Witwel History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
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Witwel is one of the many names that the Normans brought with them when they conquered England in 1066. The Witwel family lived in any of various places called Whitwell, in Dorset, Hertfordshire, Norfolk, and the North Riding of Yorkshire.These place names are derived from the Old English hwi-t, meaning "white," and well meaning a "spring," or "stream."
Early Origins of the Witwel family
The surname Witwel was first found in Yorkshire where they held a family seat from very ancient times.
Early History of the Witwel family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Witwel research. Another 156 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1238, 1100, 1296, 1719, 1797, 1749 and 1788 are included under the topic Early Witwel History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Witwel Spelling Variations
Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Witwall, Witwell, Whitwell, Whitwel, Whitewell and others.
Early Notables of the Witwel family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John Griffin Whitwell (1719-1797), birth name of Field Marshal John Griffin Griffin, 4th Baron Howard de Walden, 1st Baron Braybrooke. He assumed the name Griffin through his mother Anne...
Another 37 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Witwel Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Witwel family
Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Witwel name or one of its variants: Elizabeth Whitewell, who settled in Virginia in 1653; W. Whitewell settled in San Francisco California in 1864; John Whitwell settled in America in 1675.
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