Powell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Welsh surname Powell comes from the personal name Hoel or Howell, which were both derived from the Old Welsh name Houel. The surname Powell features the distinctive Welsh patronymic prefix "ap-". The original form of the name was ap-Hoel or ap-Howell, but the prefixes have been assimilated into the surname over the course of time.

Early Origins of the Powell family

The surname Powell was first found in Breconshire (Welsh: Sir Frycheiniog), a traditional county in southern Wales, which takes its name from the Welsh kingdom of Brycheiniog (5th-10th centuries), where the name "are descended from Philip ap Howell, whose pedigree is traced to Edwin ap Grono, Lord of Tegaingl, founder of the XIII noble tribe of North Wales and Powys." [1] However other records claim the name came from the Welsh King Hywel Dda"the Good" ap Cadell (c.880- c.950), son of Cadell ap Rhodri, in turn a son of Rhodri the Great.

Early History of the Powell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Powell research. Another 201 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1600, 1798, 1673, 1750, 1795, 1608, 1660, 1624, 1680, 1660, 1637, 1630, 1692, 1689, 1628, 1678, 1660, 1678, 1632, 1696, 1688, 1803, 1834, 1641, 1721 and 1653 are included under the topic Early Powell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Powell Spelling Variations

Although there are not an extremely large number Welsh surnames, there are an inordinately large number of spelling variations of those surnames. This variety of spellings began almost immediately after the acceptance of surnames within Welsh society. As time progressed, these old Brythonic names were eventually were recorded in English. This process was problematic in that many of the highly inflected sounds of the native language of Wales could not be properly captured in English. Some families, however, did decide to modify their own names to indicate a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even a patriotic affiliation. The name Powell has seen various spelling variations: Powell, Powel and others.

Early Notables of the Powell family (pre 1700)

Prominent amongst the family during the late Middle Ages was Thomas Powell (c.1608-1660), a Welsh cleric and writer from Cantref, Breconshire; Sir William Powell, 1st Baronet (c. 1624-1680), born William Hinson, an English politician who sat in the House of Commons in 1660; William Powell (d. 1637), was an esquire of Castle Madoc; Henry Powle (1630-1692), an English lawyer and politician, Speaker of the House of Commons in 1689; Sir Richard Powle (1628-1678), an English lawyer and politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1660 to 1678; Sir John Powell (c. 1632-1696), a Welsh judge...
Another 96 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Powell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Powell World Ranking

In the United States, the name Powell is the 85th most popular surname with an estimated 231,291 people with that name. [2] However, in Canada, the name Powell is ranked the 354th most popular surname with an estimated 12,854 people with that name. [3] And in Newfoundland, Canada, the name Powell is the 139th popular surname with an estimated 272 people with that name. [4] Australia ranks Powell as 137th with 20,284 people. [5] New Zealand ranks Powell as 185th with 2,970 people. [6] The United Kingdom ranks Powell as 81st with 55,751 people. [7]

Ireland Migration of the Powell family to Ireland

Some of the Powell family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Powell migration to the United States +

The Welsh migration to North America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries contributed greatly to its rapid development. These migrants were in search of land, work, and freedom. Those Welsh families that survived the long ocean journey were critical to the development of new industries and factories, and to the quick settlement of land. They also added to an ever-growing rich cultural heritage. A search of the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name Powell:

Powell Settlers in United States in the 16th Century
  • Edward Powell, who settled in Virginia in 1587
Powell Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Powell, who arrived in Virginia in 1607
  • John Powell, who arrived in Jamestown, Va in 1607 [8]
  • Thomas Powell, who settled in Virginia in 1618
  • Gody Powell on record in Virginia in 1623
  • Catherine Powell on record in Virginia in 1623
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Powell Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Edward Powell, who landed in Virginia in 1701 [8]
  • Francis Powell, who landed in Virginia in 1701 [8]
  • Jean Powell, who landed in Virginia in 1714 [8]
  • Anthony Powell, who arrived in America in 1760-1763 [8]
Powell Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • David N Powell, aged 20, who arrived in New York in 1812 [8]
  • Evan Powell, aged 21, who arrived in Delaware in 1812 [8]
  • Isaac Powell, who arrived in New York in 1824 [8]
  • Howell Powell, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1844 [8]
  • Mr. James Powell, (b. 1820), aged 31, Cornish clerk departing from Liverpool aboard the ship "Saint Louis" arriving in New York, USA on 11 August 1851 [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Powell Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Mr. Samuel Powell, (b. 1874), aged 26, Cornish miner travelling aboard the ship "St Louis" arriving at Ellis Island, New York, USA on 29th January 1900 en route to Michigan, USA [10]
  • Miss Emma Powell, (b. 1845), aged 58, Cornish housekeepter from St. Austell, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "New York" arriving at Ellis Island, New York, USA on 2nd August 1903 en route to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA [10]
  • Mr. Joseph J Powell, (b. 1879), aged 26, Cornish blacksmith from Truro, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "St Paul" arriving at Ellis Island, New York, USA in 1905 en route to Iron Mountain, Michigan, USA [10]

Canada Powell migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Powell Settlers in Canada in the 17th Century
  • Nicholas Powell, settled in Carbonear in 1641
Powell Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. William Powell U.E. who arrived at Port Roseway, [Shelbourne], Nova Scotia on October 26, 1783 was passenger number 205 aboard the ship "HMS Clinton", picked up on September 28, 1783 at Staten Island, New York, USA [11]
  • Mr. Lewis Powell U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784 [11]
  • Mr. Abrahm Powell U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784 [11]
  • Mr. Caleb Powell U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784 [11]
  • Capt. John Powell U.E. who settled in Home District [York County], Ontario c. 1785 he served in the Indian Department, married with 3 children [11]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Powell Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Robin Powell, in Tickle Cove, Newfoundland in 1825 [12]
  • Ephraim Powell, who landed in Canada in 1841
  • Mr. John Powell, aged 28 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Virginius" departing from the port of Virginius, Liverpool but died on Grosse Isle in September 1847 [13]
  • Mrs. Mary Powell, aged 32 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Avon" departing from the port of Avon, Cork but died on Grosse Isle in August 1847 [13]
  • Mrs. Bridget Powell, aged 27 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Virginius" departing 28th May 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 12th August 1847 but she died on board [14]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Powell migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Powell Settlers in Australia in the 18th Century
  • Miss Hannah Powell, English convict who was convicted in Hereford, Herefordshire, England for 7 years , transported aboard the "Britannia III" on 18th July 1798, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [15]
  • Miss Mary Powell, English convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years , transported aboard the "Britannia III" on 18th July 1798, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [15]
Powell Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Powell, British Convict who was convicted in Hereford, Herefordshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Earl Cornwallis" in August 1800, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [16]
  • Mr. Joseph Powell, British convict who was convicted in Kent, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Calcutta" in February 1803, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [17]
  • Miss Ann Powell, English convict who was convicted in London, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Canada" in March 1810, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [18]
  • Miss Mary Powell, English convict who was convicted in Reading, Berkshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Canada" in March 1810, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [18]
  • Mr. Isaac Powell, British Convict who was convicted in Monmouthshire, Wales for life, transported aboard the "Earl Spencer" in May 1813, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [19]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Powell migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Powell Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • John Powell, aged 32, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "London" in 1842
  • Benjamin Powell, aged 38, a farmer, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Mary Ann" in 1842
  • Elizabeth Powell, aged 38, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Mary Ann" in 1842
  • Griffith Powell, aged 13, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Mary Ann" in 1842
  • Catherine Powell, aged 8, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Mary Ann" in 1842
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Powell migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [20]
Powell Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • MissMary Powell, (b. 1612), aged 23, British settler travelling from London, England aboard the ship "Anne and Elizabeth" arriving in Barbados in 1635 [21]
  • Mr. Richard Powell, (b. 1603), aged 32, British settler travelling from London, England aboard the ship "Alexander" arriving in Barbados in 1635 [22]
  • Mr. Will Powell, (b. 1616), aged 19, British settler travelling from London, England aboard the ship "Alexander" arriving in Barbados in 1635 [22]
  • Mr. Thomas Powell, (b. 1614), aged 21, British settler traveling aboard the ship "Matthew" arriving in St Christopher (Saint Kitts) in 1635 [23]
  • Mr. Thomas Powell, (b. 1611), aged 24, British settler traveling aboard the ship "Matthew" arriving in St Christopher (Saint Kitts) in 1635 [23]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Powell (post 1700) +

  • Colin Luther Powell (1937-2021), United States Army soldier and general, U.S. Secretary of State (2001-2004) and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Jane Powell (1929-2021), born Suzanne Lorraine Burce, an American actress, singer, and dancer, known for her operatic soprano voice and "girl-next-door" image, she was one of the last surviving stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood cinema until her death in 2021
  • Ozie Powell (b. 1913), American teenage hobo, one of the Scottsboro Boys, accused of rape aboard a train, convicted and finally receiving a full posthumous pardon on November 21, 2013
  • Ricky Powell (1961-2021), American photographer, known for his for The New York Times, the New York Post, the Daily News, The Village Voice and many more
  • Jay Powell (1952-2019), American politician, Member of the Georgia House of Representatives (2008-2019)
  • Jerome Hayden Powell (b. 1953), American former investment banker, 16th Chair of the Federal Reserve (2018-), Member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors (2012), Under Secretary of the Treasury for Domestic Finance (1992-1993)
  • Ross John Powell (1968-2017), American Major League Baseball pitcher who played for the Cincinnati Reds, Houston Astros, and Pittsburgh Pirates from 1993 to 1995
  • Dina Habib Powell (b. 1973), American business executive, philanthropist and former U.S. policymaker, Senior Counselor to the President for Economic Initiatives (2017-)
  • William Stevens Powell (1919-2015), American historian, writer and academic
  • Earl Rudolph "Bud" Powell (1924-1966), American jazz pianist
  • ... (Another 21 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Arrow Air Flight 1285
  • Mr. Barry C Powell (b. 1960), American First Lieutenant from Madisonville, Kentucky, USA who died in the crash [24]
Empress of Ireland
  • Mr. Leonard Amos Goerge Powell, British Assistant Boots from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [25]
Halifax Explosion
  • Miss Hilda May  Powell (1917-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who survived the explosion but later died due to injuries [26]
  • Mr. Richard E.  Powell (1877-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [26]
HMAS Sydney II
HMS Cornwall
  • Frederick George Powell (d. 1942), British Stoker 1st Class aboard the HMS Cornwall when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he died in the sinking [28]
HMS Prince of Wales
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. John Powell, British Marine, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking and was evacuated [30]
HMS Royal Oak
  • William Dennis Powell (1921-1939), British Boy 1st Class with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [31]
  • Arthur Powell (d. 1939), British Commissioned Gunner (T) with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [31]
Prince of Wales colliery
  • Mr. Samuel Powell (b. 1865), Welsh coal miner who was working at the Prince of Wales Colliery in Abercarn, Wales on the 11th September 1878 when there was a coal mine explosion; he died [32]
  • Mr. Henry Powell (b. 1864), Welsh coal miner who was working at the Prince of Wales Colliery in Abercarn, Wales on the 11th September 1878 when there was a coal mine explosion; he died [32]
  • Mr. Powell, Welsh coal miner who was working at the Prince of Wales Colliery in Abercarn, Wales on the 11th September 1878 when there was a coal mine explosion; he died [32]
RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. George A. Powell, Canadian 1st Class Passenger from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [33]
  • Mr. Edward Powell, English Trimmer from Liverpool, England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking [33]
USS Arizona
  • Mr. Jack Speed Powell, American Private First Class from California, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [34]
  • Mr. Thomas George Powell, American Seaman First Class from Illinois, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [34]


The Powell 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: Edrych i fynw
Motto Translation: Looking Up.


Suggested Readings for the name Powell +

  • James Ball and Calvin Powell Connections by Grace Powell Harms.
  • Jerry Basham and Ellen Higgs by Omegene Powers Powell.

  1. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  3. ^ https://forebears.io/surnames/
  4. ^ The order of Common Surnames in 1955 in Newfoundland retrieved on 20th October 2021 (retrieved from Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland by E.R. Seary corrected edition ISBN 0-7735-1782-0)
  5. ^ https://forebears.io/australia/surnames
  6. ^ https://forebears.io/new-zealand/surnames
  7. ^ https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
  8. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  9. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to New York 1820 - 1891 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_new_york_1820_1891.pdf
  10. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_ellis_island_1892_on.pdf
  11. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  12. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  13. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 51)
  14. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 92)
  15. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 30th October 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/Britannia
  16. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 13th August 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/earl-cornwallis
  17. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 25th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/calcutta
  18. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 9th December 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/canada
  19. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 8th September 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/earl-spencer
  20. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  21. ^ Pilgrim Ship Lists Early 1600's retrieved 23rd September 2021. (Retrieved from https://www.packrat-pro.com/ships/shiplist.htm)
  22. ^ Pilgrim Ship Lists Early 1600's retrieved 28th September 2021. (Retrieved from https://www.packrat-pro.com/ships/shiplist.htm)
  23. ^ Pilgrim Ship's of 1600's (Retrieved October 4th 2021, retrieved from https://www.packrat-pro.com/ships/shiplist.htm)
  24. ^ American War Memorials - Flight 1285. (Retrieved 2016, August 24) . Retrieved from http://www.uswarmemorials.org/html/monument_details.php?SiteID=317&MemID=550
  25. ^ Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 17) . Retrieved from http://www.empress2014.ca/seclangen/listepsc1.html
  26. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance
  27. ^ HMAS Sydney II, Finding Sydney Foundation - Roll of Honour. (Retrieved 2014, April 24) . Retrieved from http://www.findingsydney.com/roll.asp
  28. ^ Force Z Survivors Crew List HMS Cornwall (Retrieved 2018, February 13th) - Retrieved from https://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listcornwallcrew.html#A
  29. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  30. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html
  31. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html
  32. ^ Entombed in flood and flame (retrieved 3rd August 2021). Retrieved from https://web.archive.org/web/20120603025705/http://www.crosskeys.me.uk/history/prince.htm
  33. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 7) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/
  34. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from http://pearl-harbor.com/arizona/casualtylist.html


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