Show ContentsHammersley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestry of the name Hammersley dates from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It comes from when the family lived in the village of Hammersley, in the county of Staffordshire. The surname Hammersley was originally derived from the Old English word hamm, which means flat, low-lying land and the Old English word ley, which refers to a wood clearing or grove.

Early Origins of the Hammersley family

The surname Hammersley was first found in Staffordshire at Hammersley, "a locality probably to be found in Staffordshire." [1] We can find no record of this village today, but there is no doubt some or all of the family came from Staffordshire. By example, the Register of the University of Oxford list Walter Hamersley, in 1610 and William Hamersly in 1617 as both being from Staffordshire [1] Evidence of the family was also found at Kencott in Oxfordshire. It was here that "the family of Hammersley: the tithes were commuted for land and a money payment in 1767." [2]

Early History of the Hammersley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hammersley research. Another 77 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1687 and 1801 are included under the topic Early Hammersley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Hammersley Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Hammersley have been found, including Hammersley, Hammersly and others.

Early Notables of the Hammersley family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Hammersley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Hammersley migration to the United States +

Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Hammersley, or a variant listed above:

Hammersley Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Anne Hammersley, who settled in Virginia in 1732
Hammersley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Edward Hammersley and George arrived in Philadelphia in 1846
  • T. W. Hammersley, who arrived in San Francisco in 1852
  • W. B. Hammersley, aged 28, who landed in America from Oldham, in 1893
Hammersley Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Guy Hammersley, aged 32, who settled in America from London, in 1903
  • George Edward Hammersley, aged 29, who immigrated to the United States from London, England, in 1912
  • Violet Hammersley, aged 35, who immigrated to the United States from London, England, in 1912
  • Herbert Hammersley, aged 18, who immigrated to the United States from Lougton, England, in 1913
  • Martin Maynard Hammersley, aged 28, who landed in America from Dublin, Ireland, in 1914
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Hammersley migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Hammersley Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • Robert D. Hammersley, aged 27, who immigrated to Vancouver, Canada, in 1919

Australia Hammersley migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Hammersley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Benjamiin Hammersley, (b. 1801), aged 32, English farm labourer who was convicted in Stafford, Staffordshire, England for life for sacrilege, transported aboard the "Fairlie" on 14th October 1833, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died in 1875 [3]
  • Mr. John Hammersley, English convict who was convicted in Staffordshire, England for 15 years, transported aboard the "David Clarke" on 3rd June 1841, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [4]

New Zealand Hammersley migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Hammersley Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Charles Hammersley, aged 46, a carpenter, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Eveline" in 1865 [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Hammersley (post 1700) +

  • Charles E. Hammersley (1881-1957), American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for Governor of Wisconsin, 1930; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Wisconsin, 1932, 1936, 1940 [6]
  • George W. Hammersley, American midshipmen on the Wilkes Expedition of 1838-1842, eponym of Hammersley Inlet, Puget Sound, Washington
  • Frederick Hammersley (1919-2009), American abstract painter, recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship (1973) and National Endowment for the Arts (1975 and 1977)
  • Charles E. Hammersley (d. 1957), American politician
  • James Astbury Hammersley (1815-1869), English painter, born at Burslem, Staffordshire; from May 1849 till 31 Dec. 1862 he was head-master of the Manchester School of Design [7]
  • William Hammersley (1826-1886), English-born, Australian sports journalist for Bell's Life in Victoria and later The Australasian
  • Samuel Schofield Hammersley (1892-1965), Conservative Party politician in England
  • Rodolfo Hammersley (b. 1889), Chilean Olympic track and field athlete
  • John Hammersley (1920-2004), British mathematician, creator of the Hammersley set
  • Gordon Hammersley (d. 1980), British actor best known for his role in the film Chariots of Fire (1981)
  • ... (Another 1 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

  1. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 21st September 2022).
  4. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 3rd June 2021). Retrieved from
  5. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 4th November 2011). Retrieved from
  6. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 26) . Retrieved from
  7. Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 30 June 2020 on Facebook