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Table of Contents

The Cantrill-Cantrell Genealogy







Copyright, 1908






Preface 1x

History xi

Richard Cantrill 3

Descendants of Joseph (2) Cantrill of Philadelphia 7

Descendants of Zebulon (2) Cantrell of Philadelphia 14

Descendants of Benjamin (1) Cantrell of Massachusetts 209

Descendants of Isaac (1) Cantrell of Ireland and Philadelphia 213

Unclassified Records 219

Supplemental Lines 225


Will of Stephen Cantrell 231

Jamestown Reunion 237

Index 245


FOR many years I has e had a strong desire to know more about the Cantrill family, but not until 1897 was sufficient data obtained to furnish a reliable basis for this work. It is published now with a full knowledge of the many imperfections that will be manifest to many who read it. Many difficulties have attended the collection and compilation of the material and at times the work has been most discouraging.

If some branches of the family hare been treated briefly, it is only owing to the lack of information and meager data furnished by the descendants

It is with a deep realization of how impossible it is to make any History, or Genealogy, of a family entirely perfect, that I now publish the result of more than ten years' research. It is probable that it could be made more complete by waiting and working longer, but many of those who hare been interested in the collection of the material have already passed away, others are growing old, and the writer is anxious to put into permanent shape the information collected, which has never been printed regarding the Cantrill family before. The Cantrill family is one of the oldest families in America.

In the course of this work innumerable histories, genealogies and records have been carefully searched in the Astor and Lenox Libraries, New York Historical Society, New York Genealogical Society and Court Records, New York; Brooklyn and Pratt Libraries, Brooklyn; Boston Library, Historical Societal and Court Records, Boston; Friends' Library, Pennsylvania Historical Society, Records of old Philadelphia churches and Court Records, Philadelphia; Pennsylvania State Library, Harrisburg; Court Records, Westchester, Pa.; Illinois State Library, Springfield; Congressional Library and Census Department. Washington: and Court Records in New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. A thorough search has also been made in London, England, of Court Records and emigrant lists of the seventeenth century by a reliable English genealogist. I am also indebted to Rev. Edgar Harlan Kellar and Mrs. Francis Hardin Hess for searching records at the British Museum, London.

In finishing this self-imposed task, which has also given me many hours of pleasure and profit, I wish particularly to express my appreciation of the encouragement and material help that has been given me by Mrs. William A. Cantrell, Little Rock. Ark.: Mrs. James E. Cantrill. Georgetown, Ky.; Miss Mary Cantrell, McMinneville, Tenn.; Mrs. Laura Cantrell Kinser, Tellico Junction, Tenn.; Mr. John H. Cantrell. Chattanooga, Tenn.; Mrs. W. W. Whiteside, Oxford, Ala., and to many others. Finally, in presenting these facts regarding the history and genealogy of the Cantrill family which I have been able to collect, I do so in the hope that they will be an inspiration to every member of the family to continued patriotism to our country, and pride in our family


231 Madison Street

Brooklyn, New York


Origin & Spelling of the Name

The name of Cantrill wherever found can be traced to the original family of Chantrell, or Cantrelle, in France.

In "Armorial Generale," by J. B. Rietstap, the name is given as Chantrell, Cantrelle and Canteral; in "La Grande Encyclopedia," as Chantrell and Canteral; in "La France Heraldique," as Chantrell (de) and Chantre (le), while in "Nobilisse Universale," by M. L. Vicomte Magny, it is given as Cantrel.

In "British Family Names," by Henry Barber, the following appears: "Cantrell (French), Cantrel, Chantrell. The first of the name in England was William Chantrell, time of King John, A.D. 1199."

Mark Antony Lower gives the definition thus: "Cantrill, Cantrell, from Cantrellus, the little singer."

Charles Waring Bardsley, in his "Dictionary of Surnames," says: "Cantrell, Cantrill, one who rang the Chantrelle. Chantrelle, a small bell. Chanter, to sing."

The name is spelled in various ways, viz: Cantrill, Cantrell, Cantrall, Cantrelle, Cantril, Cantrel, Cantral, Chantrell and Chauntrell. The spelling has always been one of personal taste, even brothers have spelled it differently.

In this book the name is spelled as found in Capt. John Smith's Works, or as it is spelled by the different branches of the family.

The earliest records of the family are French. The first mention of the name outside of France is WIlliam Chantrell, who retained the French Spelling of the name, in England in time of King John.

The Family in England

From the Twelfth to the Fifteenth century the name appears on English records from time to time, and after that time appears many times in England and Ireland, as well as in France, usually spelled Chantrell, Cantrill or Cantrell.

William Chantrell, temp King John, was probably the first of the name in England.

In the "History of Melbourne, County Derby," second edition, (no date), page 175, by J.J. Briggs, the author says:

"The Cantrells were a very ancient family and are supposed to have been located at Kings Newton about five hundred years. By deeds still extant in the family, we find that they possessed lands there as the reign of Henry V, about 1413. Other deeds and surveys also show that they were considerable landed proprietors during the reins of Henry V, Henry VI, Edward V, Edward VI and Henry VII."

From the "History of Cheshire," by ormeod, we learn that the Chantrells were possessed of the lands in Cheshire as early as 1412, and in this History the pedigree is given of John Cantrell, 1412 (taken from the "Plea Recog Rolls") with the same coat-of-arms that is given later in the "Visitation of Cheshire," 1580, of Chantrell of Bache; "Visitation of Suffolk," 1612, of Cantrell of Bury St. Edmunds and "Visitation of Berkshire," 1664, of Cantrill of Workingham. (More to come...)

The Coat-Of-Arms

There is a great diversity of opinion among authorities as to the time that coat-of-arms became hereditary. The majority give the twelfth century, though a few give a still earlier date.

In 1482, Richard III incorporated the Heralds' College, or College or Arms. On the establishment of the Heralds' College periodical visitations of the different counties were directed to take cognizance of the Arms, Pedigrees and Marriages of the Nobility and Gentry of England. In the Heralds' Visitations of the counties of Cheshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Berkshire and Derbyshire, pedigrees are given of Chantrells, Cantrells and Cantrills as belonging to the gentry, and all bearing the same coat of armor.

The ancient Cantrell coat-of-arms was:

Argent, A Pelican in her piety, Sable.

Crest A Tower, Argent.

The Pelican was one of the first emblems used in Heraldry; its simplicity would indicate that it is very ancient. One of the earliest works published in Heraldry says:

"The Pelican was by Egyptians made the hieroglyphic of maternal affection, for she, when her young ones had been bitten by serpents, that secretly invade their nest, launces her bosom and with the purple balsom that streams from the opened sluice not only expels the infused venom, but likewise cements and cures the wounds inflicted by the noxious adversaries."

Another old history gives the following:

"Pelican. The Egyptian priests used the Pelican for a hieroglyphic to express the four duties of a father toward his children, whereof the first is generation; second is the office of Education; third of Training up; and the fourth and last, the Duty of Informing his children with the Example of his Virtuous and Honest Life."

"Webster's International Dictionary" says:

"A Pelican in her Piety (in heraldry and symbolic art), a representation of a Pelican in the act of prodding her breast, in order to nourish her young with blood, a practice fabulously attributed to the bird on account of which it was adopted as a symbol of the Redeemer and of Charity."

The Family in Ireland

In America

Cantrills in America in the Seventeenth Century

(More to come...)

Return to the Cantrall-Cantrell-Cantrill Genealogy Page [Bruce
Cantrall's Genealogy Page].

Bruce Cantrall
Last updated: 19960505