Show ContentsBesson History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The history of the Besson family goes back to the Medieval landscape of northern France, to the coastal region known as Normandy. It is derived from the family living in Normandy. 1

It is believed by some sources that the name Bisson originally came from the French word "buisson", which translates to "small tree" or "bush". 2

Early Origins of the Besson family

The surname Besson was first found in Normandy (French: Normandie), the former Duchy of Normandy.

Richard du Buisson accompanied Guillaume the Conqueror, and his name is on the list of the companions of this prince in the church of Dives. Philippe du Buisson is cited in 1160. Richard du Buisson crossed Richard Heart of a Lion in 1189. Philippe du Buisson and his son Robert died in the seventh crusade in 1251.

Early History of the Besson family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Besson research. The years 1046, 1637, 1666, 1685, 1739, 1742, 1767, 1789, 1796, 1807, 1848 and 1850 are included under the topic Early Besson History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Besson Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Bisson, Buisson, Bichon, Du Buisson, Du Bisson, Beson and many more.

Early Notables of the Besson family

Notable amongst the family in this period was a lawyer of the King, two priors (priests) from Caen, a councillor at the Rouen parliament, two general captains for the militia of Normandy, two knights of Saint Louis. This family maintained its nobility, recorded in 1637, and was present at the assembly of the nobility of Caen in 1789. Other branches of the line brought Louis-Charles Bisson, bishop of Calvados, born in 1742. He produced many works, such as discourses, mandates, ordinances of the time of the French Revolution, and many works which were more political than religious. Pierre-François-Jean-Gaspard Bisson was a...
Another 126 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Besson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Besson Ranking

In France, the name Besson is the 217th most popular surname with an estimated 16,245 people with that name. 3

United States Besson migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Besson Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Tho Besson, who arrived in Virginia in 1638 4
  • Thomas Besson, who landed in Maryland in 1649 4
  • Hestor Besson, who arrived in Maryland in 1650 4
  • Stephen Besson, who landed in Maryland in 1662 4
Besson Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Margaretha Besson, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1805 4

Canada Besson migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Besson Settlers in Canada in the 17th Century
  • Mr. Jean Besson, (b. 1619), aged 23, French settler travelling to Canada for work arriving on 1st April 1642 5

Contemporary Notables of the name Besson (post 1700) +

  • General Frank Schaffer Besson Jr. (1910-1985), American Chairman of the Joint Logistics Review Board (1969-1970) 6
  • Jacques de Besson, Baron d'Ormeschwiller, French Brigadier General during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars from 1789 to 1815 7
  • General Antoine-Marie-Benoit Besson (1876-1969), French Director of Prisoner of War Service 8
  • Albert Besson (1896-1965), French hygienist, physician, and member of the French Academy of Medicine
  • Jacques Besson (1535-1575), French mathematician
  • Gustave Auguste Besson (1820-1874), French brass instrument maker
  • Colette Besson (1946-2005), French Olympic athlete
  • Gérard Anthony Besson HBM, DLitt. h.c. (1942-2023), Trinidadian writer and publisher
  • Benno Besson (1922-2006), Swiss actor and film director

  1. Dauzat, Albert, Morlet, Marie-Thérèse, Dictionaire Étymologique des Noms et Prénoms de France. Paris: Librairie Larousse, 1987. Print.
  2. Dionne, N.-E., Origine Des Familles Canadiennes-Français. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1969. Print.
  4. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  5. Debien, Gabriel. Liste Des Engagés Pour Le Canada Au XVIIe Siècle. Vol. 6, Laval University, 1952. (Retreived 24th May 2018). Retrieved from
  6. Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2011, October 6) Frank Besson. Retrieved from
  7. Generals Who Served in the French Army during the Period 1789-1815. (Retrieved 2015, February 11) Jacques Besson. Retrieved from
  8. Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2011, October 3) Antoine-Marie-Benoit Besson. Retrieved from on Facebook