The Grandfathers
Vol.I, The Hall and Overstreet Families
Carrol Carman Hall, Springfield, IL, 1981

Section I
Chapter 2, Page 18

The Name of Hall

The name of Hall has several possible derivations. Basically, it is a place name.

From a discussion on names printed in 1605: "yea the names of Kitchin, Hall, Sellar, Parler, Church, Lodge, &c. may seeme to have been borrowed from the places of birth, or most frequent abode…"

From an Old English source:
"The landmarks of the village are recorded in Gate, Well, Green, Street, Pound, Cross, Mill, Church, Chapel, Churchyard, Hall and Townsend."

In certain areas of England the word "heal" - pronounced as hall - gave rise to the name. William who lived on the slope-Heal (side of a hill) became William Hall!

Hall may be English, Scotch or Irish. As the north Europeans settled in England - Hallr - Halle - etc., became anglicized.

The Halls of The Grandfathers are English.

Halls came to America in great numbers and because of their lower socio-economic status, they were generally seekers of religious freedom.

At the time of the signing of the Constitution of the United States, the name was among the fifteen most common surnames in the new country. Although Halls are still numerous, successive waves of immigrants to this country have diluted the name until it is now in the first twenty-five of common family names. (Possibly in twenty-fourth rank as of 1980.)

The original Hall settlers and their descendants represent every stratum of the social-economic order; many of them quite distinguished in their accomplishments and participating in all activities of society.

Many blacks, after the Civil War, adopted the name; taking it from their Hall masters.


Research in a Hall family that had no outstanding national figure becomes exceedingly difficult. Not only is it a common name, but in early times the use of common given names was extensive. There was no use of middle names or distinguishing initials.

Fortunately, for the development of The Grandfathers the Virginia Halls were concentrated in the area that became Bedford county, simplifying the work to a great extent. Likewise they stayed pretty much as a group in Ohio and later in the Sangamon-Menard county areas of Illinois.

No attempt has been made to trace the family in England - with only the notation, so to speak, of the area from which it is thought they came. The early American 'roots' are vague enough. Nor, has there been any attempt to establish a family 'coat-of-arms.' (Incidentally, there are over one-hundred known Hall 'arms from which to choose!) As a family, as far as known we have no right to such pretensions.

As far as now known, we were commoners - substantial yeoman at best, with no claims to nobility.



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Illinois Ancestors