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An excerpt from archives copyright 2000 - 2016

The Atlantic Ocean to the north and west and the English Channel to the south borders Cornwall, the homeland to the Seals family name. Even though the usage of surnames was common during the Middle Ages, all English people were known only by a single name in early times. The manner in which hereditary surnames arose is interesting. Local surnames are derived from where the original bearer lived, was born, or held land. The Seals 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 Seals 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 Seals research. Another 241 words (17 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Seals History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


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


Some of the Seals 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 and printed products wherever possible.


The records on immigrants and ships' passengers show a number of people bearing the name Seals:

Seals Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Benjamin Seals, who arrived in Mississippi in 1853

Seals Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • George Seals, aged 28, who emigrated to the United States from Aberdeen, Scotland, in 1909
  • Herbert Seals, aged 24, who landed in America from Wallsend, England, in 1913
  • Della M. Seals, aged 30, who settled in America from Miltown Malbay, Ireland, in 1914
  • John Seals, aged 31, who emigrated to America, in 1920
  • Alfred Seals, aged 38, who landed in America, in 1921
  • ...

  • Raymond Seals (b. 1965), American former NFL football defensive end who played from 1989 to 1997
  • Leon Seals Jr. (b. 1964), American former NFL football defensive end who played from 1987 to 1992
  • George Edward Seals (b. 1942), American former NFL football offensive and defensive lineman who played from 1964 to 1973
  • David Seals (b. 1947), American writer, known for his 1979 novel, The Powwow Highway which was made into the film of the same name
  • Daniel "Dan" Joseph Seals (b. 1971), American business consultant and politician
  • Frank "Son" Seals (1942-2004), American blues guitarist and singer
  • Brady Seals (b. 1969), American country music artist, cousin of Jim Seals
  • Danny Wayland "Dan" Seals (1948-2009), American musician, younger brother of Jim Seals, first gained fame as " England Dan", in the duo " England Dan & John Ford Coley," who were best known for "I'd Really Love to See You Tonight"
  • James "Jim" Seals (b. 1941), American musician, half of the duo Seals and Crofts, the top selling band of the 70s who were best known for "Summer Breeze" (1972), "Diamond Girl" (1973), and "Get Closer" (1976)
  • Brigadier-General Carl Herndon Seals (1882-1955), American Adjutant-General Philippine Department (1940-1942)
  • ...

  • The Seals Family History by Elmer D. Scalf.

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    Other References

    1. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
    2. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
    3. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    4. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    5. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
    6. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
    7. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
    8. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
    9. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
    10. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
    11. ...

    The Seals Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Seals 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 1 June 2016 at 08:43.

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