THE INGALLS FAMILY IN ENGLAND AND AMERICA

Title
Preface
Illustrations
Table of Contents

CONTENTS
Name Origin
Family Origin
Settlement
The Oak
Edmund &
 Francis
Genealogical
In Lynn
Andover
Ipswich
Spread of Family

 

II
ORIGIN OF THE NAME
  

  THE Ingalls family, which has lived in America, for 300 years, is of Anglo-Danish origin, Edmund Ingalls, its American progenitor, having come from Lincolnshire, where of all the counties of England the consequences of the Danish conquest in the latter part of the ninth century are most strongly marked. The language of those invaders was Old Norse and it is from Ingjvaldr = Ingjaldr in that language that we get our present name. Ing was an eponymous hero of great fame, and valdr means keeper or guard. Consequently Ingevaldr means Ing-guard. Precisely analogous names were Har-aldr, Arn-aldr, and Thor-aldr, whence Harold, Arnold and Thorold. Other names were derived from the same root; with a different suffix. Thus, Ing-ulfr, meaning Ing-wolf. As Ingjaldr became Ingold, so did Ingulfr become Ingolf. The last was the name of the first settler of Iceland, who was contemporaneous with the Danish invaders of England. Two centuries later the names Ingald, Ingold, and Ingolf appear in those forms in Domesday Book. 

  These were personal names and were commonly used. Referring to place names in Lincolnshire, Ingoldsby means the place where Ingold lived, Ingoldsmells means Ingold's sand dunes, and Ingoldsthorpe (in Norfolk) means Ingold's village. Those place names and some others evince the existence among the Danish conquerors of captains of this name, but it does not follow that they were members of the same family, or progenitors of any existing family of the name. There is no present means of identifying families at that time, for family names did not then exist.

  Lineage could then be traced only in respect of a few very important persons, as to whom records were preserved in sagas and otherwise. Thus Ingolf, the viking who first settled in Iceland, in 877, was Ingolf Arnarson. Ingolf had a son Thorstein, who set up the Thing, and his son was Thorkell Moon, the Law-Speaker, and his son was Thormond, who held the supreme priesthood when Christianity was first brought to Iceland. This is a digression, but it illustrates the nature of Old Norse personal nomenclature up to 1080 in the Danelagh, as well as elsewhere, and probably for a century later. Unfortunately the Danes in England were not given to writings and this period of English history, more than two centuries, is a blank.

  Two hundred years after the invasion of Ingvar and Ubba, about the time of the Norman Conquest, the name Ingjaldr had changed from that Old Norse form to the simpler Ingald and Ingold. The difference means nothing, for the a in this combination approaches o in its sounding and the d is silent. Consequently the transition to the modern Ingal and Ingol was natural. The doubling of the l followed old English custom. How we in America acquired the final s, which has not been used so generally in England, I am unable to explain. Etymylogically it does not seem to belong and I doubt if .our immigrant ancestors brought it from England. Ingadl and Ingold still occur as family names in England and some of the persons who bear them are probably descended from the same stock that we are, but those names are now rather sparse in England.

  In the paragraph immediately preceding I have been guarded, for it is certain that some persons bearing the name Ingold in England at the present time trace back through a family originating in Switzerland and emigrating to England in the seventeenth century. This is not perplexing inasmuch as we know that the same Scandinavian root appears in Flemish and German family names, e. g. Inghels (Flemish) and Ingoldt (German), and in Ingolstadt, a city in Germany.

  The use of surnames did not begin in England until about the advent of the thirteenth century, and it was a century or more after that before they became common. In the absence of surnames it is manifestly impossible to trace ancestries any further back except in the relatively few instances where families were associated with landed estates.

  The variation in the spelling of the name in documents of 300 years ago and even more recently is of no significance other than that clerks wrote it down as it sounded to them and bearers of the name were equally careless. The same person would often write his name in several ways. This was a common failing in respect of many family names.

  In English records the following forms appear:

Ingold

Ingalds

Ingolls

Ingals

Ingles

Ingald

Ingoll

Ingols

Ingyll

Ingholls

Ingholde

Ingol

Ingole

Ingle

Ingal

  In American records we get nearly all of the above, and also

Ingollds

Ingels

Ingills

Engols

 

Ingulls

Ingells

Engal

Engolls

Ingoles

Inguls

Ingill

Engalls

Ingell

Ingolles

  Ingalds is probably the truest form. The other variations were merely fantastic or illiterate. We may marvel only at the ingenuity of representing the same sound in so many ways. Our pronunciation of our name with the final s is, and always has been, Ingolz. This is very close to the pronunciation of another English family name, viz., Inglis = Ing'lz, which is of quite different origin.

pp. 1-3

1999- Madison County, NY and Ingalls Family. All rights reserved.