Hands History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Hands is tied to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of England. It comes from the baptismal name for the son of John. The given name John was originally derived from the Dutch Hans or Han. [1]

Alternatively, the name coule be "a nickname or sign-name [Old English hand, a hand]." [2]

And another source notes it is an "ancient personal name. Hand and Hande are, however, surnames without prefix in Hundredorum Rolls. Mr. Ferguson says: "Walking through Handsworth in Staffordshire, and seeing the name of Hand upon the shops, I said to myself, ' Handsworth is the north or estate of a man called Hand, and these may be descendants of that man.'" [3]

Early Origins of the Hands family

The surname Hands was first found in Cheshire where the name first appeared as a forename in the Assize Rolls of 1288, Honde Cottrell. The Hundredorum Rolls of 1279 included Richard Hand in Bedfordshire and later Robert Hind was found in the Subsidy Rolls for Sussex in 1296. Walter Handes was listed in the Subsidy Rolls for Warwickshire in 1332. [4]

In Yorkshire, The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls had a wide variety of entries: Hanse et uxor ejus; Matilda Han-wyfe; Thomas Hand; and Laurence Hande. [1]

Early History of the Hands family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hands research. Another 119 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1200, 1521, 1588, 1594 and are included under the topic Early Hands History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Hands Spelling Variations

Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Hands has undergone many spelling variations, including Hand, Hands and others.

Early Notables of the Hands family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Hands family to Ireland

Some of the Hands family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 77 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Hands migration to the United States +

To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Hands were among those contributors:

Hands Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Christopher Hands, who arrived in Maryland in 1659 [5]
  • Richard Hands, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1682 [5]
Hands Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Thomas Bedingfield Hands, who arrived in Maryland in 1739 [5]
  • John Hands, who arrived in America in 1766 [5]
Hands Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Henry Hands, who landed in New York, NY in 1841 [5]

New Zealand Hands 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:

Hands Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Frederick Hands, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Zealandia" in 1881

Contemporary Notables of the name Hands (post 1700) +

  • William Friendly Hands, American Republican politician, Candidate in primary for Michigan State House of Representatives from Wayne County 1st District, 1948, 1950 [6]
  • Ruth Hands, American Republican politician, Candidate in primary for Michigan State House of Representatives from Wayne County 1st District, 1948 [6]
  • John H. Hands, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Michigan, 1920 [6]
  • Betsy Hands, American Democrat politician, Member of Montana State House of Representatives 99th District; Elected 2010 [6]
  • Terence David "Terry" Hands CBE (1941-2020), English theatre director, founder of the Liverpool Everyman Theatre
  • Ken Hands (1926-2017), Australian rules footballer for Carlton (1959-1964)

RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Bernard Hands (d. 1912), aged 53, English Fireman/Stoker from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [7]


  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. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  3. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  4. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. ^ 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)
  6. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 9) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  7. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


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