Heysman History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Heysman name is an important part of the history of the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. Heysman is derived from the son of Heysham.In Old English, patronyms were formed by adding a variety of suffixes to personal names, which changed over time and from place to place. For example, after the Norman Conquest, sunu and sune, which meant son, were the most common patronymic suffixes. In the 12th and 13th centuries, the most common patronymic names included the word filius, which meant son. By the 14th century, the suffix son had replaced these earlier versions. Surnames that were formed with filius or son were more common in the north of England and it was here that the number of individuals without surnames was greatest at this time.

Early Origins of the Heysman family

The surname Heysman was first found in Lancashire, at Heysham, a coastal village near Lancaster. The village dates back to the Domesday Book [1] when it was listed there as Hessam derived from the Old English words haes + ham and meant "homestead or village among the brushwood" [2]

"Under the Normans, the manor of Heysham, anciently Hessam, was held by the service of cornage, where the lord was bound by his tenure to meet the king on the borders of the county, with his horn and a white wand, introducing him into the county, and attending him on his departure. From this tenure, it is probable that a branch of the family, de Hessam." [3]

Today the village is a thriving community, but historically the ancient St. Patrick's Chapel, close to St. Peter's Church holds stone graves in the ruins and is home to many Saxon and Viking remains. The church itself contains an ancient Viking hogback stone. According to legend, St. Patrick landed here after crossing from Ireland and established the chapel.

Early History of the Heysman family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Heysman research. Another 147 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1682, 1738, 1682, 1697, 1700, 1702, 1704, 1714, 1723, 1724 and 1733 are included under the topic Early Heysman History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Heysman Spelling Variations

Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Heysman were recorded, including Heysham, Haysom, Hessam, Heshen and others.

Early Notables of the Heysman family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Richard Helsham (1682?-1738), "friend of Swift, was born probably in 1682 at Leggatsrath, co. Kilkenny. He was educated at Kilkenny College, entered Trinity College, Dublin, 18 July 1697, obtained a scholarship in 1700, graduated B.A. in 1702, was elected fellow in 1704, and was co-opted a senior fellow in 1714. He was lecturer in mathematics 1723-30, and was the first to hold the professorship of natural philosophy...
Another 73 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Heysman Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Heysman family

To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Heysman family emigrate to North America: William Heysham, who sailed to Pennsylvania in 1773; and Michael Heshen to Philadelphia in 1858.



  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.


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