Pestall History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Pestall is an early Norman name that was originally given to a person who used 'an instrument for pounding things in a mortar', 'pestle'. "Probably for a user of this instrument, a compounder of drugs, a spicer." [1]

The name is derived from the Middle English word pestel and the Old French word pestel.

In Normandy the first record of the family was found in the Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae which listed N. Pestoil there 1180-95. [2]

Early Origins of the Pestall family

The surname Pestall was first found in Shropshire where Robert Pestel was listed in the Assize Rolls for 1221. A few years later, Nicholas Pestel was listed in the Assize Rolls for Lancashire in 1246. And later again, Symon Pystel was found in the Subsidy Rolls for Sussex in 1296. Kyn Pestell was listed in the Assize Rolls for Cambridgeshire in 1260. [1]

Not withstanding the aforementioned, the family rose to distinction in Leicestershire in early days where both Coat of Arms were recorded. Both are essentially the same with the latter record in 1648 of a William Pestell, a mate of Captain Jomes in a ship of war "descended from an ancient family in the county of Leicester." [3]

Early History of the Pestall family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pestall research. Another 106 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1115, 1279, 1455, 1487, 1584, 1659 and 1613 are included under the topic Early Pestall History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Pestall Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Pestell, Pestel, Pistol, Pestol, Pestoll, Pistoll, Pestall, Pestal, Pester, Pestor, Pistor and many more.

Early Notables of the Pestall family (pre 1700)

Another 40 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pestall Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Pestall family

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Pestall or a variant listed above were: the name represented in many forms and recorded from the mid 17th century in the great migration from Europe. Migrants settled in the eastern seaboard from Newfoundland, to Maine, to Virginia, the Carolinas, and to the islands..



  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ Burke, Sir Bernard, C.B. LL.D The General Armory of England Scotland, Ireland and Wales. London: Harrison, 59, Pall Mall, 1884, Print.


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