Show ContentsScovel History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Scovel history begins in Cornwall, a rugged coastal region in southwestern England. Quite distinct from Devon, the adjoining county, Cornwall had its own spoken language until the late 18th century. The Scovel history began here. The manner in which hereditary surnames arose is interesting. Local surnames were derived from where the original bearer lived, was born, or held land. Unlike most Celtic peoples, who favored patronymic names, the Cornish predominantly used local surnames. The Scovel family originally lived in Cornwall. Their name however, is derived from the village of Scoville, Normandy, where the family lived before arriving with the Norman Conquest in the 11th century.

Early Origins of the Scovel family

The surname Scovel was first found in Cornwall where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of St. Austell and also having branches at Mavaggissey, Polrudden, Tregonnan and Menagwins. Another reference claims this name in old Cornish language signifies broom-plant. "The family have flourished for a long series of generations, in knightly and gentle degree, in that part of England." [1] The first one record was Thomas de Scobbahull, Sheriff of Devon in 1291. [2]

"Although Menagwins [Cornwall] exhibits at present no other dwelling than a farm-house, it still retains several memorials of departed grandeur that were the companions of its former fame. In the days of Charles I. it was the seat of Richard Scobell, who was afterwards clerk of the parliament under Oliver Cromwell. About a century ago it was the habitation of Francis Scobell, Esq. who married one of the co-heiresses of Sir John Tredinham, knight." [3]

Early History of the Scovel family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Scovel research. Another 119 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1291, 1610, 1648 and 1660 are included under the topic Early Scovel History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Scovel Spelling Variations

Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and 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 of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Scobell, Scobel, Schobell, Schobel, Scobahull, Scobbahull, Scobhull, Scobhill, Scoble, Scobal and many more.

Early Notables of the Scovel family

Notable amongst the family at this time was Thomas Scobbahull, Sheriff of Devon; and Henry Scobell (c. 1610-1660), an English Parliamentary official, and clerk to the Long Parliament. "He is said to have been born at Menagwin in St. Austell, Cornwall, and to have owned...
Another 45 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Scovel Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Scovel family

In the immigration and passenger lists were a number of people bearing the name Scovel Ann Scobal, who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1769; Joan Scobald, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1740; J. Scobble, who arrived in San Francisco in 1851.

Contemporary Notables of the name Scovel (post 1700) +

  • James M. Scovel, American politician, Member of New Jersey State House of Assembly from Camden County, 1863; Member of New Jersey State Senate from Camden County, 1864-66 [4]
  • Alden C. Scovel, American politician, Member of New Jersey State House of Assembly from Camden County, 1875-77 [4]
  • Florence Scovel Shinn (1871-1940), American artist and book illustrator

  1. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. Worth, R.N., A History of Devonshire London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, E.G., 1895. Digital
  3. Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  4. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 14) . Retrieved from on Facebook