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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: English, French

Where did the English Asselin family come from? When did the Asselin family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Asselin family history?

Asselin is one of the many new names that came to England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Asselin family lived in Huntingdon. The name is also derived from the ancient baptismal name Ansell. That name is derived from the Germanic elements ans, meaning god, and helm, meaning protection or helmet. It derived some popularity from the fact that it was borne by a number of famous medieval churchmen. Notably, St. Anselm (c.1033-1109), the Benedictine monk was known as "the father of Scholasticism."

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Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Aslin, Aslen, Aslan, Asslin, Aslein, Ascelin, Asselin, Asselyn, Astlen, Aslyn, Asling and many more.

First found in Nottinghamshire, where they held a family seat from ancient times.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Asselin research. Another 301 words(22 lines of text) covering the years 1066, 1086, 1273, 1399, 1551, 1557, 1725, 1782 and 1390 are included under the topic Early Asselin History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Asselin Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Asselin or a variant listed above were:

Asselin Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century


  • Louis Asselin, aged 35, who emigrated to the United States from Bordeaux, France, in 1920
  • Louise Asselin, aged 42, who settled in America from Rennes, France, in 1921

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  • Joseph Asselin, Canadian journalist
  • Pierre Asselin, former Diplomat, principal secretary to the Prime Minister of Canada
  • Martial Asselin PC OC QC (b. 1924), retired Canadian politician, 25th Lieutenant Governor of Quebec (1990 to 1996)
  • Gérard Asselin (b. 1950), retired Canadian Bloc Québécois politician
  • Joseph Patrick Tobin Asselin (1930-2005), Canadian politician
  • Olivar Asselin (1874-1937), Canadian writer and journalist in Quebec
  • Roland Asselin (1917-2003), Canadian fencer at the 1948, 1952 and 1956 Summer Olympics
  • Pierre-Aurèle Asselin (1881-1964), French Canadian furrier and tenor singer
  • Edmund Tobin Asselin (1920-1999), Canadian politician, administrator and businessman
  • Kevin Asselin (b. 1985), Canadian professional ice hockey player

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  1. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  2. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  3. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  4. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  5. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  6. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  7. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  8. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  9. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  10. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  11. ...


This page was last modified on 4 June 2012 at 16:33.

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