Ryvel History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Ryvel is a name that was carried to England in the great wave of migration from Normandy following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Ryvel 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 Ryvel family

The surname Ryvel 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 Ryvel family

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

Ryvel Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Ryvel include Revel, Revell, Revill, Reville and others.

Early Notables of the Ryvel family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Ryvel family to Ireland

Some of the Ryvel 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 Ryvel family

In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Ryvels to arrive on North American shores: 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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