Paganel History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Some believe the Paganel surname is thought to derive from the Latin medieval personal name Paganus, which also gave us the name Paine.

"The surname of this family, Painel or Paynell, in the Latin of the time 'Paganellus,' is a diminution of Pain or Paganus, and, as was the custom of the time, was no doubt first applied for distinction to a Pain Fitz Pain during his father's life-time, and happened, as in this case, to be perpetuated as a surname, by his descendants." [1]

Alternatively, the name was derived from "Painell or Paganel, a great baronial family in Normandy." [2]

"Paganus was a Norman personal name, whence the modern Payne and Paine, as well as the more ancient Paganel and Paynel. Pagan, however, exists at this day among English surnames. " [3]

Early Origins of the Paganel family

The surname Paganel was first found in Yorkshire. However, some of the family were found at Astwood in the union of Newport-Pagnell in Buckinghamshire since early times. "This place was at the Conquest surveyed as part of the adjoining parish of Hardmead, and belonged to William Fitzanculph, from whom it descended by marriage to Fulk Paganell, the founder of Newport-Pagnell." [4]

Back in Yorkshire, at Hooton-Pagnell, another branch of the family was found. "This parish derives the latter part of its name from Ralph de Paganel, to whom the manor belonged at the time of the Conquest." [4]

And in Huggate in the East Riding of Yorkshire, more early records of the family were found. "The church is a handsome structure, chiefly in the Norman style, with portions of a later date, and an embattled tower surmounted by a lofty octagonal spire; it is supposed to have been built by Ralph de Paganel, about the year 1233." [4]

"The manor [of Little Linford, Buckinghamshire] was anciently in the Pagnells, from whom it came by successive female heirs to the families of Somery, Botetort, Burnell, and Bermingham. " [4]

Early History of the Paganel family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Paganel research. Another 85 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1180 and 1265 are included under the topic Early Paganel History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Paganel Spelling Variations

Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Pagan, Paganell, Paganel, Pagnell and others.

Early Notables of the Paganel family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Paganel family

To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Paganel or a variant listed above: James Pagan, who came to Virginia in 1688; Robert Pagan, who arrived in Maine in 1748; Thomas Pagan, who arrived in St. John, N.B. in 1800; William Pagan, who came to New York in 1766.



The Paganel 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: Nec timeo nec sperno
Motto Translation: I neither fear nor despise.


  1. ^ Charnock, Richard, Stephen, Ludus Patronymicus of The Etymology of Curious Surnames. London: Trubner & Co., 60 Paternoster Row, 1868. Print.
  2. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 2 of 3
  3. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  4. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.


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