Pestel History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Pestel 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 Pestel family

The surname Pestel 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 Pestel family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pestel 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 Pestel History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Pestel Spelling Variations

Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Pestell, Pestel, Pistol, Pestol, Pestoll, Pistoll, Pestall, Pestal, Pester, Pestor, Pistor and many more.

Early Notables of the Pestel family (pre 1700)

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

Pestel Ranking

In France, the name Pestel is the 6,178th most popular surname with an estimated 1,000 - 1,500 people with that name. [4]

Migration of the Pestel family

Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Pestel or a variant listed above: 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.
  4. ^ http://www.journaldesfemmes.com/nom-de-famille/nom/


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