Show ContentsSomervill History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the name Somervill date back to the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the Somervill family lived in the small English town of Somerford found in the county of Wiltshire.

Early Origins of the Somervill family

The surname Somervill was first found in Wiltshire where there is a Great Somerford and Little Somerford. Both date back to 937 when they were listed simply as Sumerford. By the time of the Domesday Book in 1086, the village was listed as Sumreford. The placename literally means "ford usable in the summer," from the Old English sumor + ford. [1] Somerford Keynes is located in Gloucestershire and that locale dates back further to 685 when it was listed as Sumerford.

Early History of the Somervill family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Somervill research. Another 71 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Somervill History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Somervill 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 Somervill 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 Somervill include: Somerford, Somerfield and others.

Early Notables of the Somervill family (pre 1700)

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

New Zealand Somervill migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Somervill Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • John Somervill, aged 36, who arrived in Bluff, New Zealand aboard the ship "Christian McAusland" in 1875
  • Elizabeth Somervill, aged 30, who arrived in Bluff, New Zealand aboard the ship "Christian McAusland" in 1875
  • Mr. Somervill, who arrived in Bluff, New Zealand aboard the ship "Christian McAusland" in 1875

West Indies Somervill migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [2]
Somervill Settlers in West Indies in the 18th Century
  • James Somervill, who landed in Antigua (Antego) in 1768 [3]

  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
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  3. ^ 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