Gosslyn History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the Gosslyn family first reached the shores of England in the wave of migration after the Norman Conquest of 1066. Their name is derived from the Germanic given name Gozzelin, which is a diminutive that translates as the little god. The surname Gosslyn 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 Gosslyn family

The surname Gosslyn 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]

"A family of Norman origin who have long resided in Guernsey. They claim descent from Robert Gosselin, who for eminent services in the rescue of Mont Orgueil from the French in 1339, is said to have been made governor of that fortress, and to have received from Edward III. a grant of the arms now borne by his descendants." [2]

Early History of the Gosslyn family

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

Gosslyn Spelling Variations

Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Gosselin, Goselin, Goselyn, Goslin, Gosline, Gosling, Gosslyn, Gossling, Gosselyn and many more.

Early Notables of the Gosslyn 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. [3] 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.) [3] Ralph...
Another 140 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gosslyn Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Gosslyn family to Ireland

Some of the Gosslyn 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 Gosslyn family

To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Gosslyn 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. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print


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