Show ContentsWisell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Wisell reached England in the great wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Wisell family lived in Cambridgeshire, at Westley or at Westley Waterless a small village and civil parish in East Cambridgeshire.

Early Origins of the Wisell family

The surname Wisell was first found in Cambridgeshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the manor of Westley Waterless. The place name dates back to the pre-Conquest times when it was first listed as Westle in 1045. By The Domesday Book of 1086, it was known as Weslai. [1]

Conjecturally the family are descended from Hardwin, a Norman noble of Scales, who held the village of Westley from the Countess Judith at the time of the taking of the Domesday Book. William de Westle was Archdeacon of Durham (1362-1369.)

However, Westleigh in Lancashire may be the origin of the family. "A family of the local name is mentioned [here] in the reign of Richard I." [2]

Early History of the Wisell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wisell research. Another 99 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1800, 1636, 1678, 1662, 1735, 1669, 1742, 1596 and 1680 are included under the topic Early Wisell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Wisell Spelling Variations

Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Wisell family name include Westly, Westley, Westle, Westles and others.

Early Notables of the Wisell family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John Westley or Wesley (1636-1678), an English nonconformist minister; his son Samuel Wesley (1662-1735), English minister and poet, father of John and Charles Wesley...
Another 31 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Wisell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Wisell family

To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Wisell family to immigrate North America: Solomon Westle who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1752; William Westley settled in Connecticut in 1640; William Westley settled in Maryland in 1774.

Contemporary Notables of the name Wisell (post 1700) +

  • Reine Wisell (1941-2022), Swedish racing driver who participated in 23 Formula One World Championship Grands Prix

  1. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print. on Facebook