Revels History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name Revels came to England with the ancestors of the Revels family in the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Revels 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 Revels family
The surname Revels 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 Revels family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Revels research. Another 75 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1305 and 1544 are included under the topic Early Revels History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Revels 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 Revels family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Revels Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Revels family to Ireland
Some of the Revels 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 Revels family
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 Revels 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.
Contemporary Notables of the name Revels (post 1700) +
- Hiram Rhodes Revels (1827-1901), American Republican politician, Member of Mississippi State Senate, 1870; U.S. Senator from Mississippi, 1870-71; Secretary of State of Mississippi, 1873 
- Harry Revels (1905-1958), English composer of musical theatre
- Jean-François Revels (1924-2006), French journalist, author, prolific philosopher
- Gabriel Revels (1643-1712), French painter
Related Stories +
- ^ 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
- ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 10) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html