Handsard History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Early Origins of the Handsard family
The surname Handsard was first found in Durham where "the Hansards of Evenwood, co. Durham, formerly had a seat in the palatinate parliament convened by the bishop of Durham. Hansard is also a provincialism for a bill-hook or hedge-bill. The Hansards of Durham were commonly characterized as the 'Handsome Hansards.' " 
However, another source claims that Yorkshire was the first record of the family as Gilbert and Roger Hansard were listed there c. 1170 and later in the Assize Rolls for Durham in 1243. In Surrey, the Pipe Rolls there listed William Haunsard in 1230. 
"The descendants of this Norman established themselves in the counties of York, Lincoln, Lancaster, Sussex, &c. A scion of the Yorkshire branch, settled in Ireland, temp. James II., was represented by the late Richard Massey Hansard, Esq., of Miskin House, Glamorganshire." 
The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 had three entries for the family at that time: Gilbert Haunsard, Lincolnshire; John Haunsard, Norfolk and John Hasard, Yorkshire.
The "Testa de Nevill, sive Liber Feodorum, temp. Henry III-Edward I." listed John Haunsard, Northamptonshire, Henry III-Edward I and the source "Placita de Quo Warranto, temp. Edward I-III" included Gilbert Haunssard, Lincolnshire, 20 Edward I. 
The Close Rolls, 36 Henry III included William Hasard and Alan de Haunsard, taverner, 4 Edward II was listed as a Freemen of York. 
Further to the north in Scotland, "Johan de Haunsard of Forfarshire rendered homage in 1296 [to King Edward I of England] was most probably a descendant of the Hansards of England." 
Early History of the Handsard family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Handsard research. Another 113 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1377, 1604, 1752, 1624 and 1631 are included under the topic Early Handsard History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Handsard Spelling Variations
Although the name, Handsard, appeared in many references, from time to time, the surname was shown with the spellings Handsard, Handsarde, Hansard, Hansarde and others.
Early Notables of the Handsard family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Handsard Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Handsard family to Ireland
Some of the Handsard family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Handsard family
Gradually becoming disenchanted with life in Ireland many of these uprooted families sailed aboard the armada of sailing ships known as the "White Sails" which plied the stormy Atlantic. These overcrowded ships often arrived with only 60 to 70% of their original passenger list, many dying of cholera, typhoid, dysentery or small pox. In North America, some of the first immigrants who could be considered kinsmen of the Handsard family name Handsard, or who bore a variation of the surname were Peter Hansard who landed in North America in 1764.
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Fractus pugnato
Motto Translation: Broken in fight