Michell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Michell family originally lived in the town of Mitcham in the county of Surrey, England before moving north to Scotland, and taking this name with them. In Scotland, as hereditary surnames were adopted during the late Middle Ages, names derived from localities became increasingly widespread. Local names sometimes denoted the proprietorship of the village or estate. Alternatively the name was derived from the personal name Michael, meaning "who is like God" and influenced by the Norman French to Michel and later to Mitchell. The Gaelic form of the name was MacgilleMichael. [1]

Crossmichael is a parish, in the stewartry of Kirkcudbright. "This place, which is of remote antiquity, derives its name, in old documents Corse-Michael, from the dedication of its church, which was granted to the abbey of Sweetheart, in the year 1275, by Dervorgille, wife of Allan, Lord of Galloway, and mother of John Baliol, King of Scotland. " [2]

Early Origins of the Michell family

The surname Michell was first found in Surrey. Although the records are vague, it is most likely that this name moved north from Durham or Yorkshire around 1130 and were one of the many families invited north by King David of Scotland when he ascended the throne. Significantly, John Michelsone had a safe conduct passage to England to conduct trading south of the border in 1395.

Meanwhile, William Michelsone held his estates in Innerkethin Scotland. The Latinization of this name at this time was Michaelis and many of the individuals are recorded in charters under this name. John Michaelis of Brechin was the rector of that place in 1464. "Robert Michael de Hyrmanston was a charter witness in 1438, John Michell had a remission granted him in 1489 for his part in holding Dumbarton Castle against the king, and John Mitsell held a land in Glasgow in 1496." [1]

Early History of the Michell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Michell research. Another 124 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1433, 1463, 1474, 1646, 1465, 1600, 1591, 1663, 1662, 1663, 1642, 1710, 1699, 1702 and are included under the topic Early Michell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Michell Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Mitchell, Michel, Michell, Mitchill, Mychell, Mitcham and many more.

Early Notables of the Michell family (pre 1700)

Another 37 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Michell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Michell family to Ireland

Some of the Michell family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 79 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Michell migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Michell Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Mary Michell, who landed in Virginia in 1620-1621 [3]
  • Frances Michell, who arrived in Virginia in 1623 [3]
  • Joanna Michell, who arrived in Virginia in 1637 [3]
  • Edward Michell, who landed in New England in 1638 [3]
  • Walter Michell, who arrived in Virginia in 1642 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Michell Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Anne Michell, who landed in Virginia in 1701 [3]
  • Valantine Michell, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1730 [3]
  • Frederick Michell, aged 17, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1738 [3]
  • Andries Michell, who landed in New York in 1748 [3]
  • Barnard Michell, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1772 [3]
Michell Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Joseph Michell, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811 [3]
  • Thomas Michell, who arrived in California in 1879 [3]

Australia Michell migration to Australia +

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

Michell Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Joseph Michell, who arrived in Glenelg Roads aboard the ship "Pestonjee Bomanjee" in 1838 [4]
  • Mr. Benjamin Michell (Mitchell), (b. 1818), aged 22 born in Truro, Cornwall, UK convicted in Cornwall on 30th June 1840, sentenced for 10 years for housebreaking, transported aboard the ship "David Clarke" in 1841 to Van Diemen's Land, Tasmania, Australia [5]
  • Mr. Benjamin Michell, (b. 1818), aged 22, Cornish settler convicted in Cornwall, UK on 30th June 1841, sentenced for 10 years for housebreaking, transported aboard the ship "David Clarke" on 3rd June 1841 to Van Diemen's Land, Tasmania, Australia [6]
  • Martha Michell, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Hooghly" in 1846 [7]
  • Paul Michell, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Constance" in 1848 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Michell migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Michell Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mrs. Mary Michell, (b.1852), aged 20, Cornish settler departing on 31st May 1872 aboard the ship "City of Auckland" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 3rd September 1872 [9]
  • Mr. Richard B. Michell, (b.1852), aged 20, Cornish carpenter departing on 31st May 1872 aboard the ship "City of Auckland" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 3rd September 1872 [9]
  • Richard B. Michell, aged 20, a carpenter, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "City of Auckland" in 1872
  • Mary A. Michell, aged 20, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "City of Auckland" in 1872
  • Girando Michell, aged 30, a farm labourer, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Oxford" in 1874
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Michell (post 1700) +

  • Keith Joseph Michell (1926-2015), Australian actor, best known for his television and film portrayals of King Henry VIII of England
  • John Michell (1724-1793), English geologist
  • Richard Michell Upjohn FAIA (1828-1903), American architect, co-founder and president of the American Institute of Architects


The Michell 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: Favente Deo supero
Motto Translation: By God’s favour I conquer.


  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ 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)
  4. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The PESTONJEE BOMANJEE 1838. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1838PestonjeeBomanjee.htm
  5. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 30th May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/tasmanian_convicts_cornish.pdf
  6. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 30th May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_australia_convicts.pdf
  7. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) HOOGHLY 1846. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1846Hooghly.htm
  8. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) CONSTANCE - 1848. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1848Constance.htm
  9. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to Auckland 1872-80 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/new_zealand_assisted.pdf


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