Waddell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Waddell comes from the place named Wedale, in the parish of Stow, near Edinburgh. As such it is a habitation name, a category of surnames derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.

Early Origins of the Waddell family

The surname Waddell was first found in Midlothian, where they had held territories at Wedale in the parish of Stow from ancient times. [1]

Most sources agree in this origin, but one claims the name was English having derived from Odell, a parish in Bedfordshire. "For proof, v. Odell. Waddle is a natural variant, but seems confined to America." [2] This researcher noted that the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 included a listing for Robert de Wadhulle, Bedfordshire.

But let's return to Scotland where the lion's share of the family claim descent. "The earliest known bearer of the name is Adam de Wedale, 'an outlaw of the King of Scots land,' who appears in 1204. Stephen de Wee ale witnessed a charter of the lands of Swaynystoun to the Hospital of Soltre, c. 1221-24, and Thomas de Wedal was canon of St. Andrews 1280. Laurence de Wedale of Roxburghshire rendered homage in 1296. His seal bears an eight-rayed figure and S' Lavrenci d' Vedal" [3]

On this last entry, we must explain the significance of "rendered homage in 1296." King Edward I of England conquered much of lowland Scotland in 1296 and confiscated the lands. To retrieve your lands, you had to "render homage" to him, thereby acknowledging him as the rightful king.

"Symone de Wedale, [was] abbot of Holyrood, Edinburgh, between 1296-1327, as Symon de Wedehale was consecrated bishop of Galloway in 1327. Adam de Wedale, monk of Newbotyl, was witness in proceedings against the Knights Templars in 1309, and Roger de Wedale was canon of Dunblane, 1312, and in 1321 prebendary of Murthlach." [3]

Early History of the Waddell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Waddell research. Another 330 words (24 lines of text) covering the years 1344, 1359, 1370, 1372, 1395, 1405, 1400, 1424, 1421, 1505, 1555, 1557, 1567, 1610, 1583, 1613, 1672, 1682, 1793, 1725, 1372, 1600, 1583, 1642, 1617, 1621 and are included under the topic Early Waddell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Waddell Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Waddel, Waddell, Waddle, Weddel, Weddell, Weddle and many more.

Early Notables of the Waddell family (pre 1700)

Notable among the family at this time was John Weddell (1583-1642), sea-captain who in 1617 was master's mate of the East India Company's ship Dragon. "In April 1621 he sailed from England as captain of the Jonas, with three other...
Another 40 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Waddell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Waddell Ranking

In the United States, the name Waddell is the 1,437th most popular surname with an estimated 22,383 people with that name. [4]

Ireland Migration of the Waddell family to Ireland

Some of the Waddell family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 51 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Waddell migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Waddell Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Waddell, who landed in New England in 1643 [5]
Waddell Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Mathew Waddell, aged 43, who arrived in Maryland in 1812 [5]
  • Francis Waddell, aged 45, who landed in Maryland in 1813 [5]
  • John Waddell, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850 [5]
  • William Waddell, who settled in San Francisco in 1852
  • Margaret Waddell, aged 23, who arrived in New York in 1868 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Waddell migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Waddell Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Geo Waddell, who arrived in Canada in 1820
  • Mr. James Waddell, aged 28 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Virginias" departing from the port of Liverpool, England but died on Grosse Isle in August 1847 [6]
  • Mr. David Waddell, aged 2 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Yorkshire" departing 9th June 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 10th August 1847 but he died on board [7]
  • Mr. James Waddell, aged 40 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Ayrshire" departing 4th July 1847 from Newry, Ireland; the ship arrived on 29th August 1847 but he died on board [7]
  • James Waddell, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1848

Australia Waddell migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Waddell Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Miss Elizabeth Waddell, (Cunningham), Scottish Convict who was convicted in Glasgow, Scotland for 7 years, transported aboard the "Atwick" on 28 September 1837, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [8]

New Zealand Waddell 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:

Waddell Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • John Waddell, aged 22, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Jane Gifford" in 1842
  • Catherine Waddell, aged 19, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Jane Gifford" in 1842
  • Jane Waddell, who landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1845
  • Mr. William Waddell, British settler, as the 2nd Detachment of New Zealand Corps of Royal New Zealand Fencibles travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Minerva" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 8th October 1847 [9]
  • Mr. John Waddell, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Joseph Fletcher" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 8th November 1856 [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Waddell (post 1700) +

  • Dr. Tom Waddell (1937-1987), American sportsman and competitor at the 1968 Summer Olympics, founder of the Gay Olympics in 1982 in San Francisco
  • John Henry Waddell (b. 1921), American sculptor, painter and educator
  • John Alexander Low Waddell (1854-1938), American civil engineer and prolific bridge designer with more than a thousand structures to his credit throughout North America
  • Donald Waddell (b. 1958), American NHL hockey player, former, and last President of the Atlanta Thrashers
  • Chris Waddell (b. 1968), American five-time gold, six-time silver medalist Paralympic sit-skier and wheelchair track athlete
  • Avery Waddell, American actor, known for his roles in Road Trip (2000), True Crime: New York City (2005) and The New Guy (2002)
  • William Bradford Waddell (1807-1872), American frontiersman, co-founder of the Pony Express
  • Thomas David "Tom" Waddell (b. 1958), American former Major League Baseball pitcher
  • James Iredell Waddell (1824-1886), American officer in the United States Navy and later in the Confederate States Navy, eponym of the USS Waddell (DDG-24)
  • Alfred Moore Waddell (1834-1912), American politician, U. S. Congressman from North Carolina between 1871 and 1879
  • ... (Another 21 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Arthur Waddell (b. 1920), Australian Able Bodied Seaman from Brisbane, Australia, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [10]


  1. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  4. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  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. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 59)
  7. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 98)
  8. ^ Convict Records of Australia (Retreived 23rd August 2020, retreived from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/atwick)
  9. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  10. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html


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