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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
The Seal 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 Seal 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 Seal family originally lived in the parish of Seal which had various locations in England including the counties of Northumberland, Leicester, Surrey and Kent.
The surname Seal was first found in Northumberland where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.
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 Seal, Seale, Seel, Sealey, Sealy, Seally, Sealley and others.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Seal research. Another 241 words (17 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Seal History in all our PDF Extended History products.
More information is included under the topic Early Seal Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Some of the Seal family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 107 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.
Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Seal or a variant listed above:
Seal Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
Seal Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Seal Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Seal Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
Seal Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
The Seal Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Seal 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 15 March 2016 at 17:51.