Hessel History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Norman Conquest of England in 1066 brought much change to the island nation, including many immigrants with new names. Among these immigrants were the ancestors of the Hessel family, who 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 Hessel family

The surname Hessel 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 Hessel family

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

Hessel Spelling Variations

Before the last few hundred years the English language had no fixed system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations occurred commonly in Anglo Norman surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Hessel were recorded, including Halsewell, Halswell, Harsewell, Harswell, Hazel, Hazell, Hassal, Hassel, Hassall and many more.

Early Notables of the Hessel family (pre 1700)

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


United States Hessel migration to the United States +

The unstable environment in England at this time caused numerous families to board ships and leave in search of opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad in places like Ireland, Australia, and particularly the New World. The voyage was extremely difficult, however, and only taken at great expense. The cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels caused many to arrive diseased and starving, not to mention destitute from the enormous cost. Still opportunity in the emerging nations of Canada and the United States was far greater than at home and many went on to make important contributions to the cultures of their adopted countries. An examination of many early immigration records reveals that people bearing the name Hessel arrived in North America very early:

Hessel Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Jacob Hessel, aged 28, who landed in New York in 1633 [5]
Hessel Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Georg Jacob Hessel, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1751 [5]
Hessel Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Franz W Anton Hessel, who landed in America in 1846 [5]
  • Christina Hessel, who arrived in America in 1853 [5]
  • Kath Hessel, aged 3, who arrived in America in 1853 [5]
  • Maria Kath Hessel, aged 38, who arrived in America in 1853 [5]
  • Niklaus Hessel, aged 40, who landed in America in 1853 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Hessel (post 1700) +

  • Phoebe Hessel (1713-1821), English reputed female soldier and centenarian, was buried, according to the registers of Brighthelmstone (Brighton) parish, Sussex, on 16 Dec. 1821, at the age of 108 years [6]


  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)
  6. ^ Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 30 June 2020


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