The Lost Withells

Registered with the Guild of One-Name Studies (member 1878)



WITHELL has always been a fairly rare surname but the search for LOST WITHELLS has found that Withell families have lived not only in the United Kingdom, but in Canada, USA, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

My mother was Hannah Lillian WITHELL born in Hamilton, a country town in Victoria, Australia, and I began to look for her Cornish ancestors in 1984. It was very exciting to discover that in 1259 a John de Withiel had been appointed cleric in St Merryn, the Cornish village where her ancestors had lived.

I found that although variations of the byname Withiel occurred in CORNWALL from as early as 1200, by 1990 there was no-one with the surname Withell living in that county. Here was a surname with a history in one county of at least 700 years, which at that time had completely disappeared from Cornwall. Thus began a world-wide search for LOST WITHELLS.


For a brief outline of the current assessment of the history and origin of the surname, click on About the Surname in the Header. You will also find a summary of Withell beginnings in Cornwall Early, Yorkshire Early and the Southern Counties, followed by sections for individual parishes within each county. Listings of individual Families are being added and can be accessed via the pull-down tab under each parish heading. Living persons will not be included.

This is a work in progress and I am planning to add further listings- particulalry of other Cornish families. I am happy to let other researchers have information from my database and if you can assist with any details or corrections please contact me. I may also be able to put you in touch with other researchers of the surname.

Please contact me by e-mail if you have any interest in these names.

Contact -

Guild of One-Name Studies (Member No 1878).Guild logo

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