Sewall History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

In ancient Anglo-Saxon England, the ancestors of the Sewall surname lived in any of the places named Sewell, Showell, Seawell, and Sywell in England. Sewall is a local surname, which belongs to the category of hereditary surnames. There are a variety of types of local surnames, some of which include: topographic surnames, which could be given to a person who lived beside any physical feature, such as a hill, stream, church or type of tree. Habitation names form the other broad category of surnames that were derived from place-names. They were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. Other local names are derived from the names of houses, manors, estates, regions, and entire counties. It is also possible that the surname Sewall is a patronymic surname, which derives from the Old English given name Siwal(d). This surname is composed of the elements sige, sæ and weard, which mean victory, sea, and rule, respectively.

Early Origins of the Sewall family

The surname Sewall was first found in Warwickshire where the earliest record of the name was Sewallis, a "noble Saxon" who possessed Lower Eatington before the Norman Conquest. Sewallis was an ancient personal name and was not uncommon in Saxon times. [1]

Girart de Sevele was listed in Normandy in 1180 and the Rotuli Hundredorum lists Roger Sevale in England c. 1272. [2]

Two references claim that four different listings of the name were found in Warwickshire the Domesday Book, our translation [3] only listed one Sewell, in Bedfordshire as land held by the King that was originally belonging to the Odecrooft hundred but Ralph Taillebois added it to the manor of Houghton Regis with King William's consent.

Today Sewell, is a hamlet located in central Bedfordshire and is still in the Houghton Regis civil parish.

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 had quite a few listings for the name as a forename and as a surname: Sewallus de Cleton, Hertfordshire; Sewale de Retcote, Oxfordshire; Robert filius Sew, Norfolk; Thomas Sewald, Oxfordshire; and Godard Sewale, Cambridgeshire. [4]

Early History of the Sewall family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sewall research. Another 166 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1150, 1366, 1257, 1393, 1393, 1688, 1643, 1701, 1652, 1730, 1667, 1671, 1674, 1676, 1654, 1720 and 1654 are included under the topic Early Sewall History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Sewall Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Sewall are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Sewall include: Sewell, Shewel, Sewel, Sewall, Shewall, Shewal and many more.

Early Notables of the Sewall family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Sewall de Bovill (d. 1257), Archbishop of York, a pupil at Oxford of St. Edmund (Rich), the future Archbishop of Canterbury. John Suell ( fl. 1393), was an English politician, Member of the Parliament of England for Totnes in 1393. Gabriel Saywell (died 1688), was rector of Pentridge, Dorset; and his son, William Saywell (1643-1701), was an English churchman and academic, known as a controversialist, Archdeacon of Ely, and Master of Jesus College, Cambridge. Samuel Sewall (1652-1730), was "a colonist and judge, son of Henry Sewall and Jane, daughter of Stephen Dummer, born at Bishopstoke, Hampshire. Emigrating in childhood...
Another 111 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sewall Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Sewall family to Ireland

Some of the Sewall family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 41 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Sewall migration to the United States +

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Sewall or a variant listed above:

Sewall Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Richard Sewall, who landed in Maryland in 1659 [5]
  • Samuel Sewall, who arrived in New England in 1661 [5]
  • Henry Sewall, who arrived in Maryland in 1661 [5]
  • Jane Sewall, who landed in Maryland in 1663 [5]
  • Elizabeth Sewall, who landed in Maryland in 1663 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Sewall Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William Sewall, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1821 [5]
  • Stephen Sewall, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1821 [5]
  • Steph Sewall, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1822 [5]
  • Mr. Sewall, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1822 [5]
  • J M Sewall, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Sewall (post 1700) +

  • Stephen Sewall (1702-1760), American judge in colonial Massachusetts
  • Thomas Sewall (1786-1845), American physician, writer and academic
  • Sumner Sewall (1897-1965), American Republican politician and airline executive, the 58th Governor of Maine from 1941 to 1945 [6]
  • Stephen Sewall (1734-1804), American professor at Harvard University
  • Samuel Sewall (1757-1814), American lawyer and congressman
  • Samuel Sewall (1652-1730), American buinessman, printer and judge in Massachusetts, best known for his involvement in the Salem witch trials
  • Richard B. Sewall (1908-2003), American professor of English at Yale University
  • May Wright Sewall (1844-1920), American feminist, educator, and lecturer
  • Joseph Sewall (1921-2011), American politician and Senator from Maine, served four terms as President of the Maine Senate (1975–1982)
  • Harriet Winslow Sewall (1819-1889), American poet
  • ... (Another 5 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  3. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. ^ 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)
  6. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2012, October 22) . Retrieved from on Facebook
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