Russell Coat of Arms

Russell Family Crest / Russell Coat of Arms


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Origin Displayed: English

Where did the English Russell family come from? What is the English coat of arms/family crest? When did the Russell family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the history of the family name?

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Russell include Russell, Russel and others.

First found in Dorset where they were seated from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.

In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Russells to arrive on North American shores: Joe Russell settled in Virginia in 1635; John Russell settled in Virginia in 1623; Simon Russell settled in Boston in 1631; William and Walter Russell settled in Virginia in 1607.

Motto Translated: What will be will be.

Suggested Readings for the name Russell

  • Descendants of William Russell of Salem, Mass., 1647 by George Ely Russell.
  • Odyssey of the Barkers and The Russells by Don W. Barker.
  • Long, Long Ago, 1776-1976: a Genealogical Record of the Farris, Wells, Keltner, Wynne, Russell, Roberts Families in America by Harriett Farris Boozer.
Some noteworthy people of the name Russell

  • William Eustis Russell (1857-1896), American politician, governor of Massachusetts (1891-1894)
  • Donald Russell (1906-1998), American judge and politician, US Senator for South Carolina
  • Francis Russell (1910-1989), American Author specializing in American history
  • James Russell, American Admiral, and naval aviator
  • Johnny Russell (1940-2001), American country music, singer and songwriter
  • Bill Russell (b. 1934), American basketball player
  • Charles Taze Russell (1852-1916), American religious leader
  • Henry Norris Russell (1877-1957), American astronomer
  • Morgan Russell (1886-1953), American painter
  • Sir Charles Russell (1826-1883), English army Lieutenant-Colonel, who received the Victoria Cross for deeds in Crimea on November 5th, 1854
  • Edward Russell (1653-1727), English naval commander
  • Earl Francis Russell (1593-1641), 4th Earl of Bedford
  • Francis Russell (1527-1585), English courtier
  • Duke Francis Russell (1765-1802), English 5th Duke of Bedford
  • Duke Herbrand Russell (1858-1940), English 11th Duke of Bedford
  • John Russell (1486-1555), English courtier
  • John Russell (1792-1878), English statesman
  • John Russell (1710-1771), English statesman
  • John Francis Stanley Russell (1865-1931), English politician
  • Duke John Robert Russell (b. 1917), English 13th Duke of Bedford
  • Sir William Russell (1558-1613), English statesman
  • William Russell (1639-1683), English Whig statesman
  • Earl William Russell (1613-1700), English 5th Earl and 1st Duke of Bedford
  • Duke William Russell (1888-1953), English 12th Duke of Bedford
  • Anna Russell (b. 1911), English singer
  • Sir Edward John Russell (1872-1965), English agriculturist
  • Frederick Stratten Russell (1897-1984), English marine biologist
  • George Russell (1857-1951), English horticulturist
  • Jack Russell (1795-1883), English sporting parson
  • John Russell (1745-1806), English portrait painter
  • Henry Kenneth Alfred Russell (b. 1927), English film director
  • John Russell (1792-1878), 1st Earl Russell, British politician who served twice as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
  • Pee Wee Russell (1906-1969), jazz musician
  • George William Russell (1867-1935), Irish poet
  • John Scott Russell (1808-1882), Scottish naval engineer who built the Great Eastern (the largest ship built at that time)
  • Sir William Howard Russell (1821-1907), Irish war correspondent
  • Charles Russell (1832-1900), Irish lawyer