Show ContentsBessom History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Bessom name was originally an Anglo-Saxon name that was given to 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. The word is derived from the "Middle English besant, besand, the Old French besan, pluralized as besanz, which in turn was derived from the Latin byzantius (nummus), meaning a gold coin." 1

"A bisaunt, bezant, or bizantine was an old coin both in gold and silver, and so called from having been minted at Byzantium. The silver bezant passed current for as. or thereabouts." 2

Early Origins of the Bessom family

The surname Bessom was first found in London, England where Leftwin Besant was recorded 1147-1168. He was listed as a "moneyer" in the Pipe Rolls of 1168. Later, Robert Besant was listed in Clerkenwell, London in 1186-1192 and the Pipe Rolls of 1195. 1

Early History of the Bessom family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bessom research. Another 116 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1168, 1194, 1748, 1752, 1776, 1800, 1828, 1836, 1870, 1879, 1901 and 1917 are included under the topic Early Bessom History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bessom Spelling Variations

Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Bessom has undergone many spelling variations, including Besant, Besaynt, Bezant, Bessant, Besand, Beasant, Bessent, Beazant, Bayzand, Beszant, Bassant, Bassent and many more.

Early Notables of the Bessom family

Distinguished members of the family include Robert Besant, Sheriff of London in 1194. 2 Sir Walter Besant (1836-1901), was a distinguished English novelist and historian. He was the son of wine merchant William Besant (1800-1879) and was born at Portsmouth, Hampshire...
Another 40 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bessom Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Bessom family

To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Bessom were among those contributors: 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.

  1. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6) on Facebook