Nankeville History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Nankeville surname was taken on from a place name in the Parish of St. Mawgan, Pyclar, Cornwall. The place name is derived from the Cornish "nans," meaning "valley," and the personal name Cuvel.

Early Origins of the Nankeville family

The surname Nankeville was first found in Cornwall, where early records show that lands at St Columb Major were granted to Odoni de Nanscuvel and Rose his wife, in 1324.

Important Dates for the Nankeville family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Nankeville research. Another 73 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1400, 1495, 1499, 1602, and 1620 are included under the topic Early Nankeville History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Nankeville Spelling Variations

Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Nankivell, Nankevill, Nankivel, Nanskevell, Nankivel, Nankevell, Nancekievill and many more.

Early Notables of the Nankeville family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was John Nankivell of St Mawgan, who was listed as a supporter of Perkin Warbeck in 1495. Warbeck, pretending...
Another 26 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Nankeville Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Nankeville 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:

Nankeville Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Robert Nankeville, aged 28, a miner, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bolton" in 1840
  • Elizabeth Nankeville, aged 28, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bolton" in 1840
  • John Nankeville, aged 7, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bolton" in 1840
  • George Nankeville, aged 6, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bolton" in 1840
  • Selina Nankeville, aged 4, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bolton" in 1840
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Nankeville (post 1700)

  • Robert Christopher Nankeville (b. 1958), birth name of Bobby Davro, an English actor and comedian best known for his work as an impressionist, and for his role as Vinnie Monks in the BBC One soap EastEnders, son of Bill Nankeville
  • Bill Nankeville (b. 1925), British national champion mile runner who won the AAA mile title four times in five years between 1948 and 1952, awarded the Englishman of the Year in 2013
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