Last name: Sewell
This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and has two possible meanings, the first being, that it derives from the medieval given names "Siwal(d)" and "Sewal(d)", from the Olde English pre 7th Century "Sigeweald", and "Soeweald", which are composed of the elements "sige", meaning victory, and "sae", sea, with "weald", rule, which translates as "sea power", and may have been a name given to sailors. However, Sewell may also be a locational name from either Sewell in Bedfordshire, Showell in Oxforshire, or Seawell or Sywell in Northamptonshire, all deriving from the Olde English "seofon", seven, and "wella", spring. Locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. Among the recordings from London Church Registers is the marriage of William Sewell and Margery Smyth on October 28th 1565, at St. Gregory by St. Paul. A notable namebearer was Anna Sewell (1820 - 1878), an author whose book "Black Beauty", has been popular since publication in 1877. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Sewald, which was dated 1220, in the "Court of Fees for Berkshire", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
© Copyright: Name Origin Research www.surnamedb.com 1980 - 2016
Want to dig deeper into your family history? Take a look at our page on building a Family Tree
. Or get scientific and enter the exciting world of Ancestral DNA
According to the 1940 Census, many people that formerly had the last name "Sewell" changed over and became known as "Suell". My last name is Suell, and I just discovered from older family members that our family name use to be spelled and known as Sewell. Could someone describe to me the reason why there was a name change? Also if this has anything to do with it, I'm African American.
This is good to know.. Thank U!!
My maiden name is Sewell and I have been trying to trace my ancestry with no luck.
My maternal grandmother's maiden name was Sewell. Her father was J. W. Sewell born in Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh area). Married Rebecca Lucy Cotton in Alabama. He was in his 40's & was working with the railroad. We can't find anymore information on him. Can't find any birth records, census records or church records from Pennsylvania on him. Some of the family claim the spelling is Suell but he told my grandmother that wasn't the correct spelling. His death record says his mother's name was Martha Adams. If you have any suggestions please post.