Savill History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Norman Conquest of England in 1066 brought much change to the island nation, including many immigrants with new names. Among these immigrants were the ancestors of the Savill family, who lived in Yorkshire. Their name, however, is a reference to Saville, in Anjou, France, the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. [1]

Early Origins of the Savill family

The surname Savill was first found in Yorkshire where "the family of Savile was one of the most illustrious in the West Riding. Some writers have fancifully ascribed to it an Italian origin, but it probably had its rise at Silkston, in this county." [2] More specifically, many of the family held estates at Morley, a township and ecclesiastical district, in the parish of Batley, union of Dewsbury. In the war during the reign of Charles I., Howley Hall, here, for eighteen generations the seat of the Saville family, was garrisoned for the parliament; and the church of the ancient parish of Morley was let on lease by Saville, Earl of Sussex, to the Presbyterian party for 500 years: the building is still in possession of trustees as an Independent meetinghouse, forming a solitary exception to the general restitution which took place at the Restoration." [3]

Stainland in the West Riding of Yorkshire was an ancient family seat. "Bradley Hall, here, the seat of the ancestors of the Earl of Mexborough, which was burnt down in 1629, and subsequently rebuilt, is now a farmhouse." [3]

Thornhill, again in the West Riding was home to a branch of the family. "This place was the seat of the Thornhill family, for many generations proprietors of the manor, which was conveyed by marriage in 1404 to the Savilles, from whom the estate descended to the second son of Sir George Saville's sister: that lady had been married to Richard, Earl of Scarborough, ancestor of the present owner. The church is an ancient and venerable structure, chiefly in the early English style, with a square embattled tower: on the south side of the chancel is a chapel containing numerous monuments to the Saville family, one of which, entirely of oak, has the effigies of Sir John Saville and his two wives." [3]

Early History of the Savill family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Savill research. Another 115 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1612, 1644, 1640, 1641, 1642, 1633, 1695, 1665, 1700, 1642, 1687, 1673, 1679, 1680 and 1687 are included under the topic Early Savill History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Savill Spelling Variations

A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Savile, Savill, Saville, Seville and others.

Early Notables of the Savill family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir George Savile, 1st Baronet; Sir William Savile, 3rd Baronet (1612-1644), an English politician, Member of Parliament for Yorkshire in 1640 and Old Sarum (1641-1642); George Savile, 1st Marquess of...
Another 37 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Savill Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Savill migration to the United States +

Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Savill or a variant listed above:

Savill Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Eliza Savill, who landed in Virginia in 1652 [4]
  • Elizabeth Savill who settled in Virginia with her husband in 1652
Savill Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William Savill, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1837 [4]
  • Earnest Savill, aged 2, who landed in New York in 1868 [4]
  • Ellen Savill, aged 27, who arrived in New York in 1868 [4]
  • Emma Savill, aged 23, who landed in New York in 1868 [4]
  • George Savill, aged 27, who arrived in New York in 1868 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Savill migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Savill Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Peter Savill, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Mr. Thomas Savill U.E. who settled in Saint David, Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1784 he was an Officer of Customs in Providence, brother to Jesse Savill [5]

Australia Savill migration to Australia +

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

Savill Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Robert Savill, aged 33, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Switzerland"

New Zealand Savill migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Savill Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Emily Savill, (b. 1845), aged 23, British housemaid travelling from London aboard the ship 'Mermaid' arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 8th January1869 [6]
  • Mr. Ephraim Savill, (b. 1843), aged 30, English platelayer from Hertfordshire travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Surat" going to Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand in 1873, the ship sunk at the Catlins River all the passengers were transported to Dunedin via various rescure vessels [7]
  • George Savill, aged 27, a baker, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Chile" in 1873
  • Harriet Savill, aged 26, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Chile" in 1873
  • Henry B. Savill, aged 5, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Chile" in 1873
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Savill (post 1700) +

  • Al Savill (1918-1975), English-born, American National Hockey League owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins (1975-1977)
  • Thomas Edward "Tom" Savill (b. 1983), former English cricketer
  • Leslie Austin "Les" Savill (b. 1935), former English cricketer
  • Alfred Savill (1829-1905), English founder of Savills, one of the United Kingdom's largest estate agents
  • Sir John Stewart Savill, English Chief Executive of the Medical Research Council
  • Miss Lisbeth Jane Gordon Savill M.B.E., British recipient of the Member of the Order of the British Empire on 29th December 2018 for services to Film and Television [8]
  • Dame Rosalind Joy Savill DBE, FSA, FBA (b. 1951), British art and museum curator
  • Craig Edward Savill (b. 1978), Canadian six-time gold, seven-time silver medalist curler from Ottawa
  • Sir Eric Savill, English benefactor, eponym of the Savill Garden and Savill Building, Windsor Great Park, Surrey


  1. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  2. ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  6. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  7. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  8. ^ "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018, www.thegazette.co.uk/honours-lists


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