Harsel History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The vast movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of England of 1066 brought the Harsel family name to the British Isles. They lived in Devon. This name however, is a topographical reference indicating that the original bearer lived in close proximity to a hazel tree or grove. [1]

Early Origins of the Harsel family

The surname Harsel was first found in Devon at Halsewell. This parish "was possessed by the family surnamed from it De Halsewell, almost from the period of the Conquest, and it still belongs to their descendant, Colonel Kemeys-Tynte, whose ancestor married the heiress in the XVII. century." [2] They were descended from Halsewell or De Halsewell from Normandy. [3]

In turn, the name evolved into the shortened forms including Hazel, Hazell, Hasel, Hasell, Haisell and others and spread throughout ancient Britain. By example, Alured del Hesel was listed in Worcester c. 1182, Gamel Hesel listed in the Pipe Rolls of Lincolnshire in 1203, and Hugh de Hesill in the Assize Rolls of Yorkshire in 1204. [4]

Early History of the Harsel family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Harsel research. Another 213 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 162 and 1628 are included under the topic Early Harsel History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Harsel Spelling Variations

A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Halsewell, Halswell, Harsewell, Harswell, Hazel, Hazell, Hassal, Hassel, Hassall and many more.

Early Notables of the Harsel family (pre 1700)

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


United States Harsel migration to the United States +

Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Harsel or a variant listed above:

Harsel Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Jacob Harsel, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1803 [5]


  1. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  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)


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