Show ContentsAnsell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Ansell is one of the many names that the Normans brought with them when they conquered England in 1066. The name Ansell came from the Germanic personal name Ansell composed of the elements ans, which means god, and helm, which means protection or helmet. [1]

Early Origins of the Ansell family

The surname Ansell 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.

Saint Anselm of Aosta (c. 1033-1109), was a theologian, Abbot of Bec, and Archbishop of Canterbury. He was "born at or near Aosta about the year 1033, or two years before the death of Cnut, king of England, and two years before William the Conqueror became duke of Normandy. William the Conqueror received his death-wound in 1087. In the presence of Anselm we are told that he who to most men seemed harsh and terrible became so mild that bystanders looked on with amazement. " [2]

Early History of the Ansell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ansell research. Another 91 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1660, 1929 and 1689 are included under the topic Early Ansell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ansell Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries. For that reason, spelling variations are common among many Anglo-Norman names. The shape of the English language was frequently changed with the introduction of elements of Norman French, Latin, and other European languages; even the spelling of literate people's names were subsequently modified. Ansell has been recorded under many different variations, including Ansell, Ancell, Ancelle, Anselm, Anselme, Anstrell and many more.

Early Notables of the Ansell family (pre 1700)

Another 34 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ansell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ansell Ranking

In the United States, the name Ansell is the 13,867th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [3]

United States Ansell migration to the United States +

To escape the uncertainty of the political and religious uncertainty found in England, many English families boarded ships at great expense to sail for the colonies held by Britain. The passages were expensive, though, and the boats were unsafe, overcrowded, and ridden with disease. Those who were hardy and lucky enough to make the passage intact were rewarded with land, opportunity, and social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families went on to be important contributors to the young nations of Canada and the United States where they settled. Ansells were some of the first of the immigrants to arrive in North America:

Ansell Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Edward Ansell, who settled in Nevis in 1663
  • Elizabeth Ansell, aged 17, who settled in Virginia in 1685
Ansell Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Sarah Ansell, who landed in Virginia in 1701 [4]
  • Peter Ansell, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1752 [4]
Ansell Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Ansell, who landed in New York in 1833 [4]

Australia Ansell migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Ansell Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. James Ansell, (Hansell, Hansall), English stonemason who was convicted in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England for life, transported aboard the "Atlas" on 16th January 1816, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [5]
  • Mr. Thomas Ansell, British convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Bussorah Merchant" on 1st October 1829, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land), he was executed in 1833 [6]
  • Mr. James Ansell, (b. 1805), aged 25, English ploughman who was convicted in Hertfordshire, England for life for house breaking, transported aboard the "Florentia" on 11th August 1830, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [7]
  • Mr. Frederick Ansell who was convicted in Hertford, Hertfordshire, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "England"on 31st March 1832, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [8]
  • Mr. Henry Ansell, British convict who was convicted in Stafford, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Henry Tanner" on 27th June 1834, settling in New South Wales, Australia [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Ansell migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Ansell Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • T F Ansell, who landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1844
  • Thomas Ansell, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Endymion" in 1873

Contemporary Notables of the name Ansell (post 1700) +

  • Steven A. Ansell (b. 1954), American principal violist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra
  • H. Sam Ansell Jr., American Republican politician, Candidate in primary for Michigan State House of Representatives 46th District, 1974 [10]
  • Charles Ansell F.R.S., F.S.A, (1794-1881), English actuary, known for some years before his death as the father of the profession of actuaries, born probably in Essex in 1794
  • George Frederick Ansell (1826-1880), English scientific inventor of the 'firedamp indicator,' born at Carshalton on 4 March 1826 [11]
  • Jonathan Mark Ansell (b. 1982), English singer
  • William John "Jack" Ansell (1921-2008), English footballer
  • Barbara Mary Ansell CBE, FRCP, FRCS (1923-2001), English founder of paediatric rheumatology
  • Sir Michael Ansell (1905-1994), British soldier, show jumping rider, polo player, and horse show administrator, Chairman of the Equestrian Association
  • James Ansell, British Surgeon to the Queen of England
  • Ms. Carolyn Ansell B.E.M., British recipient of Medallist of the British Empire Medal 29th December 2018 for services to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office [12]
  • ... (Another 5 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

  1. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  3. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  4. 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)
  5. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th July 2020). Retrieved from
  6. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 10th November 2020). Retrieved from
  7. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 11th October 2022).
  8. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 26th April 2022).
  9. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 7th January 2020). Retrieved from
  10. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 23) . Retrieved from
  11. Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 17 Apr. 2019
  12. "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018, on Facebook