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Tregelle History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The illustrious surname Tregelle finds its origin in the rocky, sea swept coastal area of southwestern England known as Cornwall. Although surnames were fairly widespread in medieval England, people were originally known only by a single name. The process by which hereditary surnames were adopted is extremely interesting. As populations grew, people began to assume an extra name to avoid confusion and to further identify themselves. Under the Feudal System of government, surnames evolved and they often reflected life on the manor and in the field. Lords and their tenants often became known by the name of the feudal territory they owned or lived on. Unlike most Celtic peoples, who favored patronymic names, the Cornish predominantly used local surnames. This was due to the heavy political and cultural influence of the English upon the Cornish People at the time that surnames first came into use. Local surnames were derived from where a person lived, held land, or was born. While many Cornish surnames of this sort appear to be topographic surnames, which were given to people who resided near physical features such as hills, streams, churches, or types of trees, many are actually habitation surnames derived from lost or unrecorded place names. The name Tregelle is a local type of surname and the Tregelle family lived in Cornwall at the manor of Tregalles, near Falmouth.

Early Origins of the Tregelle family

The surname Tregelle was first found in Cornwall where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Tregalles. One of the first on record as holding the family estates was a Nicholas de Tregelles in the year 1295. Although the 'de' prefix would seem to indicate a Norman/French or Breton origin it was not uncommon for Cornish People to adopt the prefix, particularly if they traveled in court circles. The language of the court was at the time Norman/French.

Early History of the Tregelle family

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Tregelle Spelling Variations

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 Tregelles, Tregellas, Tregillas, Tregilles and others.

Early Notables of the Tregelle family (pre 1700)

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Migration of the Tregelle family to the New World and Oceana

An investigation of the immigration and passenger lists has revealed a number of people bearing the name Tregelle: Edward Tregilgas, who traveled to America as a bonded passenger in 1756; and Susan Tregellas and her family, who sailed to the west coast of North America in 1862..

Tregelle Family Crest Products

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