Show ContentsAnselm History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Anselm is one of the thousands of new names that the Norman Conquest of 1066 brought to England. It comes 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 Anselm family

The surname Anselm 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 Anselm family

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

Anselm Spelling Variations

Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Anselm family name include Ansell, Ancell, Ancelle, Anselm, Anselme, Anstrell and many more.

Early Notables of the Anselm family (pre 1700)

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

United States Anselm migration to the United States +

To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Anselm family to immigrate North America:

Anselm Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Bonomi Anselm, aged 28, originally from London, arrived in New York in 1901 aboard the ship "Lucania" from Liverpool, England [3]
  • Johanna Anselm, aged 18, originally from Baden, Germany, arrived in New York in 1909 aboard the ship "President Grant" from Hamburg, Germany [3]
  • Gustaf Anselm, aged 24, originally from Freiburg, Germany, arrived in New York in 1921 aboard the ship "America" from Bremen, Germany [3]
  • Meta Anselm, aged 31, originally from Hamburg, Germany, arrived in New York in 1924 aboard the ship "Columbus" from Bremen, Germany [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Anselm (post 1700) +

  • Harry Anselm Clinch (1908-2003), American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church
  • Anselm Joseph McLaurin (1848-1909), American Democratic Party politician, Served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War; U.S. Senator from Mississippi, 1894-95, 1901-09; Died in office 1909; Governor of Mississippi, 1896-1900
  • Anselm Feuerbach (1829-1880), German painter, the leading classicist painter of the German 19th-century school, grandson of Paul Johann Anselm Ritter von Feuerbach
  • Anselm Joseph McLaurin (1848-1909), American politician, 34th Governor of Mississippi (1896-1900)
  • Anselm Eckart (1721-1809), German Jesuit missionary
  • Anselm McEvoy "Voy" Oxenham (1882-1919), rugby union player who represented Australia
  • Anselm Kiefer (b. 1945), German artist
  • Anselm Audley (b. 1982), British fantasy writer

  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. Ellis Island Search retrieved 15th November 2022. Retrieved from on Facebook