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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Pell family come from? What is the English Pell family crest and coat of arms? When did the Pell family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Pell family history?

The distinguished surname Pell emerged among the industrious people of Flanders, which was an important trading partner and political ally of Britain during the Middle Ages. As a result of the frequent commercial intercourse between the Flemish and English nations, many Flemish migrants settled in Britain. In early times, people were known by only a single name. However, as the population grew and people traveled further afield, it became increasingly necessary to assume an additional name to differentiate between bearers of the same personal name. One of the most common classes of surname is the patronymic surname, which was usually derived from the first name of the person's father. Flemish surnames of this type are often characterized by the diminutive suffix -kin, which became very frequent in England during the 14th century. The surname Pell is derived from a pet form of the personal name Peter.


Flemish surnames are characterized by a large number of spelling variations. One reason for this is that medieval English lacked definite spelling rules. The spellings of surnames were also influenced by the official court languages, which were French and Latin. Names were rarely spelled consistently in medieval times. Scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to specific spelling rules, and people often had their names registered in several different forms throughout their lives. One of the greatest reasons for change is the linguistic uniqueness of the Flemish settlers in England, who spoke a language closely related to Dutch. The pronunciation and spelling of Flemish names were often altered to suit the tastes of English-speaking people. In many cases, the first, final, or middle syllables of surnames were eliminated. The name has been spelled Pell, Pelle, Pel, Pels, Pells, Pelles and others.

First found in Lincolnshire where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the census rolls taken by the ancient Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pell research. Another 165 words(12 lines of text) covering the years 1777, 1852, 1634, 1698, 1662, 1608, 1669, 1611, 1685, 1654 and 1658 are included under the topic Early Pell History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 205 words(15 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


In the immigration and passenger lists were a number of people bearing the name Pell

Pell Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Richard Pell settled in Barbados in 1635
  • Thomas and Marie Pell settled in New England in 1635
  • Rich Pell, aged 22, landed in Barbados in 1635
  • Tho Pell, aged 22, arrived in America in 1635
  • William Pell, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1635

Pell Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Fredrach Pell, aged 50, arrived in Pennsylvania in 1742
  • Peter J Pell, who arrived in New York, NY in 1750
  • Joseph Pell settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1766 with his wife and two children
  • Edward Pell settled in Boston in 1767

Pell Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Walton Pell, aged 22, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Westminster" in 1843
  • Hannah Pell, aged 22, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Westminster" in 1843
  • Elizabeth Pell, aged 4, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Westminster" in 1843
  • John Pell, aged 20, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Westminster" in 1843
  • Walton Pell arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Harkaway" in 1858


  • Herbert Claiborne Pell (1884-1961), American diplomat and United States Representative from New York
  • Claiborne de Borda Pell (1918-2009), United States Senator from Rhode Island
  • Charley Pell (1941-2001), University of Florida football coach
  • John Pell, American Historian
  • George Pell AC (b. 1941), Roman Catholic Cardinal Archbishop of Sydney, Australia



  1. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  2. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  3. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  4. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  5. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  6. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  7. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  8. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  9. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  10. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  11. ...

The Pell Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Pell Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 19 August 2013 at 13:53.

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