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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Southwell family come from? What is the English Southwell family crest and coat of arms? When did the Southwell family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Southwell family history?

Southwell is a name whose history is connected to the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the Southwell family once lived in the parish of Southwell found in the county of Nottingham.


Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Southwell family name include Southwell, Sothwell and others.

First found in Nottinghamshire where "the family are of great antiquity as lords of Southwell, till the reign of Henry VI. They afterwards settled in Norfolk and Suffolk, whence the ancestor of Viscount Southwell removed to Ireland temp. James I." [1] Henry de Suthwell was listed in Nottinghamshire in 1360 as was Richard Sowthwell in 1451. [2] Richard de Southwell was listed in the Feet of Fines for Norfolk in 1474. [3]


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Southwell research. Another 135 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1561, 1595, 1504, 1564, 1694, 1678, 1682 and 1689 are included under the topic Early Southwell History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 139 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Southwell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Southwell family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 235 words (17 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, Canada, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Southwell surname or a spelling variation of the name include:

Southwell Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Susannah Southwell who settled in Maryland in 1775

Southwell Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • John Southwell, who landed in New York in 1852
  • George and Thomas Southwell arrived in Pennsylvania in 1855
  • John T Southwell, who arrived in Mississippi in 1859
  • Joseph Southwell, who landed in Arkansas in 1882

Southwell Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • William Southwell settled in St. John's, Newfoundland in 1830
  • James Southwell, aged 21, landed in Montreal in 1841
  • William Southwell in Harbour Grace, Newfoundland in 1844
  • William Southwell of Upper Small Point (now Kingston) settled in Harbour Grace, Newfoundland in 1871

Southwell Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • William Southwell arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Princess Royal" in 1848
  • James Southwell, aged 31, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Caucasian"


  • Maureen Southwell, American Democrat politician, Presidential Elector for California, 1996
  • Mr. Albert Southwell (1883-1914), English Timber Packer from Wadsworth, Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom who worked in the Hillcrest Coal Mine, Alberta, Canada and died in the mine collapse on June 19 1914
  • Edward Southwell (1705-1755), Irish politician from King's Weston, Gloucestershire
  • Robert Southwell (1561-1595), English Jesuit priest and poet
  • Sir Richard Southwell (1503-1564), English Privy Councillor
  • Mr. James Southwell (d. 1941), British Stoker 2ne Class, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and died during the sinking
  • Thomas Southwell (1836-1878), 4th Viscount Southwell, Irish Lord Lieutenant of Leitrim
  • Thomas Southwell (1777-1860), 3rd Viscount Southwell, Irish peer
  • Thomas Southwell (1742-1796), 2nd Viscount Southwell, Irish MP for Limerick County 17671780
  • Thomas Southwell (1721-1780), 1st Viscount Southwell, Irish MP for Enniscorthy and Limerick County 17611766



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: Nec male notus eques
Motto Translation: A knight not badly known.


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  1. ^ Lowe, 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. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)

Other References

  1. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  2. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  3. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  5. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  6. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  7. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  8. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  9. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  11. ...

The Southwell Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Southwell 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 23 October 2015 at 11:06.

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