Gosselyn History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The vast movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of England in 1066 brought the Gosselyn family name to the British Isles. Gosselyn comes from the Germanic given name Gozzelin, which is a diminutive that translates as the little god. The surname Gosselyn 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 Gosselyn family

The surname Gosselyn 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 Gosselyn family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gosselyn 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 Gosselyn History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gosselyn Spelling Variations

Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Gosselin, Goselin, Goselyn, Goslin, Gosline, Gosling, Gosslyn, Gossling, Gosselyn and many more.

Early Notables of the Gosselyn 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 Gosselyn Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Gosselyn family to Ireland

Some of the Gosselyn 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 Gosselyn family

Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Gosselyn or a variant listed above: 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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