Reavell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Reavell is one of the many names that the Normans brought with them when they conquered England in 1066. The Reavell 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. [1]

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 Reavell family

The surname Reavell 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. [2]

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. [3]

Early History of the Reavell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Reavell research. Another 75 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1305 and 1544 are included under the topic Early Reavell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Reavell Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Revel, Revell, Revill, Reville and others.

Early Notables of the Reavell family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Reavell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Reavell family to Ireland

Some of the Reavell 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 Reavell family

Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Reavell name or one of its variants: John Revell settled in Salem Massachusetts in 1630; James Revell settled in Virginia in 1635; John Revell settled in Rappahannock in Virginia in 1726.



  1. ^ 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
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print


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