The name Bessell was brought to England by the Normans when they conquered the island in 1066. It is a name for a person involved in the measuring and trading of corn. The name springs from the Old English root bushel, which is a measure of volume which is still in use today. Another derivation of the name suggests that it stems from the Norman French root bichelle, which means hind or deer. Which derivation is applicable depends on the geographic roots of the particular family group in question.
Early Origins of the Bessell family
The surname Bessell was first found in Berkshire, where they had been granted lands by King William after the Norman Conquest in 1066 A.D.
Important Dates for the Bessell family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bessell research. Another 91 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bessell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Bessell Spelling Variations
Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Bissell, Bichell and others.
Early Notables of the Bessell family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Bessell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Bessell migration to Australia
Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:
Charles Bessell, English convict from Gloucester, who was transported aboard the "Andromeda" on October 16, 1826, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
Mrs. Caroline Bessell, (b. 1819), aged 39, Cornish general servant departing from Plymouth on 31st December 1857 aboard the ship "Coldstream" arriving in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on 13th April 1858 
Mr. William Bessell, (b. 1848), aged 10, Cornish settler departing from Plymouth on 31st December 1857 aboard the ship "Coldstream" arriving in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on 13th April 1858 
Mr. Charles Bessell, (b. 1853), aged 5, Cornish settler departing from Plymouth on 31st December 1857 aboard the ship "Coldstream" arriving in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on 13th April 1858 
Contemporary Notables of the name Bessell (post 1700)
Brigadier-General William Weston Jr. Bessell (1901-1977), American Commanding Officer Antilles Department (1946-1947) 
^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Andromeda voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1826 with 147 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/andromeda/1826
^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_australia_victoria.pdf
^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2011, October 6) William Bessell. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Bessell/William_Weston_Jr./USA.html
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