Bessant History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The origins of the Bessant surname lie with the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name Bessant began when someone in that family worked as a coiner or minter. The name is derived from a coin called the byzantius, whose name is derived from the city of Byzantium, where they were minted.

Early Origins of the Bessant family

The surname Bessant was first found in Middlesex, where they held a family seat from ancient times.

Early History of the Bessant family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bessant research. Another 116 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1168, 1190, 1194, 1748, 1752, 1776, 1836, and 1870 are included under the topic Early Bessant History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bessant Spelling Variations

One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Bessant has appeared include Besant, Besaynt, Bezant, Bessant, Besand, Beasant, Bessent, Beazant, Bayzand, Beszant, Bassant, Bassent and many more.

Early Notables of the Bessant family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Bessant family

At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Bessant arrived in North America very early: John Bassent, who sailed to South Carolina in 1673; Thomas Bassant, who arrived in Virginia in 1679; Peter Besand, who came to Philadelphia in 1879; Jacob Besand, who came to Philadelphia in 1880.


Contemporary Notables of the name Bessant (post 1700) +

  • Revd Canon Simon Bessant, English Priest-in-Charge of St. Mark's Church, Grenoside, South Yorkshire
  • John Bessant (1892-1982), English cricketer who played for Gloucestershire between 1921 and 1928

RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Edward William Bessant (d. 1912), aged 31, English Baggage Steward from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [1]
  • William Edward Lowe Bessant (1870-1912), English fireman, member of the engineering crew aboard the RMS Titanic who died in the sinking [1]


  1. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


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