Hammett History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Hammett family

The surname Hammett was first found in Berkshire, where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William, Duke of Normandy, having prevailed over King Harold, granted most of Britain to his many victorious Barons. It was not uncommon to find a Baron, or a Bishop, with 60 or more Lordships scattered throughout the country. These he gave to his sons, nephews and other junior lines of his family and they became known as under-tenants. They adopted the Norman system of surnames which identified the under-tenant with his holdings so as to distinguish him from the senior stem of the family. After many rebellious wars between his Barons, Duke William, commissioned a census of all England to determine in 1086, settling once and for all, who held which land. He called the census the Domesday Book, [1] indicating that those holders registered would hold the land until the end of time. Hence, conjecturally, the surname is descended from the tenant of the lands of Waltham held by a steward of the King who was recorded in the Domesday Book census of 1086.

Early History of the Hammett family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hammett research. Another 80 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1080, 1327 and 1786 are included under the topic Early Hammett History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Hammett Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Hammett are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Hammett include Hammetr, Hammett, Hamet, Hamat, Hammatt, Hammat and others.

Early Notables of the Hammett family (pre 1700)

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

Hammett Ranking

In the United States, the name Hammett is the 3,783rd most popular surname with an estimated 7,461 people with that name. [2]


United States Hammett migration to the United States +

Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Hammett, or a variant listed above:

Hammett Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Hammett, who settled in New England in 1658
  • Thomas Hammett, who landed in New England in 1658 [3]
Hammett Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Joseph Hammett, a bonded passenger, who settled in America in 1745
Hammett Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Jonathan Hammett, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1812 [3]
  • C.H. Hammett, aged 55, who landed in America, in 1893
  • Marg. M. Hammett, aged 25, who settled in America, in 1894
  • Mrs. Hammett, aged 70, who immigrated to the United States, in 1895
  • C. E. Hammett, aged 28, who immigrated to the United States, in 1896
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Hammett Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Mr. Ernest Edmund Hammett, (b. 1861), aged 43, Cornish surveyor from Downderry, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "Philadelphia" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 1st October 1904 en route to Newark, New Jersey, USA [4]
  • Ernest W. Hammett, aged 25, who immigrated to the United States from Johannesberg, in 1906
  • George E. Hammett, aged 32, who landed in America from Manchester, England, in 1907
  • Stanley Hammett, aged 17, who landed in America from Lydford, England, in 1907
  • Ruth Hammett, aged 21, who landed in America from Paris, France, in 1907
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Hammett migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Hammett Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • George Hammett, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1783

Australia Hammett migration to Australia +

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

Hammett Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Daniel Hammett, English convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for life, transported aboard the "David Lyon" on 29th April 1830, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land), he died in 1840 [5]
  • Jane Hammett, aged 29, who arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Samuel Boddington" [6]
  • Mr. Joel Hammett, (b. 1810), aged 38 born in Launceston, Cornwall, UK convicted in Exeter on 17th October 1848, sentenced for 7 years for stealing a saddle, transported aboard the ship "Rodney" in 1850 to Van Diemen's Land, Tasmania, Australia [7]
  • John E. Hammett, aged 19, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1860 aboard the ship "Schah Jehan"

New Zealand Hammett 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:

Hammett Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Hammett, (b. 1857), aged 26, English carpenter from Devon travelling from Plymouth aboard the ship "Taranaki" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 21st October 1883 [8]
  • Mrs. Esther Hammett, (b. 1860), aged 23, English settler from Devon travelling from Plymouth aboard the ship "Taranaki" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 21st October 1883 [8]

West Indies Hammett migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [9]
Hammett Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • John Hammett, who settled in Barbados in 1688

Contemporary Notables of the name Hammett (post 1700) +

  • William Henry Hammett (1799-1861), American Democratic Party politician, U.S. Representative from Mississippi at-large, 1843-45 [10]
  • Robert G. Hammett, American politician, Member of West Virginia State House of Delegates from Pleasants County, 1889-90, 1893-94 [10]
  • Robert A. Hammett (b. 1927), American politician, Member of South Carolina State House of Representatives, 1961- [10]
  • Evan H. Hammett, American politician, Candidate for Missouri State House of Representatives, 1940, 1942 [10]
  • Ben F. Hammett, American politician, Mayor of El Paso, Texas, 1901-03 [10]
  • Aubrey R. Hammett (b. 1873), American Democratic Party politician, Member of Missouri State House of Representatives from Randolph County, 1929-32; Circuit Judge in Missouri 9th Circuit, 1935-46 [10]
  • Bryant O'Dare Hammett Jr., (b. 1956), American civil engineer, land surveyor and politician, Louisiana State Representative (1992-2006), Secretary of Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (2006-2008)
  • William H. Hammett (d. 1861), Irish-born, American politician, U.S. Representative from Mississippi (1843-1845)
  • Seth Hammett (b. 1946), American politician, Member of the Alabama House of Representatives (1979-2011)
  • Louis Plack Hammett (1894-1987), American physical chemist who developed the Hammett equation, awarded the Priestley Medal in 1961
  • ... (Another 4 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Albert C Hammett, British Able Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [11]


Suggested Readings for the name Hammett +

  • Hammett Families: Descendants of John Hammett, Sr. (ca. 1735-1822) and Sarah (Underwood) Hammett (ca. 1740-1820) Named in Contemporary Family Letters and in Public and Family Records by Wilbur Thomas Edwards.

  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  3. ^ 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)
  4. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_ellis_island_1892_on.pdf
  5. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 3rd June 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/david-lyon
  6. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) SAMUEL BODDINGTON 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849SamuelBoddington.htm
  7. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 30th May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/tasmanian_convicts_cornish.pdf
  8. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  9. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  10. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 26) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  11. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html


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