Amsdon History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Amsdon family

The surname Amsdon was first found in Buckinghamshire at Great Hampden, a parish, in the union of Wycombe, hundred of Aylesbury. "This place was anciently the property of the Hampden family, of whom Griffith Hampden entertained Queen Elizabeth here, and, to pay Her Majesty the more honour, cut an avenue through his woods for her more convenient approach to the mansion. A gallery has been erected in the church, and 100 free sittings provided: among the monuments is one to the memory of the celebrated John Hampden (c. 1595-1643), ornamented with a medallion, on which is a tree with the arms of the family and of their alliances; and having at the foot, in bas-relief, a representation of the action of Chalgrove, in which he received a wound, causing his death about three weeks afterwards." [1]

We need to take a moment to discuss more John Hampden. Born in London, he was the eldest son of William Hampden, (1570-1597), and Elizabeth Cromwell, (1574-1664.) John rose to become an important English landowner and politician, whose opposition to arbitrary taxes imposed by Charles I made him a national figure. To complicate things, he was a cousin to Oliver Cromwell on his mother's side. In January 1642, an arrest warrant was issued for John and four others. This sparked the First English Civil War.

Little Hampden is not far away. Both parishes collectively date back to the Domesday Book of 1086 where they were known as Hamdena. [2]

At that time, the lands of Hampden, were held by William FitzAnsculf of Picquigni in Picardy near Amiens who held a Castle there dating back to the 8th century. [3]

By the time of the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273, a listing of the family was found in Oxfordshire: Alexander de Hamden; and the family continued to hold lands in Buckinghamshire: Alexander de Hampeden. [4]

The Feet of Fines for Oxfordshire listed Alexander de Hamden, de Hampeden in 1274 and later Simon de Hamden was listed in the Subsidy Rolls for Kent in 1334-1335. [5]

From this Oxfordshire branch the Amsden variant arose. They descended from Ambrosden in Oxfordshire (Ambrose's valley.) [6]

Early History of the Amsdon family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Amsdon research. Another 163 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1581, 1591, 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 Amsdon History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Amsdon Spelling Variations

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 Hampden, Hamden and others.

Early Notables of the Amsdon 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 Amsdon Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Amsdon family

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 Amsdon or a variant listed above were: the name represented in many forms and recorded from the mid 17th century in the great migration from Europe. Migrants settled in the eastern seaboard from Newfoundland, to Maine, to Virginia, the Carolinas, and to the islands..



The Amsdon Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Vestigia nulla retrorsum
Motto Translation: No steps backwards.


  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. ^ 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)
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  6. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print


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