Reavel History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name Reavel was brought to England by the Normans when they conquered the country in 1066. The ancestors of the Reavel family lived in Warwickshire. Their name, however, is a reference to Reville, near Bernai, Normandy, the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. 
The name is derived from the Old French word "revel" which means "pride, rebellion, sport", from the word "reveler" which means "to rebel." Interestingly, there is a font-name named "Revel" which was common in Old French and Middle English records which may actually be from the Latin word "rebellus."
Early Origins of the Reavel family
The surname Reavel was first found in Hertford and Northamptonshire where Robert Revel held two estates as early as 1130. A few years later Richard Revel was listed as holding two fees in barony in Somerset in 1165. Henry Revel was one of the nobles taken at Alnwick Castle, Northumberland in 1174. 
Sir Richard Revell or Rivell (died 1222) was an English knight and landowner, said to have been the son of William Revell, probably a landowner in Devonshire and lord of Revelstoke in that county. He received from Henry II grants of 'Curi' or Curry Rivell, and Langport, both in Somerset, and is said to have built a castle at Langport. He appears to have had a son named Richard, who probably predeceased his father. 
Early History of the Reavel family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Reavel research. Another 75 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1305 and 1544 are included under the topic Early Reavel History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Reavel Spelling Variations
It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Reavel are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Reavel include Revel, Revell, Revill, Reville and others.
Early Notables of the Reavel family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Reavel Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Reavel family to Ireland
Some of the Reavel family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 102 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Reavel family
Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Reavel, or a variant listed above: John Revell settled in Salem Massachusetts in 1630; James Revell settled in Virginia in 1635; John Revell settled in Rappahannock in Virginia in 1726.
Related Stories +
- ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 3 of 3
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print