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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Bessent family come from? What is the English Bessent family crest and coat of arms? When did the Bessent family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Bessent family history?

Bessent is a name that was formed by the Anglo-Saxon society of old Britain. The name was thought to have been used for someone who once 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.

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Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Bessent include Besant, Besaynt, Bezant, Bessant, Besand, Beasant, Bessent, Beazant, Bayzand, Beszant, Bassant, Bassent and many more.

First found in Middlesex, where they held a family seat from ancient times.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bessent research. Another 231 words(16 lines of text) covering the years 1168, 1190, 1194, 1748, 1752, 1776, 1836, and 1870 are included under the topic Early Bessent History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 37 words(3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bessent Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Bessent were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records: 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.

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  1. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  2. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  3. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  4. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  5. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  6. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  7. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  8. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  9. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  10. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The Bessent Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Bessent Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 7 October 2011 at 09:50.

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