Blazons & Genealogy Notes
1) (Ireland). Gu. five annulets and a canton erm, Crest—A dexter hand ppr., holding up an annulet or.
2) (allowed by Hawkins, Ulster, 1776, to Andrew Samuel Michael Cantwell, an officer in the French service descended from William Cantwell, Esq., of Mokartay, co. Tipperary, living 1319). Same Arms. Crest—A leopard’s head couped ppr.
Origin, Meaning, Family History and Cantwell Coat of Arms and Family Crest
Origins of Cantwell:
This interesting surname of English origin is a local variant of the locational name Kentwell in Suffolk. It is not far from the Glem and may be an old name for this river. If so, the original name was Kennet acquiring from the Old English pre 7th Century “cynete” plus “wella”, “stream”. This surname dates back to the late 13th Century. More recordings include one Thomas Cantewell (1446), “The Close Rolls”. Variations in the phrase of the spelling include Candwell, etc. The parish recordings at St. Giles, Cripplegate, London, include Cicily, daughter of Thomas Cantwell who named in March 1568, and John, son of Arnold Cantwell who named in November 1568. Helen, daughter of John and Jane Cantwell, named at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster, in May 1689. One Ellen Cantwell sailed from Liverpool aboard the “Henry-Clay” bound for New York in April 1846.
More common variations are: Cantewell, Cantweell, Cantiwell, Cantowell, Canttwell, Cantell, Cantwel, Candwell, Cantello, Cantwill.
The surname Cantwell first appeared in Suffolk where the earliest records were in the year 1273 when Gilbert de Kentwelle noted in the Hundredorum Rolls. It considered to be the senior line of the family name, but they held a family seat there from a very early date, perhaps the 1oth century.
The very first recording spelling of the family was shown to be that of Gilbert de Kentewelle, dated about 1273, in the “Hundred Rolls of Suffolk”. It was during the time of King Edward I who was known to be the “The Hammer of the Scots”, dated 1272 – 1307. The origin of surnames during this period became a necessity with the introduction of personal taxation. It came to be known as Poll Tax in England. Surnames all over the country began to develop, with unique and shocking spelling varieties of the original one.
Many of the people with surname Cantwell had moved to Ireland during the 17th century.
United States of America:
Individuals with the surname Cantwell landed in the United States in two different centuries respectively in the 17th and 19th. Some of the people with the name Cantwell who arrived in the United States in the 17th century included John Cantwell settled in Virginia in 1623. Edmd Cantwell, who arrived in Virginia in 1659. Ann Cantwell, who landed in Maryland in 1678. Mary Cantwell, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1685. Mary Cantwell settled in Pennsylvania in 1685.
The following century saw more Cantwell surnames arrive. Some of the people with the surname Cantwell who arrived in the United States in the 19th century included William Cantwell landed in Massachusetts in 1812. John Cantwell, who arrived in New York, NY in 1846. James Cantwell, who landed in New York, NY in 1849. Mrs W B Cantwell, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851. Michael Cantwell, who landed in Ohio in 1861.
People with the surname Cantwell settled in Canada in two different centuries respectively in 18th and 19th Some of the people with the surname Cantwell who came to Canada in the 18th century included Mr Richard Cantwell U.E. who settled in Parr Town [Saint John], New Brunswick c. 1783. The following century saw much more Cantwell surnames arrive. People with the surname Cantwell who settled in Canada in the 19th century included Jeffery Cantwell, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1833.
Some of the individuals with the surname Cantwell who landed in Australia in the 19th century included Donna Cantwell arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship “Aliquis”. James Cantwell arrived in South Australia in 1858 aboard the ship “Utopia”. Patrick Cantwell arrived in South Australia in 1858 aboard the ship “Utopia”.
Some of the population with the surname Cantwell who arrived in New Zealand in the 19th century included Joseph Cantwell arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship “Mermaid” in the year 1859. Elizabeth Cantwell arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship “Mermaid” in 1859. Eliza Cantwell arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship “Mermaid” in the year 1859.
Here is the population distribution of the last name Cantwell:
United States 8,541; England 1,495; Ireland 1,283; Australia 1,138; Canada 812; New Zealand 244; Scotland 158; Wales 113; South Africa 110; Malaysia 101.
Robert Cantwell (1908–1978), was an American novel writer and expert.
Robert Cantwell (architect) (c. 1793-1859), was a British architect.
Cantwell Coat of Arms Meaning
The three main devices (symbols) in the Cantwell blazon are the annulet, canton and leopard’s face. The two main tinctures (colors) are ermine and gules.
Ermine is a very ancient pattern, and distinctive to observe. It was borne alone by John de Monfort, the Earl of Richmond and Duke of Brittany in the late 14th century It has a long association with royalty and the nobility in general and hence represents “Dignity” wherever it is found . The ermine pattern is white with, typically, a three dots and a dart grouping representing the tail of the furred creature.. The ermine spot is sometimes found alone as a special charge on the shield.
Gules, the heraldic colour red is very popular, sometimes said to represent “Military Fortitude and Magnanimity”. It is usually abbreviated as gu and in the days before colour printing was shown in a system known as hatching by vertical lines . Although it may look like a French word it is normally pronounced with a hard “g” and may be derived either from the Latin gula (throat) or Arabic gule (rose).
For easy recognition of the items on a coat of arms, and hence the quick identification of the owner, bold simple shapes are best. Hence, simple geometric shapes are often used for this purpose xz`, and the annulet is a good example, being a circular ring of any colour. They also appear interlaced or one within the other, both of which are very pleasing additions. Wade believes that these were one of the symbols of ancient pilgrims.
“The canton stands very high among honourable bearings”, according to Wade, a noted symbologist . The canton is a square shape, normally occupying the dexter chief of the shield. An early example is SUTTON, Bishop of Lincoln in the 13th century, who bore “argent a canton sable”. It occupies less space than a quarter and hence is sometimes added to an existing shield to difference branches of the same family, or, when a charge is added to it, to indicate some honour has been recieved . Wade remarks, that, in common with all square features can be associated with the virtue of“constancy”.
The leopard’s face (sometimes, incorrectly referred to as a leopard’s head occurs very frequently in heraldry . Early heraldic artists tended to treat lions and leopards as the same animal, but during the development of British Heraldry the heads of the two creatures have adopted separate, and more realistic forms. Wade would have us associate leopards with warriors, especially those who overcome ”hazardous things by force and courage”