Show ContentsAnson History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Anson is a baptismal name as in "the son of Anne", or the name could have been derived from one of the villages names North and South Anston in Yorkshire. Both villages date back to before the Domesday Book. They were listed there as Anestan and Litelanstan and were owned by Roger de Bully at that time. [1] In this case, the name Anston is thought to derive from the Old English ana + stan which meant "single or solitary stone." [2]

Early Origins of the Anson family

The surname Anson was first found in Lancashire. However, another branch of the family was found since early times at the township of Shugborough in Staffordshire. "The family of Anson have been seated in the county for many generations. William Anson, having purchased the manor in the reign of James I., made it his principal seat; and here in 1697, the distinguished admiral and circumnavigator, Lord George Anson, was born. He was raised to the peerage by the title of Lord Anson in 1747. The vale of Shugborough owes many of its beauties to the late Viscount Anson, father of the present peer, who was elevated to the rank of Earl of Lichfield in September 1831." [3]

Early History of the Anson family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Anson research. Another 61 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1697, 1762, 1769, 1849, 1797, 1857 and 1857 are included under the topic Early Anson History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Anson Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Anson family name include Anson, Hanson, Ansen, Eanson, Ansin, L'Anson and others.

Early Notables of the Anson family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: George Anson, 1st Baron Anson (1697-1762), English admiral, noted for his circumnavigation of the globe; General Sir George Anson (1769-1849)...
Another 27 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Anson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Anson Ranking

In the United States, the name Anson is the 6,568th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [4]

United States Anson migration to the United States +

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, Canada, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Anson surname or a spelling variation of the name include:

Anson Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Tho Anson, who arrived in Virginia in 1637 [5]
  • Mary Anson, who landed in Maryland in 1673 [5]
  • Wm. Anson, who settled in Virginia in 1678
  • Richard Anson, who settled in Maryland in 1681
Anson Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Thomas Anson, aged 40, who arrived in Louisiana in 1719 [5]
  • Andrew Anson, who settled in America in 1749
  • John Anson, who arrived in Boston in 1768
  • George Anson, age 21, who arrived in Maryland in 1775
Anson Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Joh Anson, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1804 [5]
  • D Anson, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [5]
  • Octavius St. G Anson, who landed in Iowa in 1885 [5]

Australia Anson migration to Australia +

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

Anson Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Miss Hannah Mary Anson who was convicted in London, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Emma Eugenia" on 25th October 1850, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [6]
  • Henry Anson, aged 18, a miner, who arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Nabob"

Contemporary Notables of the name Anson (post 1700) +

  • Robert Sam Anson (1945-2020), American journalist and author, contributing editor to Vanity Fair for over 20 years
  • Adrian Constantine "Cap" Anson (1852-1922), American Major League Baseball player inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939
  • Jay Anson (1921-1980), American author
  • William H. J. Anson, American politician, U.S. Consul in Chihuahua, 1849-50 [7]
  • Frank A. Anson, American Republican politician, Member of Wisconsin State Assembly, 1895-98; Member of Wisconsin State Senate, 1899-1902 [7]
  • Sir Peter Anson (b. 1924), English Royal Navy Rear-Admiral, High Sheriff of Surrey in 1993
  • Sir William Reynell Anson (1843-1914), English jurist
  • Patrick Anson (b. 1939), 5th Earl of Lichfield, British photographer
  • Eric Anson (1892-1969), New Zealand's first specialist anaesthetist
  • George Anson Starkweather (1826-1907), American philanthropist and politician, Michigan State Representative, Village President of Plymouth, Mi

HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Peter Anson, British Midshipman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales (1941) and survived the sinking, also sailed aboard the HMS Exeter [8]

The Anson 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: Nil desperandum
Motto Translation: Never despairing.

  1. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  5. 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)
  6. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 7th April 2022).
  7. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 23) . Retrieved from
  8. HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from on Facebook