The Haskell Family Crest has an apple tree and arrow appearing on it. Why? In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use to distinguish the armoured warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity. Records show true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe. The single common feature of all Haskell shields, family crests and coats of arms is the black and white vair or ermine fur pattern on the shield or arms. Three different mottoes have been used: Vincit Veritas, Gardez Bien and Cragnez Honte-Aymez Loyaute.
Haskells of English Origin (Hascoll, Haskill, Haskoll, Hascall, Haskel, etc.) were first recorded around Shaftesbury, England in the Dorset villages of Cann, Fontmell Magna, West Compton, Motcombe and Gillingham. Wiltshire places include Salisbury (Old Sarum), Downton, the villages of the Donheads, the Deverills, Semley, Wylye and HorningshamNearby they were found in Somerset at Bruton, Stourton Caundle, Bath, Frome plus Charlton Musgrove, from where William Haskell's family emigrated to America about 1635.Other Haskells went to Canada, Australia & New Zealand and South Africa in the 1800's.
Due to loss and deterioration of many ancient documents, we may never know for sure where the Haskell surname originated. The thrill of the hunt for that elusive detail to back up our pet theory is the fun part of genealogy! Does the name come from Hucca or Housecarle? Is Haskell of Anglo, Saxon, Norman, Norse or even Welsh origin? How do the Hurscarls of Bruton in Somerset, England fit in? Did it arise from those called Hucca living at Le Hoc, now Hook Farm near Wardour Castle in Wiltshire, England? Or did the name originate with William the Conqueror's bodyguards known as Housecarles? Confused?