kidwell (1911-2000), American lawyer, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Hawaii (1975-1979)
  • Wayne L. Kidwell (b. 1938), retired Idaho Supreme Court justice and a former Idaho state attorney general
  • Zedekiah Kidwell (1814-1872), nineteenth century American politician, physician, lawyer, teacher and clerk
  • Catharine Kidwell (1921-2002), American novelist
  • David Kidwell (b. 1977), New Zealand rugby league player in the National Rugby League Competition


  • The Kidwell Ancestry in America by Will M. Kidwell.
  • Kidwell Families of Kentucky by Harold Kidwell.

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  1. Fairbairn,. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  2. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  3. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  4. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  5. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  6. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  7. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  9. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  11. ...

The Kidwell Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Kidwell 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 16 May 2015 at 11:38.

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