top of page


I've set up this website for our family members,... to allow them to search out their roots and to help them know where they originated. Some families know a great deal about their roots; others know very little. This site is an attempt to record what I've learned about our family history. In these modern times, families tend to be scattered all over the country, if not the world. One of the goals of this web site is to help our family stay connected even though we may happen to live far apart.

It's interesting to identify the strong historical connections dating back many centuries within the Burnell family name.

There are records of the name 'Burnell' which date back to the year 1066 in England. The Magna Carta showed a list of names of knights who came to Britain from Normandy with William I in 1066 - to whom he gave manor houses and lands, and in that list of names, one was called "BURNELL".

All knights were allowed a 'Coat of Arms' and at that time, the 'Burnell' Coat of Arms was designed and registered as shown top left. Other 'Burnell' Coat of Arms were registered and I will update this site as more information becomes available.

There was a Robert Burnell, who became Bishop of Bath & Wells, then later went on to become Lord Chancellor in the 14th Century. More information is shown on the 'More > Other Burnells' link above, re Acton Burnell Castle.


I am also led to believe at the time of Henry VIII, who reigned from 1509 to 1547, he gave to his auditor, the first 'Squire' Burnell, Winkburne Hall Mansion in the County of Nottinghamshire. It included a lawn which possesses the largest copper-beach hedge in England, a park, an inn, 280 acres of woodland, several farms, and a church, which houses the family vault, plus the tombs holding generations of 'Burnells'.


There was also a John BURNELL, who became Lord Mayor of London 1787-88. Born about 1705 and died in 1790 (buried White Waltham, Berks). He was a stonemason. His wife was named Elizabeth and one known son Thomas who died young. John's siblings were Elizabeth (married TEBBS), Martin, Jane (married BAGGETT?), George, and Hannah (married PEARSON).

The 'Burnell' name over the centuries also has some variations in the way it was spelled. At one time the name had an 'e' on the end, 'Burnelle' and so we could believe that it originally came from France. I have also seen other variations shown as 'Brunelle', 'Brunel', 'Barnell', 'Bunnell' and 'Burnel'.

One surmise is that Isambard Kingdom Brunel the world renowned engineer of the 18th Century; and builder of the "Great Western" Steamships, the "Thames Tunnel", "Great Western Railway", many Bridges throughout England, plus numerous other inventions, may have been related to the Burnell clan at some time. You can read much more of this famous man, by going to the "More > Other Burnells" link on the Navigation Bar above.

Well, there's a little bit of history for you. At this point in time, I have nothing set in concrete to indicate that I am directly connected to any of the aforementioned Burnell's, however the history intrigues me. Quite a number of Burnells certainly made a name for themselves.

Why not take a tour of my site and see what other things might interest you?

Have you considered researching your own family tree?

I hope my website may give you some ideas on this fascinating and interesting hobby.

Author:  Roy Burnell

bottom of page