Surname Saturday – Attewell

Attewell, a topographical surname of Anglo-Saxon origin, is derived from the Olde English ‘aet’ and ‘wiella’, meaning “At Well/Spring or Stream”.  This ‘aet wiella’ developed into the Middle English ‘atte well’. 1

Attewell is not a very prominent name in the Man’s family, the relationship came about through a marriage during the middle of the 19th Century.  The Attewell family lived in Shirenewton, Monmouthshire throughout the 1800’s, however these are not to be confused with the Attwell’s living in Newport at the same time.

Jacob Attewell provided the link to the family when he married Rebecca Jones on 13th April 1852 in Shirenewton.
Jacob was born c.1822 in Shirenewton to Mary Attewell.  By 1841, Jacob was living in Caerwent, Monmouthshire employed as a Agricultural Labourer by George Dowle.
His marriage in 1852 to Rebecca Jones, the daughter of William and Mary Jones, produced 5 known children.

i)             William Thomas Attewell (1853)
ii)            Leah Attewell (1856)
iii)          Charles Attewell (1859-1918)
iv)           George Isaac Attewell (1862-1932)
v)            William Jesse Attewell (1866)

In 1861, the family were living in a Cottage in Shirenewton, Jacob was employed as an agricultural labourer.
Jacob died in 1867 and was buried in Shirenewton on 10th February 1867.
Rebecca remarried in 1873 and died in 1906.

Jacob and Rebecca’s children were separated after Jacob’s death and have been difficult to locate.

  1. William Thomas, known as Thomas, seems to disappear after the 1861 census.
  2. Leah is living at home with her mother, aged 14 on the 1871 census. After this she has been difficult to locate.
  3.  Charles was employed as a 12 year old farm servant to Isaac and Rebecca Baker of Red House, Shirenewton in 1871.
    A possible Charles Attwell was living in Cardiff in 1881, however he is recorded as married but there is no sign of his wife.  There is no sign of a possible Charles Attewell/Attwell in 1891, however Charles married Mary Jane Hancox Parkes on 1st February 1897 in Shirenewton.
    From 1897 until 1904 he was a Publican, at the Mason’s Arms pub on Temple Street in Bristol.  His son, Charles Thomas, was born there in 1899.  Charles died in 1918 in Shirenewton.
  4.  George Isaac was living at home with his Mother, the widowed Rebecca Attewell, in 1871, after which he is proving rather difficult to locate until 1901 when, aged 37, he is a boarder living in Ifton, Monmouthshire with Albert and Ida Hicks.  As far as I know he never married and died in 1932.
  5. William Jesse, born in 1866, is still living at home with his mother, Rebecca and step-father, Charles Martin, in 1881.  After this I have failed to find any other information.

These Attewell’s are accompanied by one other, a presumably illegitimate daughter of Rebecca.

Hannah Attewell was born around January 1871 in Shirenewton.  She was baptised on 29th Jun 1873 as the daughter of Rebecca Attewell named as a widow. 2
She appears in the 1871 census as a 2 month old baby but I have not located her in later ones.  Paternity of Hannah is a mystery as Rebecca’s husband, Jacob, had died 4 years before her birth.  Rebecca didn’t remarry until 1873, after Hannah was baptised.

  1. The Internet Surnames Database –
  2. Monmouthshire Parish Record Transcripts –

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