Zeale History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The proud Zeale family originated in Cornwall, a rugged coastal region in southwestern England. In early times, people were known by only a single name. However, as the population grew and people traveled further afield, it became increasingly necessary to assume an additional name to differentiate between bearers of the same personal name. The manner in which hereditary surnames arose is interesting. Local surnames are derived from where the original bearer lived, was born, or held land. The Zeale family originally lived in the parish of Seal which had various locations in England including the counties of Northumberland, Leicester, Surrey and Kent.

However, the name could have originated from a variety of sources. It could be one who worked at the hall from the Old English word "sele," [1] or, perhaps, "dweller by the sallow copse" from the Old English "siele," or "sele." [2]

Early Origins of the Zeale family

The surname Zeale was first found in Devon where Ralph de la Sele was listed in the Pipe Rolls of 1168. Roger Sele was also listed in the Pipe Rolls for Norfolk in 1198. [2]

"The Seals of the Derby district may hail originally from Seal, a Leicestershire parish close to the Derbyshire border." [3]

Today Zeale could also be a Bengali Hindu Brahmin family name which literally means "the quality of being devoted."

Early History of the Zeale family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Zeale research. Another 67 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Zeale History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Zeale Spelling Variations

Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Seal, Seale, Seel, Sealey, Sealy, Seally, Sealley and others.

Early Notables of the Zeale family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Zeale Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Zeale family to Ireland

Some of the Zeale 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 and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Zeale family

A look at the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name Zeale: William Seal settled in Boston in 1763; Henry Seale settled in Virginia in 1637; William Seal settled in Maryland in 1740; Charles, Joseph and Piper Seel all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1870..



  1. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.


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