Anslem History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The name Anslem arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name Anslem comes from the Germanic personal name Ansell composed of the elements ans, which means god, and helm, which means protection or helmet. 
Early Origins of the Anslem family
The surname Anslem 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. " 
Early History of the Anslem family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Anslem research. Another 91 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1660, 1929 and 1689 are included under the topic Early Anslem History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Anslem Spelling Variations
It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Anslem are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Anslem include Ansell, Ancell, Ancelle, Anselm, Anselme, Anstrell and many more.
Early Notables of the Anslem family (pre 1700)
Another 34 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Anslem Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Anslem family
Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Anslem, or a variant listed above: Edward Ansell, who settled in Nevis in 1663; Elizabeth Ansell, aged 17, who settled in Virginia in 1685; Claude Anselme, who arrived at New Orleans in 1719.
Related Stories +
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print