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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


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. As the naming tradition grew in Europe baptismal names began to be introduced in many countries. Baptismal names were sometimes given in honor of Christian saints and other biblical figures. There are very few Christian countries in Europe that did not adopt surnames from these religious figures.

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The surname Hands was first found in Cheshire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.

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.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hands research. Another 296 words (21 lines of text) covering the year 1200 is included under the topic Early Hands History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Some of the Hands family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 157 words (11 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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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
  • Richard Hands, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1682

Hands Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Thomas Bedingfield Hands, who arrived in Maryland in 1739
  • John Hands, who arrived in America in 1766

Hands Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Henry Hands, who landed in New York, NY in 1841

Hands Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Frederick Hands arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Zealandia" in 1881

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  • William Friendly Hands, American Republican politician, Candidate in primary for Michigan State House of Representatives from Wayne County 1st District, 1948, 1950
  • Ruth Hands, American Republican politician, Candidate in primary for Michigan State House of Representatives from Wayne County 1st District, 1948
  • John H. Hands, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Michigan, 1920
  • Betsy Hands, American Democrat politician, Member of Montana State House of Representatives 99th District; Elected 2010
  • Mr. Bernard Hands (d. 1912), aged 53, English Fireman/Stoker from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking


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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).
  2. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  3. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  4. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  6. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  7. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  9. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  10. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  11. ...

The Hands Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Hands 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 9 November 2015 at 10:31.

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