Show ContentsWestall History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Westall family

The surname Westall was first found in Wasdale, or Nether Wasdale, a chapelry, in the parish of St. Bees, union of Whitehaven in Cumberland. Wasdale-Head is a chapelry, nit far from Wasdale. [1]

The earliest spelling of the place name was Wastedale in 1279 in the Hundredorum Rolls. By 1334, the place name was known as Wascedaleheved and literally meant "valley of the water or lake". [2]

As far as the surname is concerned, it could also have been a Norman name as the Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae of 1180 listed Roger and Hugh Wastel living in Normandy at that time. [3]

However, another source notes that the name could also have derived from a type of "fine bread" or "wassail-bowl" as Chaucer notes as "Prioress fed her hounds with Wastel brede." [4]

Exploring the origins of the name in ancient Britain led to the year 1182 when Ralph Wastel held lands in Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk. Soon thereafter the family branched north to Westmorland where they acquired Wastell-head. Ralph and Richard Wastel were listed the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273. [5]

The Wacelin variant has a slightly different origin. "Gacelin, or Wazelin, probably a noble of Anjou, held lands from Geoffrey de Wirce in Lincoln 1086. John Wascelin was of Lincoln 1189, and Reginald held of Crevecoeur [6]. Geofifry Gascelyn was summoned to parliament by writ, 1259. " [3]

"This must have been the Geoffrey Watelin or Wacelin entered in the Hundred Rolls, c. 1272, as seated in Norfolk, who was a benefactor of Jerveaulx Abbey. The family continued in Lincolnshire for a considerable time. Richard de Wacelyn or Walkelin, 28 Hen. III, held in Foteburne, in that county, by the serjeanty of finding (with two others) one balistar, with six quarrels and a sumpter horse, in the King's army, for forty days." [7]

Early History of the Westall family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Westall research. Another 124 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1406, 1410, 1455, 1460, 1487, 1515, 1592, 1599, 1602, 1623 and 1632 are included under the topic Early Westall History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Westall Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Wastell, Wastall, Wassell, Washtell, Wassall, Gastell, Westell, Wastoile, Westoile, Waistell, Wassell, Wessel, Wessell and many more.

Early Notables of the Westall family

Distinguished members of the family include Robert Wastell (fl. 1406-1410) from Totnes, Devon, an English politician, Member of the Parliament for Totnes in 1406 and 1410; and John Wastell (1460-1515), English Gothic architect responsible for Manchester Cathedral, parts of King's College Chapel, Cambridge, the crossing tower (Bell Harry Tower) of Canterbury Cathedral, and the fan vaulted section of Peterborough Cathedral. Simon Wastell (died 1632), was a...
Another 66 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Westall Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Westall migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Westall Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Richard Westall, who landed in Virginia in 1650 [8]
Westall Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Andrew E Westall, who arrived in Texas in 1835 [8]

Australia Westall migration to Australia +

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

Westall Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Westall, British Convict who was convicted in Berkshire, England for life for machine breaking, transported aboard the "Eleanor" on 26th June 1831, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [9]
  • Thomas Westall, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Santipore" in 1848 [10]
  • Miss Sarah Westall who was convicted in Salford, Greater Manchester, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Cadet" on 10th November 1848, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [11]
  • George Westall, aged 37, who arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Nimroud"

Contemporary Notables of the name Westall (post 1700) +

  • William E. Westall, American Republican politician, Member of Massachusetts State House of Representatives Twenty-Seventh Middlesex District, 1905 [12]
  • Walter W. Westall, American Republican politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Westchester County 2nd District, 1919-22; Member of New York State Senate 25th District, 1923-34 [12]
  • Karen Westall, American Republican politician, Member of New Mexico Republican State Executive Committee, 2002 [12]
  • John Westall, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Massachusetts, 1912 [12]
  • Wilfrid Arthur Edmund Westall (1900-1982), English Anglican suffragan bishop, Bishop of Crediton (1954 to 1974)
  • William Bury Westall (1834-1903), English novelist
  • Richard Westall (1765-1836), English painter and illustrator
  • Robert Atkinson Westall (1929-1993), English writer
  • General Sir John Chaddesley Westall KCB CBE (1901-1986), New Zealand born, British Royal Marines officer, Commandant General Royal Marines
  • William Westall (1781-1850), English-born, Australian landscape artist, eponym of Mount Westall, Queensland, Australia

  1. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. 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)
  4. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  5. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  6. Testa de Nevill or "Liber Feodorum" or "Book of Fees," thought to have been written by Ralph de Nevill, for King John (1199–1216)
  7. 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
  8. 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)
  9. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 9th February 2022). Retrieved from
  10. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) SANTIPORE 1848. Retrieved from
  11. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th November 2020). Retrieved from
  12. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 19) . Retrieved from on Facebook