Noels and Newells of Harbour Grace

The story of the Noel family of Harbour Grace is linked to the Newells of the Dock by research into both families, including my own early research, that speculated on a common origin. The main factor leading to this conclusion was that the earliest (18th century) records we have on Philip and his father James give their names as Noel. In addition, both the Newells and Noels have a common oral history that says that their ancestors came from the Channel Islands. In my early research (see post) I speculated that the Newells of “The Dock” may have been Noels that changed their name c 1800; however, I now think that it is more likely that during the 18th century the Newell name was mistakenly recorded as Noel.  In the 18th century the closest church to “The Dock” was in Harbour Grace so people from “The Dock” would have to travel 15+ miles (likely by boat) to Harbour Grace to be married. At this time literacy rates were low and the Noels were an established family in Harbour Grace so the minister who recorded the details may have simply assumed that Philip was a Noel and recorded it as such.

Peter Noel has done extensive research on the Noels of Harbour Grace and his Web Site  is an excellent  source of material.

In my analysis of Ancestry DNA  matches I noted a large number of matches to Noel of Harbour Grace / Carbonear and two names, Howell and Powell, connected to this family. I will be posting more information on links between these families in the future.