Show ContentsNorvell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Norvell was originally a habitation name, that is, a surname derived from a place-name. The Norvell family took the name of a town of Normanville in the French province of Normandy, prior to emigration to Britain.

"This surname is derived from a geographical locality. 'of Normanville,' a name exactly corresponding to English Normanby and Normanton. Lower says, The Itinerary de la Normandie shows two places so called, one near Yvetot, and the other in the arrondissement of Evreux'" 1

Early Origins of the Norvell family

The surname Norvell was first found in Berwickshire an ancient county of Scotland, presently part of the Scottish Borders Council Area, located in the eastern part of the Borders Region of Scotland, where they held a family seat being descended from John of Normanville in Yvetot in Normandy.

Conjecturally, this John was granted lands by King David of Scotland while he was Earl of Huntingdon in England. "John de Normanville witnessed a grant by Bernerd de Hauden to the Hospital of Soltre between 1190-1230, and between 1221-1231 he witnessed the grant of the church of Lympetlaw to the same house. He also gave part of Maxtone to Melrose Abbey. Hugh de Normanville and Alicia, his wife, exchanged some land with the monks of Melrose in the reign of William the Lion, and in 1200 he made a similar exchange with the monks of Dryburgh. Dominus Thomas de Normaniuill and dominus Johannes de Normaniuill witnessed quit claim to the lands of Eduluestun to the church of Glasgow, 1233. Sir Walran of Normanville had a grant in 1242 of the lands of Correncrare, Tulichule, and others. Several Normanvilles in the reign of Alexander II, younger sons, filled the office of secular rectors of cherches. Wydo (Guldo) de Norinanuilla was charter witness, 1250, William de Normanville was rector of the church of Mackistun, c. 1250, Sir Waleran de Normanville was buried at Melrose, 1256, and Thomas de Normanville presided at an inquest on the lands of Hopkelchoc, 1259. Alexander de Normanville witnessed a charter by James the Seneschal of Scotland, 1294, and Walranus de Normanuilla, miles, was charter witness at Arnbroath, 1299 (RAA., I, p. 165). Robert de Normanville of Stirlingshire rendered homage, 1296." 2

Early History of the Norvell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Norvell research. Another 118 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1200, 1242 and 1605 are included under the topic Early Norvell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Norvell Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Normanville, Normanmile, Normanvill, Normansvill, Normanswell, Normansell, Norvell, Norval, Norvall, Norvill, Norville, Norvel, Norvell, Norvyle, Norwald, Norwell, Norvaile and many more.

Early Notables of the Norvell family

More information is included under the topic Early Norvell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Norvell Ranking

In the United States, the name Norvell is the 7,469th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. 3

United States Norvell migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Norvell Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Norvell, who landed in America in 1654-1679 4
Norvell Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Hugh Norvell, who arrived in Virginia in 1716 4
Norvell Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Thomas S Norvell, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1813 4
  • Lipscomb Norvell, who landed in Texas in 1835 4

New Zealand Norvell 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:

Norvell Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. P. Norvell, British settler travelling from Plymouth aboard the ship "Tongariro" arriving in New Plymouth, Taranaki, North Island, New Zealand in 1887 5

West Indies Norvell migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. 6
Norvell Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • William Norvell, who settled in Barbados in 1660

Contemporary Notables of the name Norvell (post 1700) +

  • David Lee Norvell (1935-2023), American Democratic Party politician, New Mexico State Attorney General, 1971-75 7
  • Lipscomb Norvell (1756-1843), American military officer in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War
  • Jay Norvell (b. 1963), American football coach and former player
  • John Norvell (1789-1850), American politician, 1st Senator from Michigan, (1837-1841)
  • James Rankin Norvell (b. 1902), American judge
  • Dallas Norvell, American Democratic Party politician, Supervisor of Monguagon Township, Michigan, 1859, 1864-66 7
  • Caleb C. Norvell, American Republican politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from New York 1st District, 1870 7
  • Karl D. Norvell, American politician, Member of Missouri State House of Representatives from Crawford County, 1903-04 7
  • John Norvell (1789-1850), American Democratic Party politician, Postmaster at Detroit, Michigan, 1831-36; U.S. Senator from Michigan, 1837-41Member of Michigan State House of Representatives from Wayne County, 1842; U.S. Attorney for Michigan, 1845-50 7
  • George E. Norvell, American Democratic Party politician, Mayor of Tulsa, Oklahoma, 1956-58 7
  • ... (Another 2 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

The Norvell 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: Spem renovant alae
Motto Translation: Its wings renew its hope.

  1. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. 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)
  3. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  4. 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)
  5. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from
  7. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, April 1) . Retrieved from on Facebook