Gosenay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Gosenay was carried to England in the enormous movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of 1066. It comes from the Germanic given name Gozzelin, which is a diminutive that translates as the little god. The surname Gosenay was formed in the vernacular or regional naming tradition, which is the oldest and most pervasive type of patronymic surname. According to this custom, names were originally composed of vocabulary elements from the local language. Vernacular names were widespread throughout Normandy. Accordingly, many typical English and French names are in fact, originally of Germanic origin and often have cognates in other European countries.

Early Origins of the Gosenay family

The surname Gosenay was first found in Jersey where the earliest on record was Robert Gosselin who was made Governor of the fortress of Mont Orgueil after saving the fort from the French.

However, Cheshire may be an early origin of the family too, as Henry Goseling was listed there in the Assize Rolls for 1260. Years later, Robert Goseling and Maud Gosselyng were both listed in the Subsidy Rolls for Cheshire in 1327. "Gosling is, no doubt, often a late development of Goslin." [1]

Early History of the Gosenay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gosenay research. Another 46 words (3 lines of text) covering the years 1529, 1603, 1229, 1566, 1626, 1619, 1626, 1614, 1621, 1693, 1758, 1693, 1632, 1704, 1632, 1696, 1777, 1733, 1678 and 1679 are included under the topic Early Gosenay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gosenay 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 Gosselin, Goselin, Goselyn, Goslin, Gosline, Gosling, Gosslyn, Gossling, Gosselyn and many more.

Early Notables of the Gosenay family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John Joscelyn or Josselin (1529-1603), Latin secretary to Archbishop Parker and Anglo-Saxon scholar, third surviving son of Sir Thomas Josselin of Hyde Hall, Hertfordshire, and High Roding, Essex, a direct descendant from Sir Thomas Jocelyn, who was knighted in 1229, and belonged to an ancient family of Brittany. [2] John Gostlin or Gostlyn MD (c. 1566-1626), was an English academic and physician, Master of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge from 1619 till his death in 1626 and Regius Professor of Physic. Also a politician, he was Member of Parliament for Barnstaple, Devon (1614-1621.) [2] Ralph...
Another 141 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gosenay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Gosenay family to Ireland

Some of the Gosenay family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Gosenay family

Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Gosenay name or one of its variants: William Gosselin settled in Barbados in 1635; Andreas and Barbara Gosselin settled in Charles Town in 1766; Edward Gosselin arrived in New York in 1821..



  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print


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