Show ContentsSeawell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Seawell first arose amongst the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It is derived from their having lived in the county of Worcester. Seawell is a topographic surname, which was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree. During the Middle Ages, as society became more complex, individuals needed a way to be distinguishable from others. Toponymic surnames were developed as a result of this need. Various features in the landscape or area were used to distinguish people from one another. In this case the original bearers of the surname Seawell were named due to their close proximity to the River Severn, the longest river in Great Britain. During the Roman occupation the Severn was known by the Latin name Sabrina. 1

Early Origins of the Seawell family

The surname Seawell was first found in Worcestershire where John Seuarne was recorded as holding lands in the Subsidy Roll of 1327. Later in Gloucestershire, William Seuarne was listed in 1362. 2

Early History of the Seawell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Seawell research. Another 124 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1300 and 1675 are included under the topic Early Seawell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Seawell Spelling Variations

One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Seawell has appeared include Severne, Severn, Seven, Sevens, Severin, Seffern, Sefferin and many more.

Early Notables of the Seawell family

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

Seawell Ranking

In the United States, the name Seawell is the 17,568th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. 3

United States Seawell migration to the United States +

At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Seawell arrived in North America very early:

Seawell Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Mercy Seawell, who arrived in Virginia in 1637 4
  • Thomas Seawell, who arrived in Virginia in 1638 4
  • Jervis Seawell, who landed in Virginia in 1638 4
  • Tho Seawell, who landed in Virginia in 1647 4
  • Henry Seawell, who landed in Newbury, Massachusetts in 1654 4
Seawell Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Antho Seawell, who landed in Virginia in 1703 4
Seawell Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • J H Seawell, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 4

Canada Seawell migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Seawell Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Edward Seawell, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749

Contemporary Notables of the name Seawell (post 1700) +

  • Buie Seawell (b. 1937), American professor at the University of Denver
  • Aaron Ashley Flowers Seawell (1864-1950), American politician and jurist from North Carolina
  • Donald R. Seawell (1912-2015), American cultural and civic leader, founder of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, son of Aaron F. Seawell

The Seawell Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Virtus praestantior auro
Motto Translation: Virtue is more excellent than gold.

  1. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  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) on Facebook