Hemsley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Hemsley family

The surname Hemsley was first found in Devon at Hensley, but we must look far to the north in Yorkshire to find the first listing of the family. For it is there that John de Henselay was listed in the Subsidy Rolls in 1297. [1]

Early History of the Hemsley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hemsley research. Another 141 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1662, 1510, 1600, 1080, 1163, 1455, 1487, 1616 and 1540 are included under the topic Early Hemsley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Hemsley Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Hemsley family name include Hensley, Hensleigh, Henslie, Henslea, Ensley, Ensleigh, Ensly and many more.

Early Notables of the Hemsley family (pre 1700)

Another 41 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Hemsley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Hemsley migration to the United States +

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, Canada, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Hemsley surname or a spelling variation of the name include:

Hemsley Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Judith Hemsley, who arrived in Maryland in 1658 [2]
  • Penelope Hemsley, who landed in Maryland in 1658 [2]
  • William Hemsley, who arrived in Maryland in 1658 [2]
Hemsley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Walter Hemsley, who landed in Iowa in 1872 [2]

Canada Hemsley migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Hemsley Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Samuel Hemsley, who arrived in Canada in 1834

Australia Hemsley migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Hemsley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • James Hemsley, aged 29, a carpenter, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Oriental,"
  • Mr. Richard Hemsley, English convict who was convicted in Maidstone, Kent, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Belgravia" on 4th April 1866, arriving in Western Australia [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Hemsley (post 1700) +

  • William Hemsley (1737-1812), American politician, Member of Maryland State House of Delegates, 1778; Member of Maryland State Senate, 1779-81, 1786-87; Delegate to Continental Congress from Maryland, 1782-83
  • Samuel T. Hemsley, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Maryland, 1932
  • Howard Hemsley, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York, 2008
  • Alexander Hemsley, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Maryland, 1908
  • Sherman Alexander Hemsley (1938-2012), American actor, most famous for his role as George Jefferson on the CBS television series All in the Family and The Jeffersons
  • Thomas Jeffrey Hemsley CBE (b. 1927), English operatic baritone
  • Edward John Orton Hemsley (b. 1943), British former professional footballer
  • William Botting Hemsley FRS (1843-1924), British botanist and 1909 Victoria Medal of Honour recipient
  • William Hemsley Emory (1811-1887), United States Army officer and surveyor of Texas

HMS Royal Oak
  • Charles Frederick Hemsley (d. 1939), British Marine with the Royal Marine aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [4]


  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 30th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/belgravia
  4. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html


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