Watervile History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Watervile is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England with the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Watervile family lived in Valtierville, in the Seine-Inferieur region of France, the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. [1]

Early Origins of the Watervile family

The surname Watervile was first found in Northampton where they were Lords of the manor of Waterfield, and descended from a Norman noble from Waterville in Normandy. The sire of the family was John de Wateville who was succeeded by Sir Roger de Wateville, and then Sir Geffrey Wateville. William de Waterville, abbot of Peterborough founded a Benedictine nunnery in St. Martin's, Northamptonshire in honour of our Lady St. Mary and St. Michael temp. Henry II. [2]

Wilielmus de Watevilla is a witness to a charter of Robert de Mellent to the Abbey of Jumieges, about the time of the Norman survey; and he himself gave to that monastery, with the consent of his wife, the church, fair, and tithes of Croixman, in the Pays de Caux. It is apparent, from the accounts of the Norman Exchequer Rolls, that in 1195, Vatteville was a Royal residence, when the King hunted in the forest of Vatteville. Among the items furnished by its custodian, Robert d'Appeville, are 'four nets to catch wild boars, two tunics for the use of two dog-keepers,'. Three De Watevilles are entered in Domesday: William, who held of the King in Essex and Suffolk, and Percinges (Perching) of William de Warrenne, with two other manors—one of which was Brighton—in Sussex; Robert, who held de capite in Surrey, with five manors in other counties, under Richard de Tonbridge; and Richard, an under-tenant in Surrey." [3]

Early History of the Watervile family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Watervile research. Another 168 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1144, 1158, 1155 and 1292 are included under the topic Early Watervile History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Watervile Spelling Variations

Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Waterfield, Waterfall, Wateville, Waterville and others.

Early Notables of the Watervile family (pre 1700)

Another 42 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Watervile Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Watervile family

Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, travelling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Watervile or a variant listed above: Robert and Mary Waterfield settled in Jamaica in 1685; Benjamin Waterfall settled in Philadelphia in 1848.



  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 3 of 3


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