Amsden History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

Early Origins of the Amsden family

The surname Amsden was first found in Buckinghamshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William, Duke of Normandy, having prevailed over King Harold, granted most of Britain to his many victorious Barons. It was not uncommon to find a Baron, or a Bishop, with 60 or more Lordships scattered throughout the country. These he gave to his sons, nephews and other junior lines of his family and they became known as under-tenants. They adopted the Norman system of surnames which identified the under-tenant with his holdings so as to distinguish him from the senior stem of the family. After many rebellious wars between his Barons, Duke William, commissioned a census of all England to determine in 1086, settling once and for all, who held which land. He called the census the Domesday Book, [1] indicating that those holders registered would hold the land until the end of time. Hence, conjecturally, the surname is descended from the tenant of the lands of Hampden, held by William FitzAnsculf of Picquigni in Picardy near Amiens who held a Castle there dating back tot the 8th century and who was recorded in the Domesday Book census of 1086.

Important Dates for the Amsden family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Amsden research. Another 157 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1510, 1600, 1102, 1595, 1643, 1653, 1696, 1679, 1681, 1681, 1685, 1689, 1690, 1631, 1695, 1776, 1696, 1754, 1653 and 1696 are included under the topic Early Amsden History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Amsden Spelling Variations

A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Hampden, Hamden and others.

Early Notables of the Amsden family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John Hampden (c.1595-1643), English politician and Roundhead in the English Civil War; John Hampden (1653-1696), English politician, Member for Buckinghamshire (1679-1681), Wendover (1681-1685) and (1689-1690), pamphleteer, and opponent of Charles II and James II, convicted of treason after the Monmouth Rebellion; and Richard Hampden (1631-1695), English Whig politician, Privy Counsellor, and Chancellor of the Exchequer for William III of England. The...
Another 68 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Amsden Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Amsden migration to the United States

Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Amsden or a variant listed above:

Amsden Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Isaac Amsden, who arrived in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1654 [2]
  • John Amsden, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1696 [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name Amsden (post 1700)

  • Benjamin C. Amsden, American fighter pilot and flying ace in the U.S. Navy, during World War II, credited with 5 aerial victories
  • John Amsden Starkweather (1925-2001), American Professor of Medical Psychology at University of California, San Francisco

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Citations

  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  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)
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