Handsaker History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient history of the Handsaker name begins with the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the family resided in Hardacre, Clapham, in the West Riding of Yorkshire. The place-name is derived from the Old English personal name Hearda, and the Old English word æcer or the Old Scandinavian word akr, both of which mean "plot of cultivated land." The place-name as a whole means "Hearda's farmland." Another source claims the name was derived from the ancient Saxon word Hardgear meaning "a strong spear," and in this case it would not have any relationship to farmland.

Early Origins of the Handsaker family

The surname Handsaker was first found in Staffordshire 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. The name is derived from the ancient Saxon "Hardgear" meaning "a strong spear" and does not have any relationship to farmland.

Important Dates for the Handsaker family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Handsaker research. Another 195 words (14 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Handsaker History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Handsaker Spelling Variations

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Handsaker include Hardacre, Hardaker, Hardiker, Handsacre, Handacre and others.

Early Notables of the Handsaker family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Handsaker family

Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Handsaker or a variant listed above: George Hardacre, who arrived in Maine in 1779.

Contemporary Notables of the name Handsaker (post 1700)

  • Gene Handsaker, American film journalist at Kentucky New Era in the 1940s and later at the St. Petersburg Times in the 1960s
  • John Handsaker, American first postmaster of Goshen, Lane County, Oregon in September 1874

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