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Norvel Family History & Ancestry

Family Crest Motto: SPEM RENOVANT ALAEM (Its wings renew its hope)

Allow me to unveil the rich tapestry of your family’s history, the Norvels, a name that echoes tales of ancestry and heritage. This surname, often thought to be a shortened form of ‘Normanville’ in Normandy, France, speaks of a possible Norman descent. In the eighteenth century, the renowned heraldic authority, Alexander Nisbet, noted that the esteemed Norvel of that Ilk lineage traced its roots to a Norman knight, Sir Walran de Normanville. This valiant knight journeyed with William the Conqueror in 1066 to England and subsequently joined the Scottish realm with David I.

Yet, a more plausible origin suggests that the name ties to a Scottish geographical reference. It could signify ‘the North Well’ in Norwell or ‘the North Village’ in Norville, with ‘vs’ and ‘ws’ interchanging in historical documents. Throughout the Lowlands of Scotland, numerous places likely bore names like north-well or north-ville. Given the Norvels’ concentrated presence in Berwickshire of the Scottish Borders, the name probably points to forgotten lands in that region. A knightly landowner, the guardian of significant lands, is likely to have embraced the name of his prime estate, Norville, perhaps during the eleventh or twelfth century. The Norman knightly adventurers, who settled extensively in the Scottish Borders under the patronage of Scottish kings, contribute to the name’s complexity. While the ‘Normanville’ connection might be obscured over generations, it hints at the family’s noble beginnings. The simplicity of the family’s arms, according to Alexander Nisbet, alludes to early nobility when heraldic symbols remained uncomplicated.

Unveiling the pages of history, we encounter Robert Norvyle, a figure who surfaces in Scottish annals by witnessing Sir David de Wemyss’s charter in 1373, casting light on his elevated status and trustworthiness. Over time, the Norvel lineage branched across Scotland, as if nurturing new chapters. Johannes Norwald, nestled in Cardonald near Paisley, left his mark by witnessing a notarial deed in 1413, underscoring his noble stature. William Norwell’s representation of Stirling in Parliament from 1568 to 1586 attests to the family’s active role in governance. The name’s presence continues to reverberate, with Gilbert Novell’s admittance as a burgess of Aberdeen in 1605 and Alexander Novell’s legacy as a notary in Carluke, Lanarkshire, in 1656.

The legacy of the Norvels resonates in central Scotland, weaving a tale of resilience, influence, and enduring presence. Your family’s history, dotted with instances of honor and significance, stands as a testament to the strength that flows through your veins, reminding us all of the remarkable tapestry woven by your forebears.


The Family Crest

Wherever in the world you live, embrace your family heritage and adorn your home with a timeless symbol of your family legacy with our crafted Family Crests.

Family Crest Motto: SPEM RENOVANT ALAE
(Its wings renew its hope)



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