Lyell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Lyell family

The surname Lyell was first found in Oxfordshire at Shirburn, a parish, in the union of Thame, hundred of Pirton. "This place was the property of Richard, Earl of Cornwall, and passed to Alice, wife of Warine de L'lsle, whose descendant of the same name obtained from Edward III. licence to embattle his house here. Shirburn Castle, the seat of the Earl of Macclesfield, is surrounded by a moat, over which is a drawbridge; it contains a noble hall, an armoury, and a suite of splendid apartments, with a fine collection of paintings, including a portrait of Catherine Parr, wife of Henry VIII." [1]

The same Alice de Lisle, (note spelling change) was lady of the manor of Alwarton, in 1332. [2]

"The family are descended from Radulphus de Insula, temp. William the Conqueror." [3]

Some of the family later held estates at Dibden in Southampton. "The church, a very ancient structure, has been thoroughly repaired and repewed, at a cost of £500, and some windows of painted glass have been inserted; it contains monuments to the Lisle family, who were lords of the manor, and of whom Lady Lisle was condemned to death by Judge Jeffries (Jeffreys)." [1]

Despite the aforementioned, Scotland has traditionally held the lion's share of the family and most people claim descent from there as "a family of this name were barons of Duchal in Renfrewshire as early as the beginning of the thirteenth century. They were of the same stock as the Northumberland family of 'de Insula' (as the name appears in Latin) or 'Lisle' (de Lisle, Delisle in French). The first of the name in Scotland appears to have been Radulphus or Ralph de Insula, a follower of the Steward, who witnessed the gift by Baldwin de Bigre, sheriff of Lanharc (Lanark), of the church of Innerkyp to the monks of Paisley, c. 1170." [4]

Early History of the Lyell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Lyell research. Another 152 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1058, 1296, 1610, 1664, 1617, 1685, 1632, 1716, 1659 and are included under the topic Early Lyell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Lyell Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Lyle, Lille, Lile, Lisle, Lyall, Lyal, Lyel and many more.

Early Notables of the Lyell family (pre 1700)

Notable among the family at this time was Sir John Lisle (1610-1664), an English lawyer and politician who supported the Parliamentarian cause in the English Civil War, one of the Regicides of King Charles I of England, he was assassinated by an agent of the crown while in...
Another 47 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Lyell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Lyell family to Ireland

Some of the Lyell family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 76 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Lyell migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Lyell Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Dennis Lyell, who landed in Virginia in 1652 [5]
  • William Lyell, who arrived in Maryland in 1663 [5]
  • James Lyell, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1682 [5]
Lyell Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Ulrick Lyell, who landed in Philadelphia, Pa in 1772 [5]

Australia Lyell migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Lyell Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Alexander Lyell, a carpenter, who arrived in Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • John Lyell, aged 32, who arrived in South Australia in 1851 aboard the ship "Hydaspes" [6]
  • John Lyell, aged 32, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Hydaspes" in 1851 [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Lyell (post 1700) +

  • Katie Lyell, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Ohio, 2008 [7]
  • Leonard Lyell (1850-1926), 1st Baron Lyell, Scottish Liberal politician, Member of Parliament for Orkney and Shetland (1885–1900)
  • Sir Charles Lyell (1797-1875), Scottish geologist
  • Katharine Murray Lyell (1817-1915), British botanist, mother of Leonard Lyell
  • Charles Henry Lyell (1875-1918), British politician and Liberal Member of Parliament
  • Charles Antony Lyell VC (1913-1943), 2nd Baron Lyell, British recipient of the Victoria Cross [8]
  • Charles Lyell DL (1939-2017), 3rd Baron Lyell, a British politician
  • Sir John Lyell Langman (1912-1985), 3rd Baronet of Eaton Square in the City of Westminster, English peer
  • Patrick Lyell Clawson (b. 1951), American economist and Middle East scholar
  • Edward Lyell Bristow, American politician, U.S. Consular Agent in Port Said, 1914-19 [9]

The Lyell 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: Sedulo et honeste
Motto Translation: Diligently and honestly.

  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  3. ^ Sims, Clifford Stanley The Origin and Signification of Scottish Surnames. 1862. Print.
  4. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  5. ^ 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)
  6. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) HYDASPES 1851. Retrieved
  7. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 3) . Retrieved from
  8. ^ World War 2 - LYELL, Charles. (Retrieved 2017, January 13) Charles Lyell. Retrieved from
  9. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 11) . Retrieved from on Facebook
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