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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


  • Catharine Kidwell (1921-2002), American novelist
  • Zedekiah Kidwell (1814-1872), nineteenth century American politician, physician, lawyer, teacher and clerk
  • Wayne L. Kidwell (b. 1938), retired Idaho Supreme Court justice and a former Idaho state attorney general
  • Homer Baird Kidwell (1911-2000), American lawyer, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Hawaii (1975-1979)
  • 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. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  2. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  3. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  4. Morgan, T. J. Morgan and Prys Morgan. Welsh Surnames. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1985. Print.
  5. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  6. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  7. Rowlands, John, John Rowlands and Sheila Rowlands. Welsh Family History: A Guide to Research. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1999. Print. (ISBN 080631620).
  8. Bradsley C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print.
  9. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  10. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  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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