Handseard History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Handseard family

The surname Handseard 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.' " [1]

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. [2]

"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." [3]

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. [4]

The Close Rolls, 36 Henry III included William Hasard and Alan de Haunsard, taverner, 4 Edward II was listed as a Freemen of York. [5]

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." [6]

Early History of the Handseard family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Handseard research. Another 113 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1377, 1604, 1752, 1624 and 1631 are included under the topic Early Handseard History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Handseard Spelling Variations

During the era when a person's name, tribe and posterity was one of his most important possessions, many different spellings were found in the archives examined. Handseard occurred in many references, and spelling variations of the name found included Handsard, Handsarde, Hansard, Hansarde and others.

Early Notables of the Handseard family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Handseard family to Ireland

Some of the Handseard 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 Handseard 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 illness and the elements, were buried at sea. In North America, early immigrants bearing the family name Handseard, or a spelling variation of the surname include: Peter Hansard who landed in North America in 1764.



The Handseard Motto +

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


  1. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ Testa de Nevill or "Liber Feodorum" or "Book of Fees," thought to have been written by Ralph de Nevill, for King John (1199–1216)
  5. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  6. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)


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