Hanchet History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Early Origins of the Hanchet family
The surname Hanchet was first found in Hertfordshire 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,  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 Hincksworth (Hinxworth or Hinkworth,) two men-at-arms holding from William d'Eau, a Norman Baron who was recorded in the Domesday Book census of 1086.
Early History of the Hanchet family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hanchet research. Another 82 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1732, 1737, 1745, and 1803 are included under the topic Early Hanchet History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Hanchet 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 Hanchett, Handchett, Hanchet, Handshake, Hanshake, Handshay and many more.
Early Notables of the Hanchet family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Hanchet Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Hanchet 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 Hanchet or a variant listed above: Thomas Hanchett, who came to Boston sometime between 1620 and 1650; A Hanchett, who arrived in Louisiana in 1785; as well as an A. Hanchett, who arrived in San Francisco in 1852..