Thiessen History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Thiessen family name is thought to be of Norman origins. It comes from an early member of the family who was a fiesty or hot-tempered person. The name is a metaphor derived from the Old French word tison meaning fire-brand. A broad and miscellaneous class of surnames, nickname surnames referred to a characteristic of the first person who used the name. They can describe the bearer's favored style of clothing, appearance, habits, or character.

Early Origins of the Thiessen family

The surname Thiessen was first found in Northumberland where they held a family seat from early times, where the name originally was Tesson, one of the most powerful families in Normandy seated at Angouleme. Their history is French more than Viking and they distinguished themselves against the Saracens in 725.

They were later seated at Anjou and Raoul Tesson the first Lord of Cingueleiz led 120 knights at Val-Des-Dunes in 1047. Gilbert Tesson, his brother, obtained the barony of Alnwick from King Edward the Confessor, England's Saxon King, and was killed at the Battle of Hastings, fighting on the Saxon side. [1]

Important Dates for the Thiessen family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Thiessen research. Another 82 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1309, 1651, 1708 and 1680 are included under the topic Early Thiessen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Thiessen Spelling Variations

Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Tyson, Tesson, Tewson, Tiuson, Tison, Dyson and many more.

Early Notables of the Thiessen family (pre 1700)

Another 49 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Thiessen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Thiessen migration to the United States

To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Thiessen or a variant listed above:

Thiessen Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Carl Thiessen, who landed in New York, NY in 1850 [2]
  • Ludwig Thiessen, who arrived in New York, NY in 1850 [2]
  • Catharine Thiessen, aged 31, who landed in New York, NY in 1852 [2]
  • Frank Thiessen, aged 35, who landed in New York, NY in 1874 [2]
  • Joh Thiessen, aged 60, who landed in New York, NY in 1874 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Thiessen migration to Canada

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Thiessen Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Aaron Thiessen, who arrived in Manitoba in 1875
  • Peter Thiessen, who landed in Manitoba in 1875

Contemporary Notables of the name Thiessen (post 1700)

  • Lieutenant General Duane D. Thiessen (b. 1951), American Deputy Commandant for Programs and Resources
  • Alfred H. Thiessen (b. 1872), American meteorologist, eponym of Thiessen polygons
  • Tiffani-Amber Thiessen (b. 1974), American actress
  • Wayne C. Thiessen, American Republican politician, Candidate for U.S. Senator from Hawaii, 1968 [3]
  • Walter F. Thiessen Jr., American Libertarian politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Connecticut 5th District, 1996 [3]
  • Patrice Thiessen, American politician, Representative from California 2nd District, 1996, 1998, 2002 [3]
  • Cornelius Thiessen (1910-1993), American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Montana, 1956; Member of Montana State Senate, 1959-62 [3]
  • Anthony "Tony" Thiessen (1942-2019), Australian rules footballer who played with Melbourne, Carlton and North Melbourne
  • Vern Thiessen (b. 1964), Canadian playwright, recipient of the Governor General's Award in 2003
  • Peter Adolf Thiessen (1899-1990), German physical chemist, recipient of the Stalin Prize for contributions to the Soviet atomic bomb project
  • ... (Another 4 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  2. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  3. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 22) . Retrieved from
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