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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


Ansel is a name that came to England in the 11th century wave of migration that was set off by the Norman Conquest of 1066. Ansel comes from the Germanic personal name Ansell composed of the elements ans, which means god, and helm, which means protection or helmet.

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The surname Ansel was first found in the English county of Kent where they were granted lands shortly after the Norman Conquest by King William the Conqueror in 1066 A.D. The family is believed to be descended from Pierre Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ansell being the abbreviation adopted by most branches of this noble Norman family who accompanied the Conqueror into England.

Before the last few hundred years the English language had no fixed system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations occurred commonly in Anglo Norman surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Ansel were recorded, including Ansell, Ancell, Ancelle, Anselm, Anselme, Anstrell and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ansel research. Another 181 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1660, 1929 and 1689 are included under the topic Early Ansel History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 53 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ansel Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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The unstable environment in England at this time caused numerous families to board ships and leave in search of opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad in places like Ireland, Australia, and particularly the New World. The voyage was extremely difficult, however, and only taken at great expense. The cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels caused many to arrive diseased and starving, not to mention destitute from the enormous cost. Still opportunity in the emerging nations of Canada and the United States was far greater than at home and many went on to make important contributions to the cultures of their adopted countries. An examination of many early immigration records reveals that people bearing the name Ansel arrived in North America very early:

Ansel Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • David Ansel, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1751
  • David Ansel, who came to Philadelphia in 1752

Ansel Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Stephen Ansel, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1839
  • Christian Ansel, who arrived in America in 1854

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  • William Henry Ansel Jr. (1914-1988), American Democrat politician, Member of West Virginia State House of Delegates from Hampshire County, 1943-48; West Virginia State Treasurer, 1949-51
  • Martin Frederick Ansel (1850-1945), American Democrat politician, Member of South Carolina State House of Representatives, 1882-88; Governor of South Carolina, 1907-11; Defeated, 1902
  • Julius Ansel, American politician, Candidate in primary for Mayor of Boston, Massachusetts, 1963


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  1. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  2. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  3. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  4. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  6. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  7. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  9. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  10. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  11. ...

The Ansel Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Ansel Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 23 November 2015 at 10:10.

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