Hancell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The vast movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of England in 1066 brought the Hancell family name to the British Isles. Hancell comes from the Germanic personal name Ansell composed of the elements ans, which means god, and helm, which means protection or helmet. 
Early Origins of the Hancell family
The surname Hancell was first found in the English county of Kent where they were granted lands shortly after the Norman Conquest by King William the Conqueror in 1066 A.D. The family is believed to be descended from Pierre Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ansell being the abbreviation adopted by most branches of this noble Norman family who accompanied the Conqueror into England.
Saint Anselm of Aosta (c. 1033-1109), was a theologian, Abbot of Bec, and Archbishop of Canterbury. He was "born at or near Aosta about the year 1033, or two years before the death of Cnut, king of England, and two years before William the Conqueror became duke of Normandy. William the Conqueror received his death-wound in 1087. In the presence of Anselm we are told that he who to most men seemed harsh and terrible became so mild that bystanders looked on with amazement. " 
Early History of the Hancell family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hancell research. Another 91 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1660, 1929 and 1689 are included under the topic Early Hancell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Hancell 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 Ansell, Ancell, Ancelle, Anselm, Anselme, Anstrell and many more.
Early Notables of the Hancell family (pre 1700)
Another 34 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Hancell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Hancell 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 Hancell or a variant listed above: Edward Ansell, who settled in Nevis in 1663; Elizabeth Ansell, aged 17, who settled in Virginia in 1685; Claude Anselme, who arrived at New Orleans in 1719.
Related Stories +
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print