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An excerpt from archives copyright 2000 - 2016


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.

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.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hammett research. Another 159 words (11 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.


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


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 came to New England in 1658
  • Thomas Hammett, who landed in New England in 1658
  • John Hammett, who came to Barbados in 1688

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
  • 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 emigrated to the United States, in 1895
  • C. E. Hammett, aged 28, who emigrated to the United States, in 1896

Hammett Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Ernest W. Hammett, aged 25, who emigrated 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
  • Robert J. Hammett, aged 38, who emigrated to the United States from London, England, in 1908

Hammett Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • George Hammett, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1783

Hammett Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Jane Hammett, aged 29, arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Samuel Boddington"
  • John E. Hammett, aged 19, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1860 aboard the ship "Schah Jehan"


  • 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 Henry Hammett (1799-1861), American Democrat politician, U.S. Representative from Mississippi at-large, 1843-45
  • Robert G. Hammett, American politician, Member of West Virginia State House of Delegates from Pleasants County, 1889-90, 1893-94
  • Robert A. Hammett (b. 1927), American politician, Member of South Carolina State House of Representatives, 1961-
  • Evan H. Hammett, American politician, Candidate for Missouri State House of Representatives, 1940, 1942
  • Ben F. Hammett, American politician, Mayor of El Paso, Texas, 1901-03
  • Aubrey R. Hammett (b. 1873), American Democrat politician, Member of Missouri State House of Representatives from Randolph County, 1929-32; Circuit Judge in Missouri 9th Circuit, 1935-46
  • 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



  • 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.

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  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)

Other References

  1. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  2. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  3. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  4. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  5. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  6. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  7. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  9. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  10. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  11. ...

The Hammett Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Hammett Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 26 January 2016 at 09:18.

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