The Sewall / Sewell Family
Robert Sewell   This page was set up by Robert Sewell in June 2006 to show the Sewell / Sewall Family since the earliest known times.  Robert Sewell graduated from McMaster University (Hamilton, Ontario, Canada) in 1967 with a B.Sc. degree in chemistry.  After a year of studies at the University of Toronto's College of Education, he taught high school science in Collingwood, Ontario for a year and then taught chemistry, physics and general science in Hamilton, Ontario for twenty-nine years.  Robert Sewell retired from teaching in June 1998.

Click to Contact Robert Sewell

Eben Graves' new book is now available:

The Descendants of Henry Sewall (1576-1656) of Manchester and Coventry, England, and Newbury and Rowley, Massachusetts

Published by the New England Historic Genealogical Society  
To purchase, go to and visit the store.

The Descendants of Henry Sewall Book

Please visit the Sewell Genealogy Site Map for other pages in this series.

Click for  PDF index 

See our Other Sewells page for Sewell families we can't find a connection with.

Be sure to visit The Sole Society for more family sites.

The information presented, along with the various spellings of our name,  here has been taken from the following sources:
Deborah Carroll: Letters
William A. Hubbard: Photographs
W. Darcy McKeough: The McKeough Family Tree, Section 41, Sewell
Doronée Monypenny: Letters, Autumn 2003
John Rees Gedcom Data Base and his Sewell Genealogy Site
Sewell Vincent Sample Letters
Charles F. Sewall: Letters, January 2001
Robert Winslow Sewall: Letters, January 2001
{Judge} Samuel Sewall: (1652 - 1729/30):  Diary
Henry Doyle Sewell (1806 - 1886): Letters
Charles Randolph Montgomerie Sewell:  Journal 1850
Eliza W. M. Sewall: and Susan E. F. Barnes:  Genealogy Record of the Sewall Family, 1908
Robert James Sewell:Sewell Family Records
Carma Kathleen Wallace: Website Sewall / Sewell Genealogy which is now defunct.
Theodore P. Wright, Jr.: Letters January 2001
Donald E. Graves: Field of Glory, Robin Brass Studio, Toronto, 1999
Dictionary of Canadian Biography, Toronto:  University of Toronto Press, 1988
Carol Berkin:  Jonathan Sewell:  Odyssey of an American Loyalist, New York, 1974
    (Reprinted 2000, see, and search for either "Jonathan Sewall" or ISBN 0595000207)
Mary Beth Norton:  The British Americans, Boston, 1972
James H. Stark:  The Loyalists of Massachusetts, 1910 (reprinted 1972 ISBN 0-678-00791-8)
Appletons’ Cyclopædia of American Biography, New York, 1894. Click for an Online Version.
Eben W. Graves: The Descendants of Henry Sewall (1576-1656)of Manchester and Coventry,
    England, and Newbury and Rowley, Massachusetts, Newbury Street Press, Boston, 2007 
Eben W. Graves, Sewall Family DNA: A Project Status Report, American Ancestors, Summer 2010, page 45. 
Eben W. Graves, Sewall Family DNA: A Project Update, American Ancestors, Fall 2011, pages 45 and 46. 

Sewall Early Family History
    "The several lines of the Sewall family have a common English ancestor, known in the records of Richard II as Saswallo, or Seawald, an old English thane, at the time William the Conqueror invaded England (1066). He is represented to have possessed seventeen bull-hides of land (a hide being as much as a plow could cultivate in a year—about 60 acres). A thane of those days in England was a dignitary or lord of his own manor, who had a particular jurisdiction within the limits of his possession. Saswallo lived in Warwickshire. He built and endowed a church there, — near the central part of England.
    "A Norman knight named de Fervaris fell in love with and married Saswallo’s daughter. This saved Saswallo’s estate from confiscation by the Normans, and by special favour he was allowed to retain his estate at Nether Eatondon. This estate remained in the possession of his family and descendants 700 years. Subsequently, the family name was changed to its present orthography — 'Sewall.' In 1250, we find it in the Bishop of York spelled thus.
    "The arms of the Sewall family in England read, 'Sable Chevron betwixt three gad-bees argent.' This reading is the very same as is inscribed by Fuller in his 'Worthies of England' to John Sewall I, sheriff of Essex and Herfordshire (in fourth year of the reign of Richard II, 1380).
    "Another form of the arms represents industry by a common beehive with the bees at work, and another wording is, 'Sa a chevr. or. betwixt three gadbees volant. Arg. (Sewall).'"

(from Sewall and Barnes, Genealogy Record of the Sewall Family)

     Be sure to visit The Heraldry of Sewell for further details with regard to coats of arms.
Armorial Bearings of Sewell Family

    However, our earliest Sewell ancestor who can be traced with certainty is William Shewell of Warwickshire who married Matilda Horne in 1540. 
See the Shropshire Visitation of 1623 for details. 
    Some overly enthusiastic family genealogists claim that William Shewell was a lineal descendant of Saswello (or Seawald, etc.) as well as of the knights and gentlemen of his name who bore the silver bees and chevron on the black shield, and it may be that he was; but sufficient evidence to prove this is lacking.

    Thus, it is with William Shewell that this genealogy begins.

Generation One
William Shewell
Born:  circa 1510 - 1520 at Warwickshire.
William resided in Warwickshire. He married in 1540 Matilda Horne, daughter of Reginald Horne and Margery Lee. Please click on Matilda Horne for her descent. William Shewell and Matilda Horne had the following children:

Generation Two
Henry Sewall (I)
Born in 1544 at Coventry, Warwickshire
Died on April 26, 1628 at Coventry, Warwickshire
was a Linen Draper in Coventry, Warwickshire; and was Mayor of Coventry in 1589 and 1606.  He was apparently well to do, making a fortune as a merchant and lined draper. He married in 1575 to Margaret Grazebrook. Please click on Margaret Grazebrooke for her descent. Henry and Margaret had the following children: Generation Three
Henry Sewall (II)
Born perhaps as early as 1573; baptized on April 8, 1576 at Coventry, Warwickshire.
Died in March 1655/56 at Rowley, Massachusetts

Henry emigrated to New England in 1637 where he joined his son, {Rev} Henry Sewall at Newbury, Massachusetts, and moved a few years later to the nearby town of Rowley. Henry was known to have alienated his relatives. He was brought before the grand jury for various offences including beating his wife, using contemptuous speech and disturbing the worship in the church. He "is said to have been occasionally a little deranged." Records of Henry's derangement date from the 1640's and 50's. In contemporary records he is also referred to as Mr. Showell and Mr. Shewell.

Henry is said to have married first to Mary Cawarden, daughter and heiress of Thomas Cawarden of Manesgyu, Ridwere. However, this marriage cannot be proven. Mary died before she was twenty.

Henry married second to Anne Hunt 1614. Anne was born 1590 and died before July 1, 1615. Henry and Ann had a son:

Henry married third, shortly after December 16, 1615 when a licence was issued by the Bishop of Chester, to Ellen (Mosley) Nugent. Ellen was a daughter of  Anthony and Alice (Webster) Mosley and a widow of Walter Nugent who had died in March 1613/14. Henry and Ellen separated in 1635. Henry was accused of beating Ellen circa 1637 or 1638; so there may have been some form reconciliation and Ellen may have come with him to New England in 1637. Henry and Ellen had seven children, all of whom died young: Samuel (b. 1616, d. 1618/19), Anna (b. 1618, d. before 1634), Sara (b. 1619/20, d. before 1621), Sara (b. 1621, d. 1622), Samuel (b. 1623, d. 1624/25), and an infant buried on June 8, 1627.

Generation Four
{Rev} Henry Sewall (III) came to Boston, Massachusetts in 1634 aboard the ship "Elizabeth & Dorcas". He wintered at Ipswich and began the plantation at Newbury, Massachusetts in 1635.  He was one of the first settlers of Newbury, and was appointed freeman on May 17, 1637.  He married Jane Dummer of Newbury on  March 25, 1646. They were married by Richard Saltonstall, grandfather of Gordon Saltonstall, governor of Connecticut. On August 5, 1646, Henry's father conveyed unto him his 500 acre farm at Newbury Falls River.  

    Jane was born Bishopstoke, Hampshire, England in 1628; and was the daughter of Stephen Pyldren Dummer and Alice Archer. Jane died January 13, 1701 at Newbury, at 72 years of age.
    Please click on Jane Dummer for her descent.

    Henry and Jane Sewall along with Jane’s parents Stephen and Alice Dummer returned to England in 1647. The "official" reason given for this return to England was that the New England climate was not suitable to Stephen and Alice Dummer; although they had lived there since before 1638.  It must also be borne in mind that Henry’s father who had come to New England in 1637 was likely making life less pleasant for the Sewalls and the Dummers.  He had been taken to court for beating his wife, for insulting Mr. Richard Saltonstall and displaying other characteristics of derangement. 

St. John the Baptist Church
North Baddesley, Hampshire

    While back in England, Henry became the minister at St. John the Baptist Churh in North Baddesley, Hampshire. A church has stood on the top of the hill just north of North Baddesley since the Domesday Book was compiled.

    For more information, please see the website at:
St. John the Baptist North Baddesley
St. John the Baptist Church, North Baddesley

    Henry returned to New England in 1659 to settle his father’s estate.  However, the resignation of Richard Cromwell and the return of Charles II as King appears to have prompted Henry to remain in New England.  Jane, along with children Hannah, Samuel, John, Stephen and Jane, left for New England in May 1661 aboard the ship “Prudent Mary” with Capt Isaac Woodgreen. This trip took eight weeks.
    Henry was deputy to general court 1661, 1663, 1668, and 1670. A photograph of Henry's gravestone was kindly shared by Robert Winslow Sewall, and it can be seen at the Find A Grave.

Born:  1614 at Coventry, Warwickshire
Died:  May 16, 1700 at Newbury, Massachusetts
Married:  March 25, 1646 Jane Dummer.  Please click on Jane Dummer for her descent.
Henry Sewall and Jane Dummer had the following children:

Samuel Sewall
Judge Samuel Sewall's Tomb
Judge Samuel's Tomb
Thanks to cousin 
Estelle Hughes
for the photo of 
Mary and Pat beside
Uncle Samuel's tomb
located at the
Granary Burying Grounds
Boston, Massachusetts

Generation Five
{Major} Stephen Sewall came to New England with his mother Jane (Dummer) Sewall, brothers Samuel and John and sisters Hannah and Jane in 1661.  Stephen’s father, {Rev} Henry Sewall, had returned to Massachusetts in 1659.
    Stephen was Registrar of Deeds, Essex County Salem, Massachusetts, and he held numerous public offices: clerk of the special Court of Oyer and Terminer which tried the witchcraft cases of 1692, Clerk of the Inferior Court of Common Pleas, Major of the Militia and Justice of the Peace. In the Journals of the General Court of 1738, five hundred acres of public land near Salem were voted to his children in recognition of their father's service in the Queen's War between the English and the French.

Margaret MitchellBorn:  August 19, 1657 at North Badesley, Hampshire
Died:  October 17, 1725 at Salem, Massachusetts
Married:  June 13, 1682 Margaret Mitchell (see portrait) who was born in 1664, and was the daughter of {Rev} Jonathan Mitchell and Margaret Borodaile. Margaret died at the home of her son Major Samuel Sewall on January 20, 1736 at Boston, æt 71.
Stephen Sewall and Margaret Mitchell had the following children:

Generation Six
Jonathan Sewall (I) was a merchant and a member of the Brattle Street Church, Boston.
Born:  February 7, 1693 at Salem, Massachusetts
Died:  November 21, 1731 at Boston, Massachusetts
Married:  December 17, 1718 Elizabeth Alford
    Jonathan married first to Elizabeth Alford at Boston on December 17, 1718 by {Rev} Benjamin Colman. Elizabeth was born at Boston on July 26, 1700; and was the daughter of {Colonel} Benjamin Alford and Mary Richards of Boston. Elizabeth died on September 11, 1723 at Boston æt 23.
Jonathan Sewall and Elizabeth Alford had the following children: Married:  October 8, 1724 Mary Payne
    Jonathan married second to Mary Payne on October 8, 1724. Mary was born at Boston on  January 6, 1701 and was the daughter of William Payne and Mary Taylor. She was baptized (Puritan) at Boston on  January 12, 1701 in the Brattle Street Church.  Mary’s ancestry is interesting because:
  1. It represents the first arrivals in Massachusetts aboard the “Mayflower”.  Please click on Mayflower for this descent.
  2. It can be traced to one of the best known of mediaeval tyrants, none other than "the evil King John", arch enemy of Robin Hood. Please click on Angevin Kings for this descent.
Jonathan Sewall and Mary Payne had the following children:

Generation Seven
{Attorney General} Jonathan Sewall (II) and his family resided at Cambridge, Massachusetts on Brattle Street. Jonathan was a graduate of Harvard College and was the last Attorney General of Massachusetts before the American Revolution.

    Jonathan firmly believed the revolution had been brought on by a small group of malcontents who had been temporarily successful in convincing their country men that they were being oppressed.  He wrote in a letter to David Sewall in 1777: "The Artifices of a few Demagogues have insensibly led a once happy innocent People to the Summit of Madness and Rebellion, and involved them in Distress, Poverty and ruin."  He also felt there was little chance of the colonists governing themselves.  He wrote in a letter in 1783:  "Will ye independant Americans tamely submit to be dragooned into Submission and Compliance, by their fellow Citizens and Countrymen?"
(Mary Beth Norton:  The British Americans, Boston, 1972, p. 124 & 251)

Visit Jonathan Sewall's Memorial Plaque at Trinity Church, St. John N.B.

For more about Jonathan Sewall, please see extracts from:

    The Sewall family home in Cambridge, Massachusetts was wrecked by a revolutionary mob, consisting of some fifty men and boys, on September 1, 1774.  Jonathan was in Boston at the time, and a very frightened Esther Sewall struck a bargain with the mob of “patriots”.  She exchanged the contents of  her husband’s wine cellar for the mob’s dispersal.  This terrifying event had a life-long impact on the eight-year-old Jonathan, Jr. who was to become the Chief Justice of Quebec.  Jonathan, Esther and their children Jonathan, Jr., Elizabeth and Stephen moved to Boston within a week of the sacking of their Cambridge home; and were forced to flee what was to become the United States in 1775, never to return.

    This is the first member of our branch of the family that spells the name “Sewell”. The Sewalls fled Cambridge for Boston in 1774, and left for England in 1775.  In his Family Memorials, Prof. Salisbury explains, “In visiting the burial place of his ancestors, he found that the name of Sewell was spelled with an e instead of an a and therefore adopted the earlier style.”  It has also been suggested that he wished to distance himself from his revolutionary relatives who remained in what was to become the United States of America.

Born:  August 24, 1729 at Boston, Massachusetts
Died:  September 27, 1796 at St. John, New Brunswick
Married:  January 21, 1764 to Esther Quincy at Braintree, Massachusetts.  Esther was born at Braintree on  November 26, 1738 and died on January 21, 1810 at the home of her son Stephen Sewell, Montreal, Quebec, at 71 years of age.  Esther was the daughter of {Judge} Edmund Quincy (II) and Elizabeth Wendell.
Please click on Esther Quincy for her descent.
Jonathan Sewall and Esther Quincy had the following children:

Generation Eight
{Hon} Jonathan Sewell (III), L.L.D. was just nine years old when he left Massachusetts for England in 1775 with his mother and father and brother Stephen.  He was a student at the Grammar School of Bristol and at Brasenose College in Oxford. Jonathan came to New Brunswick in 1785 and was appointed Chief Justice of Lower Canada in 1808.  He received an honorary LL.D degree from Harvard University in 1832.  Jonathan was a member of the Anglican Church, played the violin and was fluent in French.
Born:  June 16, 1766 at Boston, Massachusetts
Died:  November 12, 1839 at Quebec City. Click to visit Jonathan Sewell's Memorial at the Trinity Church in Ste. Foy and a Historical Plaque in front of his home on Rue St-Louis.

For more information, please click on {Chief Justice} Jonathan Sewell and try these links:
Dictionary of Canadian Biography, 1836-1850
Appletons’ Cyclopædia of American Biography
Jonathan's Plan for Federal Union, 1814

{Hon} Jonathan Sewell (III) and Elizabeth Cornfield had the following natural child:
  • John Saint Alban Sewell (ca. 1823 - 1876
  • Edmund Willoughby Sewell  (1825 - 1882)
  • Robert Shore Milnes Sewell  (1827 – 1901)
  • Henrietta Elizabeth Story Sewell  (1829 - 1871)
    • Margaret Sewell  (b. 1831 - 1917)
    • Steven William Sewell  (b. 1833 - 1861)
    • Delaware Sewell  (1835 - 1879)
    • Francis Story Sewell  (b. 1837 - 1935)
    • Mary Sewell
For further details, click on {Colonel} John St. Alban Sewell

{Hon} Jonathan Sewell (III) married on September 24, 1796 Henrietta (Harriet) Smith who was born in New York on February 6, 1776 and died on May 26, 1849 at Quebec at 73 years of age.  Henrietta was the daughter of {Hon} William Smith and Janet Livingston.
For the descent of Henrietta Smith, click on Livingston and Smith
Jonathan Sewell III
Henrietta (Smith) Sewell
{Chief Justice} Jonathan Sewell
(1766 - 1839)
Henrietta Smith
(1776 - 1849)

Jonathan Sewell and Henrietta Smith had the following children:

Generation Nine
{Rev} Henry Doyle Sewell
Born:  October 21, 1806
Died:  March 19, 1886 Click to view his obituary. Interred on March 23, 1886 at the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, Headcorn, Kent. There is a brass in the floor of the Lady Chapel of Headcorn Church.

{Rev} Henry Doyle Sewell
Two Portraits of
Henry Doyle Sewell
left:  from John Rees,
a portrait left to his 
great grandmother, 
Edith Morgan.

right:  from Brian Sewell,
a portrait left to our 
great grandfather,
Henry DeQuincy Sewell.

{Reverend} Henry Doyle Sewell

Rev. H. D. Sewell 1863
{Rev} Henry Doyle Sewell
Back of Photo
(back of photo)
photo courtesy of
William A. Hubbard

{Reverend} Henry Doyle Sewell
was the Vicar of
St. Peter and St. Paul, 
Headcorn, Kent

(Photo courtesy of Caroline Lange)
See also Kent Archaeological Society.)

Henry Doyle Sewell married first on October 25, 1844 to
Elizabeth Charlotte Monypenny
who died in August 1862 and was
a daughter of Robert Monypenny of Merrington Place, Rolvenden, Kent.

Church at Headcorn
Please click on Monypenny for the family of Elizabeth Charlotte Monypenny.
(Thanks to Doronée Monypenny)

Henry and Elizabeth Charlotte had the following children:

Henry Doyle Sewell married second in 1871 to Edith Morgan, daughter of Robert William Morgan of Watford, and they had the following children:
Generation Ten
Henry De Quincy Sewell II
Born:  April 18, 1848
Died:  November 14, 1933. Click to view his death registration.
Married:  Caroline Alberta Pense.  See Pense & Panton for this family.

Henry De Quincy Sewell is shown in the 1905 Toronto City Directory as living at 29 St. Mary St. and his work address as 34 Young Street, Room 12.

The following obituary, written by his son Henry Charles De Quincy Sewell and shared by John Rees, tells more about his life:


By H. C. Sewell

Henry De Quincy Sewell, O.L.S., D.L.S., A.M.I.C.E., born 1848, died 1933, was the eldest son of Rev. Henry Doyle Sewell, Vicar at Headcorn, Kent, England and grandson of Jonathan Sewell, first Chief Justice of Lower Canada.

He was educated at Dr. Murray’s School in Kent and at Queen’s College, London. He served his articles under the late Sir Joseph Bassil­gate of London, England, famous sewage and irriga­tion engineer. Later, on completion of his articles, he received an appointment from the Nizam of Hydrabad as engineer in charge of that district. After 8 years’ serv­ice he was forced to resign owing to ill health. Return­ing to England he entered the employ of the Metropoli­tan board of works as Divi­sional Engineer and on Jan. 13th, 1880, was appointed Associate member of the In­stitute of Civil Engineers.

Later coming to Canada he received his Dominion Land Surveyor’s commission in 1884, followed by his Ontario Land Surveyor’s in 1885. He entered private practice at Port Arthur, later moving to Rat Portage (now Kenora).

He did extensive government work in the Rainy River and Lake of the Woods’ district including numerous townships and Sewell’s base line in 1888 extending from longitude 91° to 92° in latitude 48 degrees 15 minutes and the meridian line extending south from Lake Conmee to Bass Wood Lake. He also surveyed several townships in Saskatchewan and Alberta.

He entered private practice at Toronto in 1903, which he carried on until his retirement in 1916.

Click here for a scan of the original obituary.

Henry De Quincy Sewell and Caroline Alberta Pense had the following children:

Generation Eleven
Henry Charles De Quincy Sewell
Born:  September 17, 1888
Died:  1958
Harry married on August 12, 1914 to Ida Mary Newdick 
(see Newdick) and they had the following children:
  • Henry De Quincy Sewell III (Click Here)
    • Brian Henry Sewell
      • Carolee Sewell
      • Janet Sewell
      • David Brian Sewell
      • Christopher Jon Sewell
    • Andrée Marie Sewell
    • Philip Parker Sewell
  • Robert George Sewell (continued below)
Ida and Harry Sewell; Margaretta Lumley
Ida Sewell, Harry Sewell
and Margaretta Lumley
Generation Twelve
Robert George Sewell

Robert George Sewell is shown in 
the photograph to the right taken in
Calcutta, India on April 30, 1945.

Robert married Margueretta Mae Lumley and they had the following children:

  • Robert James Sewell
  • Stephen John Sewell
  • Bruce David Sewell who married Virginia Lee Sweeney
  • Donald Henry Sewell
Robert George Sewell
Robert George Sewell
April 30, 1945

Robert G Sewell and Robert J Sewell, 1951
Generation Thirteen
Robert James Sewell

Robert George Sewell and Robert James Sewell
are shown in the photograph at the
Canadian National Exhibition in 1951.

Robert James Sewell set up this page in June 2006.

Please visit the Sewell Genealogy Site Map

Click to Contact Robert Sewell

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