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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016


The name Wyvill was carried to England in the enormous movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Wyvill family lived in Yorkshire, at Wyville.

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The surname Wyvill was first found in Yorkshire where "this ancient Norman family is said to be descended from Sir Humphry de Wyvill, who lived at the time of the Conquest, and whose descendants were seated at Slingsby in the county." [1] "This place, at the time of the Conquest, belonged to the Lacy family; and afterwards to the Mowbrays, who had a castle here. The Wyville family, the Knights Templars, and others, held lands under the Mowbrays; and the castle subsequently became the property of the noble family of Hastings, who are supposed to have rebuilt it. William, the great Lord Hastings, was beheaded by Richard III., and was succeeded here by his son Edward, who by will in 1497 directed Slingsby to be sold." [2]

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 Wyville, Wyfield and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wyvill research. Another 211 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1620, 1614, 1681, 1659 and 1660 are included under the topic Early Wyvill History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 49 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Wyvill Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Wyvill family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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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, traveling 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 Wyvill or a variant listed above: Phillip Wiyfield who settled in Virginia in 1660.

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  • Marmaduke Wyvill, leading English chess master
  • Geoff Wyvill, Professor of Computer Science at the University of Otago, New Zealand


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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Par la volonté de Dieu
Motto Translation: By the will of God.

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  1. ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Other References

  1. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  2. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  3. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  4. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  5. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  6. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  7. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  8. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  10. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  11. ...

The Wyvill Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Wyvill Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 12 February 2016 at 10:58.

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