Show ContentsRevel History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Revel is one of the thousands of new names that the Norman Conquest brought to England in 1066. The Revel 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 Revel family

The surname Revel 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 Revel family

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

Revel Spelling Variations

Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Revel, Revell, Revill, Reville and others.

Early Notables of the Revel family (pre 1700)

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

Revel Ranking

In France, the name Revel is the 972nd most popular surname with an estimated 5,392 people with that name. [4]

Ireland Migration of the Revel family to Ireland

Some of the Revel 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.

United States Revel migration to the United States +

Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Revel or a variant listed above:

Revel Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Revel, who arrived in New Jersey in 1677-1678 [5]

Australia Revel migration to Australia +

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

Revel Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • John Revel, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Harpley" in 1848 [6]
  • Anne Revel, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Harpley" in 1848 [6]
  • Elizabeth Revel, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Harpley" in 1848 [6]
  • Milicent Revel, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Harpley" in 1848 [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Revel (post 1700) +

  • Jean-François Revel, French intellectual well known for his 2002 book on Anti-Americanism
  • Jean-François Revel (1924-2006), French politician, journalist, author, prolific philosopher

  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
  5. 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)
  6. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The HARPLEY 1848 - PASSENGER LIST. Retrieved from on Facebook