The majority of Haskells are of English origin. Early records in the 12th and 13th centuries show numerous Haskells were concentrated within a small ten mile radius around Shaftesbury, Dorset, England which is central to the nearby villages of Bruton and Charlton Musgrove in Somerset, the Donheads in Wiltshire and to Cann, Fontmell Magna and Melbury in Dorset. Early records are scarce. By the 15th century, parish records begin to appear, enabling family linkages to begin.

William Haskell died in 1630 at Charlton Musgrove, Somerset, England. His 3 sons, Roger, William and Mark Haskell departed England with their mother Elinor Stone and her husband, John about 1637 to settle in Salem, Massachusetts. Roger (1613-1667) remained in Salem (now Beverly). William (1617-1693) departed Salem for Cape Ann (now Gloucester), Massachusetts. He married Mary Tybott in 1643, and had nine children. Mark (d.1688) left Salem to establish his family in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

By the 1700s, some Haskells had exceptionally large families and had spread out to Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Many families moved to Deer Isle in Maine where they were mariners or involved in supporting the marine industry as foresters or ship builders.

During the 1800s, several Haskells were taken captive into Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Quebec (Canada). Many returned to the United States, some stayed.

By the end of the 1800s, Haskells could be found in Alabama, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska,New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington D.C., West Virginia, Wisconsin and elsewhere.

Haskell Family descendants of English Origin have been found in Australia, Barbados, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, and South Africa., The Haskell Family Database contains many details on over 70000 of these Haskell Family members. Haskell variants have also been used by families originating in Bulgaria, Czech, Germany, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Mexico, Persia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, and Sweden.

There are also African American, Arabian, Dutch, German, Greek, and Jewish bloodlines. Some assumed the name following emigration, persecution or release from slavery.