Show ContentsLongfellow History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Longfellow is a name whose history dates possibly as far back as 1066 when the Normans first arrived in Britain following their Conquest of the island. It was a name for a tall person. The surname Longfellow is derived from the Old English word lang, meaning long or tall, and the Old English word felagh, which meant partner or shareholder.[1]

Early Origins of the Longfellow family

The surname Longfellow was first found in Huntingdonshire, now part the district of Cambridgeshire where in 1165, Henry de Longavilla held lands from Nigel de Luvetot. He descended from a branch of the Gifford family, barons of Langueville and Bolbec near Dieppe, Normandy. Osberne de Longeville or Bolbec gave the church of Pictariville, Normandy c. 990.

Other early listings of early variants of the name include: Richard de Logvil in Buckinghamshire in 1199, and Roger de Longavilla in Huntingdonshire c. 1200. [2] Longville as a place name occurs in a few places throughout Britain including: Newton Longville is a village and civil parish in the Aylesbury Vale district of Buckinghamshire; Weston Longville is a civil parish in Norfolk; and Cheney Longville is a small village in Shropshire which is home to Cheney Longville Castle a much restored 14th century fortified manor house.

The Longfellow variant may have been a nickname, [3] but this variant was almost always found in Yorkshire. Indeed, the American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's family claims descent from the Yorkshire branch. [3] Early Yorkshire rolls revealed Peter Langfellay during the Corpus Christi Guild and Elizabeth Longfellow during the Deposition from York Castle. Margery Langfellow was listed in the Corpus Christi Guild in 1491. [4]

Early History of the Longfellow family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Longfellow research. Another 80 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1807, 1882, 1689, 1797 and 1797 are included under the topic Early Longfellow History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Longfellow Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence in the eras before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate regularly changed the spellings of their names as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Longfellow have been found, including Longfellow, Longuville, Longville, Longfield and others.

Early Notables of the Longfellow family (pre 1700)

Another 38 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Longfellow Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Longfellow Ranking

In the United States, the name Longfellow is the 12,792nd most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [5]

Ireland Migration of the Longfellow family to Ireland

Some of the Longfellow family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 96 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Longfellow migration to the United States +

For many English families, the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. For such families, the shores of Ireland, Australia, and the New World beckoned. They left their homeland at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. Many arrived after the long voyage sick, starving, and without a penny. But even those were greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. Numerous English settlers who arrived in the United States and Canada at this time went on to make important contributions to the developing cultures of those countries. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Longfellow were among those contributors:

Longfellow Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Longfellow, who arrived in New England in 1630
  • William Longfellow, who arrived in Newbury, Massachusetts in 1653 [6]
Longfellow Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • N Longfellow, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Longfellow (post 1700) +

  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882), American poet, best known for his "Paul Revere's Ride", "A Psalm of Life", and "The Song of Hiawatha"
  • John L. Longfellow (1896-1956), American basketball player and Indiana State head coach, inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 1967
  • Ernest Wadsworth Longfellow (1845-1921), American artist from Cambridge, Massachusetts, son of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  • Alexander Wadsworth Longfellow Jr. (1854-1934), American architect and nephew of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  • Stephanie Longfellow, American stage and film actress who appeared in over 39 silent films between 1909 and 1911, grand-niece of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  • Samuel Longfellow (1819-1892), American clergyman and hymn writer from Portland, Maine
  • Stephen Longfellow (1776-1849), American politician, U.S. Representative from Maine
  • Pamela "Ki" Longfellow (b. 1944), American Bram Stoker Award winning novelist, playwright, theatrical producer, theater director and entrepreneur
  • Brigadier-General Newton Longfellow (1890-1970), American Commander of the 316th Troop Carrier Wing, Medium, Greenville AFB, South Carolina (1948-1949) [7]
  • Stephen Longfellow (1775-1849), American politician, Representative from Maine at-large, 1823-25; Member of Maine State House of Representatives, 1826 [8]

  1. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  3. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  4. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  6. 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)
  7. Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2012, April 10) Newton Longfellow. Retrieved from
  8. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 12) . Retrieved from on Facebook