Assell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The vast movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of England of 1066 brought the Assell family name to the British Isles. They lived in Devon. This name however, is a topographical reference indicating that the original bearer lived in close proximity to a hazel tree or grove. [1]

Early Origins of the Assell family

The surname Assell was first found in Devon at Halsewell. This parish "was possessed by the family surnamed from it De Halsewell, almost from the period of the Conquest, and it still belongs to their descendant, Colonel Kemeys-Tynte, whose ancestor married the heiress in the XVII. century." [2] They were descended from Halsewell or De Halsewell from Normandy. [3]

In turn, the name evolved into the shortened forms including Hazel, Hazell, Hasel, Hasell, Haisell and others and spread throughout ancient Britain. By example, Alured del Hesel was listed in Worcester c. 1182, Gamel Hesel listed in the Pipe Rolls of Lincolnshire in 1203, and Hugh de Hesill in the Assize Rolls of Yorkshire in 1204. [4]

Early History of the Assell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Assell research. Another 213 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 162 and 1628 are included under the topic Early Assell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Assell Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Halsewell, Halswell, Harsewell, Harswell, Hazel, Hazell, Hassal, Hassel, Hassall and many more.

Early Notables of the Assell family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Assell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Assell family

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Assell or a variant listed above were: John Hassall who settled in Virginia in 1653; William Hassell settled in Virginia in 1635; Ralph and Benjamin Hassell settled in Barbados in 1680 with their servants.


Contemporary Notables of the name Assell (post 1700) +

  • Joe Assell, American co-founder of GolfTEC, an American golf instruction company in 1995


  1. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York, Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  4. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)


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