Popwell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Popwell surname is a habitational (local) name taken on from any of several place names in West Yorkshire. These place names derive from the Old English words "popel," which is thought to have meant "pebble," and "wella" which meant a "spring," or "stream."

Early Origins of the Popwell family

The surname Popwell was first found in Yorkshire at either Upper Poppleton or Nether Poppleton, villages and civil parishes that date back to Saxon times. The first record of the place name was found in c. 972 when it was listed as Popeltune.

By the time of the Domesday Book of 1086, the place was listed as Popletone. At that time, the villages and lands were given by Osbern De Arches to the Abbot of St Mary's in York. The name is derived from popel (pebble) and tun (hamlet, farm), and means "farmstead on pebbly soil." [1].

But Saxon surnames survived and the family name was first referenced in the 14th century when John of Popplewell held estates in that shire in 1316. [2]

Early History of the Popwell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Popwell research. Another 78 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1379, 1455, 1487, 1638, 1638 and 1708 are included under the topic Early Popwell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Popwell Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Popplewell, Poplewell, Poplewell, Popplewel, Popple, Popplehale, Pophull, Pophull and many more.

Early Notables of the Popwell family (pre 1700)

Another 31 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Popwell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Popwell family

Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: Timothy Popplewell, a bonded passenger, who arrived in 1738; George Popplewell, who was on record in Nova Scotia in 1749; Mary Popplewell, a bonded passenger, sent to America in 1762.


Contemporary Notables of the name Popwell (post 1700) +

  • Robert Lee "Pops" Popwell (1946-2017), American jazz-funk bass guitarist, known for his work with The Young Rascals, The Crusaders and toured with Bette Midler and Olivia Newton-John and many others
  • Johnny Popwell (b. 1937), African-American actor, known for his roles in Deliverance (1972) and The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (1968)
  • Julius Oral "Little Man" Popwell (1912-1966), American poker player, inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 1996
  • Albert Popwell (1926-1999), African-American actor, probably best known as his role in Dirty Harry when Clint Eastwood's character asks the legendary "Do you feel lucky?"


  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)


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