Show ContentsNoel History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The family name Noel is thought to be of Norman origins. Originally, Noel was a name given to a person who was connected in some way with the Christmas season. Such a name may have been attached to the person whose duty it was to provide the Yule log to the Lord of the manor, although this connection is by no means exclusive.

Early Origins of the Noel family

The surname Noel was first found in Staffordshire at Ranton, home of Ranton Abbey and Ranton Priory, built c.1150 by Robert fitz Noel of Ellenhall. [1]

The ruins of Abbey House remain today but most of the building fell to ruin by the late 1600s. For Noel's services as a companion to William the Conqueror, he received the aforementioned priory plus the manors of Ellenhall, Wiverstone, Podmore and Milnese. His eldest son, Robert Noel, Lord of Ellenhall, was granted the greater part of Gainsborough from the Prior of Coventry temp. Henry I. From him derived the Noels of Hilcote and the Noels of the counties of Rutland and Leicester. [2]

"The Hall [of Ellenhall] belonged to the ancient family of the Noels, from whom descended the Noels of Hilcote, in this county, and the Noels of Ridlington, in Rutlandshire; it afterwards passed, with the manor, by marriage, to the Harcourts." [3]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list Ralph Noel in Huntingdonshire and Noel de Aubtanis in Somerset. [4] Kirby's Quest listed the name as a forename in Somerset as in: Noel atte Wynde, [5]

The hamlet of Moxhull in Warwickshire played an important part in the family's lineage. "It is situated to the west of the Birmingham and Fazeley canal; and is chiefly distinguished as the residence of Berkeley Noel, Esq., whose seat of Moxhull Park is bounded on the east by the high road: the house was built about the 14th century, and is a substantial edifice, containing some ancient portraits of members of the Noel and Hacket families." [3]

Another branch of the family was found in Exton, Rutland. "The church is a spacious and elegant structure, chiefly in the early, and partly in the later, English style, with a tower strengthened by buttresses, and surmounted by a spire; it contains several finely-executed monuments to the Noel family and their connexions." [3]

Yes another branch of the family was found at Little Mearley in Lancashire. "The hamlet and manor of Little Mearley, in the township, still remain in the descendants of William Nowell, the first grantee under John de Lacy, who died in the year 1240." [3]

Early History of the Noel family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Noel research. Another 92 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1507, 1602, 1515, 1571, 1576, 1558, 1560, 1662, 1641, 1689, 1661, 1690, 1684, 1714, 1590 and 1655 are included under the topic Early Noel History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Noel 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 Noel have been found, including Noel, Noell, Nole and others.

Early Notables of the Noel family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Alexander Nowell (c. 1507-1602), an English Puritan theologian and clergyman, Dean of St Paul's; Laurence Nowell (c. 1515-c. 1571), an English antiquarian, a cartographer and a pioneering scholar of Anglo-Saxon language and literature, best known for his Nowell Codex, a collection that included the epic poem Beowulf and a fragment of The Life of Saint Christopher; Laurence Nowell (died 1576) English churchman, Archdeacon of Derby (1558) and later Dean of Lichfield (1560); Sir Martin Noell, knighted in...
Another 85 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Noel Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Noel World Ranking

In the United States, the name Noel is the 999th most popular surname with an estimated 29,844 people with that name. [6] However, in Canada, the name Noel is ranked the 283rd most popular surname with an estimated 15,224 people with that name. [7] And in Quebec, Canada, the name Noel is the 161st popular surname. [8] Newfoundland, Canada ranks Noel as 163rd with 240 people. [9] France ranks Noel as 64th with 36,295 people. [10]

United States Noel 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 Noel were among those contributors:

Noel Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Stephen Noel, who arrived in Virginia in 1714 [11]
  • Joseph Noel, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1736 [11]
  • Peter Noel and Joseph Noel, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1736
  • Enas Noel, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1736 [11]
  • Eneas Noel, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1736 [11]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Noel Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Rosalie Noel, who landed in New York in 1812 [11]
  • Charlotte Noel and her husband, who arrived in New York in 1821
  • Mr. Noel, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1822 [11]
  • Alphonse Noel, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1835 [11]
  • Nicholas Noel, who arrived in New York, NY in 1836 [11]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Noel migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Noel Settlers in Canada in the 17th Century
  • Mr. Charles Noël, (b. 1617), aged 25 French settler travelling to Canada for work arriving on 12th April 1642 [12]
  • Jean Noel, who arrived in Quebec in 1649
  • Jean Noel, son of Jean and Marie, who married Suzanne Barbot, daughter of Jean and Jeanne, in Quebec on 2nd November 1649 [13]
  • Jacques Noel, who arrived in Montreal in 1653
  • François Noel who arrived in Quebec in 1657 from Poitou
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Noel Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Pierre Noel, son of François and Nicole, who married Louise Gosselin, daughter of Michel and Marie-Michelle, in Saint-Pierre-de-l'île-d'Orléans, Quebec on 5th November 1703 [13]
  • Ignace Noel, son of François and Nicole, who married Marie-Anne Huard, daughter of Jean and Anne-Marie, in Saint-Laurent-de-l'île-d'Orléans, Quebec on 7th November 1707 [13]
  • Michel Noel, son of François and Nicole, who married Marguerite Garaut, daughter of Pierre and Barbe, in Saint-Pierre-de-l'île-d'Orléans, Quebec on 22nd February 1713 [13]
  • Pierre Noel, son of Michel and Marie, who married Marguerite Dubois, daughter of René and Anne, in Montreal, Quebec on 23rd August 1729 [13]
  • Joseph Noel, son of Maurice and Catherine, who married Marie-Anne Lauzon, daughter of Gilles and Anne, in Rivières-des-Prairies, Quebec on 15th February 1734 [13]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Noel (post 1700) +

  • Richard "Dick" Noel (1926-1927), American band vocalist, jingle singer, and radio and television performer
  • Phillip Noel (b. 1931), American politician, Governor of Rhode Island (1973-1977)
  • Edmond Favor Noel (1856-1927), American politician, governor of Mississippi (1908-1912)
  • J. C. Noel, American Republican politician, Member of Virginia State Senate 2nd District, 1904-11; Delegate to Republican National Convention from Virginia, 1916 [14]
  • Forest T. Noel, American Democratic Party politician, Chair of Audrain County Democratic Party, 1967 [14]
  • Edmund Favor Noel (1856-1927), American Democratic Party politician, Member of Mississippi State House of Representatives, 1881-82; Member of Mississippi State Senate, 1895-1903, 1920-27 [14]
  • Earl B. Noel, American Democratic Party politician, Mayor of Moberly, Missouri, 1955-57 [14]
  • Cleo Allen Noel Jr. (1918-1973), American politician, U.S. Ambassador to Sudan, 1972-73 [14]
  • Charles P. Noel, American politician, Member of California State Assembly 1st District, 1854-55 [14]
  • C. R. Noel, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Missouri, 1928 [14]
  • ... (Another 23 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. L Noel, British Ordinary Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales (1941) and survived the sinking [15]
SS Southern Cross
  • Mr. Norman Noel (1892-1914), Newfoundlander from Harbour Grace who was aboard the "SS Southern Cross" when it is suspected she sank between the 31st March 1914 and early April during the storm with a heavy load of pelts; no survivors were ever found

The Noel 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: Jus suum cuique
Motto Translation: To every man his own.

Suggested Readings for the name Noel +

  • Eighty Years in America by Leland Noel.
  • The Hardys of Louisiana and their Ancestors by Grace L. Hardy.

  1. 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)
  2. Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  3. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, 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. Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  6. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  7. "Surnames Meanings, Origins & Distribution Maps - Forebears." Forebears,
  8. "The first 1,000 family names by rank, Quebec (in French only)" Institut de la statistique du Quebec,
  9. The order of Common Surnames in 1955 in Newfoundland retrieved on 20th October 2021 (retrieved from Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland by E.R. Seary corrected edition ISBN 0-7735-1782-0)
  11. 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)
  12. Debien, Gabriel. Liste Des Engagés Pour Le Canada Au XVIIe Siècle. Vol. 6, Laval University, 1952. (Retreived 24th May 2018). Retrieved from
  13. Internoscia, Arthur E., and Claire Chevrier. Dictionnaire National des Canadiens Français 1608-1760. Vol. 2, Institut Drouin, 1958.
  14. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 9) . Retrieved from
  15. HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from on Facebook