Rivall History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Rivall reached England in the great wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Rivall 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 Rivall family

The surname Rivall 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 Rivall family

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

Rivall Spelling Variations

Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Rivall family name include Revel, Revell, Revill, Reville and others.

Early Notables of the Rivall family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Rivall family to Ireland

Some of the Rivall 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 Rivall family

To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Rivall family to immigrate North America: 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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