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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


Saville is a name that was brought to England by the ancestors of the Saville family when they migrated to the region after the Norman Conquest in 1066. The Saville family 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.

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The surname Saville 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." [1] 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." [2] 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." [2] 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." [2]

Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Savile, Savill, Saville, Seville and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Saville research. Another 175 words (12 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 Saville History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 133 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Saville Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Saville or a variant listed above:

Saville Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • John and Thomas Saville settled in Virginia in 1772

Saville Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Jeremiah and Joseph Saville and their children settled in Baltimore in 1823
  • D Saville, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1855

Saville Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Benjamin Saville, English convict from Essex, who was transported aboard the "Andromeda" on November 13, 1832, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • James Saville, aged 28, a farm labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Gloucester"
  • William Saville, aged 44, arrived in South Australia in 1853 aboard the ship "Shackamaxon"
  • John Saville, aged 19, a lead washer, arrived in South Australia in 1853 aboard the ship "Shackamaxon"
  • Richard Saville, aged 17, a lead washer, arrived in South Australia in 1853 aboard the ship "Shackamaxon"


Saville Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Stephen Saville, aged 38, a labourer, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Berar" in 1875
  • Isabella Saville, aged 38, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Berar" in 1875
  • James Saville, aged 11, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Berar" in 1875
  • Benjamin Saville, aged 10, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Berar" in 1875
  • John Saville, aged 14, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Berar" in 1875


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  • Major-General Gordon Philip Saville (1902-1984), American Deputy Chief of Staff for Development, Headquarters US Air Force (1950-1951)
  • Michael Saville, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Illinois, 2000
  • Kathleen Saville, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from California, 2004
  • James Burr Saville (1891-1972), American Democrat politician, Member of West Virginia State House of Delegates from Hampshire County, 1935-36; Member of West Virginia Democratic State Executive Committee, 1945-49
  • Gary Saville, American politician, Candidate in primary for Mayor of Sandy, Utah, 1989
  • Carl Saville, American Republican politician, Chair of Hampshire County Republican Party, 1973
  • Marshall Howard Saville (1867-1935), American archaeologist
  • George Alan Saville (b. 1993), English professional footballer
  • Leonard Malcolm Saville (1901-1982), English author
  • Philip Saville (b. 1934), British actor

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  1. ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Other References

  1. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  2. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  3. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  4. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  6. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  7. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  8. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  9. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  10. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  11. ...

The Saville Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Saville Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 25 February 2016 at 09:53.

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