Show ContentsHessian History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Hessian came to England with the ancestors of the Hessian family in the Norman Conquest in 1066. The surname Hessian is for a door keeper to a king. Further research showed the name was derived from the Old French word l'ussier, meaning the door keeper. This job held considerable status, as it entailed knowing the rank and status of all those who would enter the King's chambers. [1]

Early Origins of the Hessian family

The surname Hessian was first found in Durham where it is said they were descended from Richard de Neuville, the Admiral of Duke William's fleet, who was granted lands originally in Westmorland. His third son was entrusted with the defense of Bridgnorth in 1102.

"James Ussher, the celebrated Archbishop of Armagh, was a son of A. Ussher, one of the six clerks in Chancery, descended from a branch of the Norman family of De Neville, which assumed the name of Le Uschere or Le Huissier, from the office of Ostiarius granted to them by King John. Of this family was the gallant Admiral Sir Thomas Ussher." [2]

In Essex, the first record of the family was found at Colchester where Richard Ussier was registered. William le Usser or Lussier was found in the Assize Rolls for Somerset in 1243 and later, Geoffrey le Uscher was listed in Cambridgeshire in 1300. In Bedfordshire, Richard Lusscher was registered in the Subsidy Rolls of 1319 and in Cumberland, the Subsidy Rolls of 1332 included Adam Husser. [3]

Early History of the Hessian family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hessian research. Another 109 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1200, 1550, 1613, 1581, 1656, 1625, 1656, 1550, 1613, 1581, 1656, 1625, 1656, 1582 and 1629 are included under the topic Early Hessian History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Hessian Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Usher, Ussher and others.

Early Notables of the Hessian family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Henry Ussher (c. 1550-1613), a founder of Trinity College, Dublin and Church of Ireland, Archbishop of Armagh; and James Ussher (Usher) (1581-1656), Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of...
Another 39 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Hessian Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Hessian family to Ireland

Some of the Hessian family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 121 words (9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

New Zealand Hessian migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Hessian Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Patrick Hessian, (b. 1853), aged 24, Scottish settler travelling from Glasgow aboard the ship "Marlborough" arriving in Bluff, South Island, New Zealand on 4th November 1877 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Hessian (post 1700) +

  • John W. III Hessian, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for Maryland State Senate District 13-C, 1970 [5]

Halifax Explosion
  • Mr. Frederick  Hessian (1893-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion (1917) [6]
  • Mrs. Mary  Hessian (1900-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion (1917) [6]

  1. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. 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)
  3. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from
  5. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 12) . Retrieved from
  6. Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from on Facebook